Global leaders are fast discovering that Charleston, South Carolina, is an ideal location for life sciences companies. Charleston now leads the nation in job growth in science-based R&D firms. A recent article published in Industry Today reveals why so many life sciences companies are choosing to call Charleston home. 

Charleston’s Booming Life Sciences Industry

More than 75 pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, service companies, and research laboratories now make Charleston home. These range from startups to globally-known corporations. 

According to the SC Department of Commerce, the 400 life sciences companies in the state generate an economic impact equal to $11.4 billion annually. And in Charleston alone, the life sciences industry is booming:

  • Alcami Corporation announced a $5 million expansion in North Charleston.
  • The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has increased biomedical research funding by 12% since 2012. 
  • Thorne Research announces a new $35 million manufacturing, R&D, and headquarters facility in Summerville. 
  • Groundbreaking of mixed-used WestEdge Innovation District development and is considered a prime location for R&D. 

Why Charleston is Attracting New Business 

Charleston continues to attract new business in the life sciences space for a variety of reasons. The region offers a business-friendly environment coupled with amenities that are attractive to executives and employees and access to top talent. 

International Transportation Options

Being a global leader, or having aspirations to grow into one, requires global access. Fortunately, life sciences companies can easily distribute their solutions worldwide or receive components by sea or air. 

The Port of Charleston is the most productive port in the nation, serving over 150 countries. This distribution hub gives life sciences companies the option to ship internationally and makes Charleston an appealing choice. 

Charleston International Airport (CHS) serves 4.5 million passengers each year and offers easy access to major U.S. and international locations. There are even seasonal nonstop flights to London. 

Access to Top Talent

When it comes to choosing a location, life sciences firms must have access to talent, and Charleston delivers with its six regional universities and colleges. MUSC is known for its expertise in neuroscience, telehealth, and cancer treatment. MUSC’s Foundation for Research Development has issued over 400 patents, supported more than 70 startups, and creates partnerships with different life sciences firms.

The South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA) is a nonprofit research facility that collaborates with entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and universities. It has supported Charleston life sciences companies like Marnel Pharmaceuticals and Hercules Spine. 

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