A new report from commercial real estate firm CBRE reveals the U.S. life sciences industry and the real estate that it inhabits is gaining momentum and has positioned various industry hubs – including New Jersey – for continued growth.
The CBRE report cites numerous indicators that point to robust expansion for the life sciences industry, including the 86 percent increase in venture-capital funding for U.S. life sciences companies to $15.8 billion for the year ended in September from the previous year.
In addition, life sciences lab space under construction in the industry’s five largest U.S. markets expanded by 101 percent last year to 6.0 million square feet.
That momentum has several markets rising on CBRE’s ranking of the top established and emerging life sciences hubs. New Jersey ranks fourth among top life sciences clusters in the U.S. due to the significant size of its 18.2 million-square-foot lab inventory and its deep talent pool (No. 2 of all markets for key life scientists). New Jersey’s life sciences industry has revived its growth over the past several years, with life sciences employment growth of 3.7 percent exceeding the national average of 2.9 percent between 2014 and 2017.
“Increased demand for lab space in New Jersey is being driven by companies involved in gene therapy, cell therapy, oncology, clinical trials and manufacturing,” said Tom Sullivan, senior vice president in CBRE’s Central New Jersey office. “With diminishing supply, vacancy has dropped significantly over the past year. Continued strong demand likely will result in a tighter market for lab space in 2019.”
CBRE’s report focuses on the human life-sciences industry that encompasses manufacturing, testing and research-and-development work in the fields of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices.
CBRE analyzed and ranked the top established life sciences hubs by weighing four main criteria for each market: number of scientists in key industry categories, industry funding for local life sciences companies, size and long-term growth of their life sciences workforce, and their inventory of industry lab space.