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PhRMA Makes Down Payment on LA’s Growing Bioscience Sector

Invests in Region’s Life Sciences Ecosystem and Joins BioLA Board

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Los Angeles, CA (February 19, 2019) — During a community conversation about Los Angeles County’s burgeoning biopharmaceutical sector, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) made a down payment to support life science innovation, expand the local skilled workforce and provide economic stimulation within the county.

At the event, PhRMA President and CEO Stephen J. Ubl announced that in addition to joining the board of Bioscience Los Angeles County, known as BioLA. The association is making a three-year, $750,000 investment to expand the region’s development of breakthrough treatments and cures through innovation.

“PhRMA is here today for one reason – to help make Los Angeles a bioscience powerhouse on par with San Diego and the Bay Area and solidify California’s well-established prominence as a global life sciences leader,” said Ubl. “Los Angeles is home to world-class academic and research institutions, has a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a robust and diverse workforce that offer a solid foundation for bioscience innovation to take root and grow.”

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BioLA was founded in 2018, with the aim of serving as an entrepreneurial hub for government, research institutions and private investors to accelerate startup activity within the County and amplify economic activity. BioLA will help coordinate academic institutions, research hospitals, investors, startups, mature companies, trade associations and public and quasi-public agencies to advance the pace of innovation.

Ubl added, “Small start-ups, like the ones BioLA will support, are a critical part of the biopharmaceutical ecosystem. New medicines developed by startups not only advance science and human health, but also bring jobs and economic growth to their communities.”

Ubl was joined by Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, BioLA’s strategic adviser and interim CEO, Daniel Tellalian, Dina Lozofsky of Biocom Los Angeles and Richard Zalidvar of The Wall Las Memorias.

“Through BioLA, we will harness our medical and scientific expertise in partnership with the business community to become a world leader in treating and curing serious disease,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “BioLA will serve as the catalyst that will fuel greater investment and innovation and create a business environment that allows startups to thrive in Los Angeles County.”

“PhRMA’s support of BioLA sends a message across the country and around the world that this region has the backing of the major players who bring new medicines to market, improving health outcomes for us all,” said Tellalian. “We are going to help California, from Bay to Beach, become the world’s center for biosciences.” 

PhRMA recently released new data examining the impact of venture capital and small startup companies in the U.S. from 2000-2017.

The majority of biopharmaceutical companies are small startups, which provide jobs and economic growth in almost every state in the United States. Between 2000 and 2017, more than $95 billionof venture capital investments were made in over 3,300 startup biopharmaceutical companies.


Venture capital is the most important source of startup financing, and these types of investments in biopharmaceutical companies have increased by more than 160 percent since 2010. A large share of this investment comes from affiliated PhRMA member company corporate venture capital affiliates, which make such equity investments in part to support their own innovative research.

California is a global leader in biopharmaceutical research, development and manufacturing, supporting nearly 900,000 jobs in the state and infusing $290 billion into the economy.  Los Angeles County and Southern California overall have become a growing part of that economic engine.

About PhRMA

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $900 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $79.6 billion in 2018 alone.

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