With a growing workforce and vibrant universities and research facilities, Greater Fort Lauderdale offers an ideal ecosystem for life science companies. For decades, the area has been home to one of the most dynamic biomedical sectors in the country. Today, Allergan, Stryker and Teva are among the major medical device, biomedical, pharmaceutical and clinical research companies with R&D, manufacturing and distribution facilities in the area.
As a region, South Florida offers convenient access to leading research institutes and academic institutions. In Greater Fort Lauderdale – a longtime home for many biomedical companies – Nova Southeastern University is expanding its life science research facilities. To the north are Scripps Florida, Max Planck Florida Institute, and Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies.
To the south, the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine and Florida International University’s Biomedical Engineering Department are investing in biomedical research and commercialization programs.
Life sciences companies also benefit from a trained 13,000-person workforce, and a value chain that includes suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce training programs.
A Statewide Snapshot
Florida has a growing life sciences sector with new companies, more jobs and a significant number of bioscience-related patents. A 2020 TEConomy/BIO profile notes these highlights:
• Florida ranks in the top quintile for bioscience industry employment, establishments, bioscience R&D and number of bioscience and related patents.
• 93,534 - Bioscience employment.
• 6,700 - Bioscience establishments.
• $705 million National Institute of Health funding, FY2019.
• $1.27 billion Bioscience venture capital investments, 2016-19.
• $1.53 billion - Academic bioscience R+D expenditures, FY2018.
A Collaborative Approach
South Florida's academic institutions, research parks and economic development organizations have joined together to form Life Sciences South Florida (LifeSciencesSF.org). Its goal is to provide state, federal and private investment opportunities. The organization also facilitates the sharing of high-tech equipment and guides the development of a skilled biotechnology workforce capable of supporting cutting-edge research and commercial innovation.
On a statewide level, BioFlorida is the voice of Florida's life sciences industry with regional chapters that represent nearly 5,500 establishments and research organizations in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices/diagnostics and bioagriculture sectors. BioFlorida’s initiatives provide a strong business climate for the advancement of innovative products that improve lives and promote economic benefits to the state.
Another collaborative asset is the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research, which facilitates the creation of spin-off companies from technology developed at Florida’s publicly funded research institutions. The institute provides support services, including building relationships with seasoned entrepreneurs, in order to hasten the growth of commercially viable discoveries.
A Diverse Industry Cluster
South Florida is home to approximately 1,500 bioscience businesses and institutions that generate over $4 billion in annual sales, according to recent estimates. Leading life science companies in Greater Fort Lauderdale include:
- Allergan is a brand/generic pharmaceutical company whose pharmaceutical manufacturing and warehousing facility in Davie manufactures about 2.2 billion units annually. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Health Canada, and the European Medicines Agency.
- Aveva Drug Delivery Systems is a global leader in transdermal drug delivery systems. The Miramar company is part of Apotex, Canada's largest pharmaceutical company.
- DNA Labs International provides forensic DNA analysis. The Deerfield Beach company is adding jobs and making a $7.5 million capital investment in its facility.
- Florida Supplement is a nutraceutical manufacturer and packager of nutritional supplements in tablets, capsules, liquids and power blend forms. Located in Miramar, Florida Supplement has manufactured nutritional supplement products for customers in the United States, Latin America and Europe.
- Goodwin Biotechnology, Inc. is a fully integrated contract manufacturing organization of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins for preclinical and phase I/II/III clinical trials. Plantation-based GBI has worked with companies of all sizes.
- Hema Diagnostic Systems, LLC produces a full line of rapid diagnostic assays for major infectious disease testing. The Miramar company was acquired by Generex Biotechnology Corporation in 2018.
- Lupin Limited, a pharma-research company based in Mumbai, India has expanded its laboratory facility in Coral Springs, which focuses on inhalation products for the treatment of asthma, allergic rhinitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases and other lung diseases.
- OmniComm Systems, Inc. is a Fort Lauderdale-based global provider of eclinical solutions. It was acquired by Anju Software in 2019.
- OrbusNeich is a global medical device company that develops therapies for vascular disease at its Advanced Research and Development facility in Fort Lauderdale.
- SHL Pharma recently expanded its manufacturing and R&D facility in Deerfield Beach. SHL Pharma is part of SHL Group, the world’s largest privately-owned designer, developer and manufacturer of advanced drug delivery systems.
- Stryker-MAKO Surgical Corp. is a Stryker medical device company in Davie that markets its RIO® Robotic-Arm Interactive Orthopedic system and its proprietary RESTORIS® implants for minimally invasive orthopedic knee procedures.
- Terumo Aortic in Sunrise develops products for endovascular aortic treatment, including its Relay Thoracic Stent-Graft with Plus Delivery System, a life-saving technology for patients with thoracic aortic aneurysms.
- Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., is an Israel-based company with engineering, information technology and purchasing services at its facility in Weston.
- Trividia Health, a subsidiary of China-based Sinocare Group, has a large facility in Fort Lauderdale that makes glucose-monitoring equipment and related products for diabetics.
- Vigilant Biosciences, is a leading innovator and developer of solutions that aid in the early detection and intervention of cancer.
- Vital Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (VPX) develops, manufactures and distributes sports medicine-related nutraceuticals, functional foods and beverages. The company is adding jobs and making a capital investment of $181 million in Pembroke Pines.
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For more information on life sciences business location and expansion, contact the Alliance's life sciences expert, Todd Holt, at 954-627-0124 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.