Thanks to established and emerging life sciences and biotech companies alongside research institutions and educational establishments across the country, the competition to rank as one of the top US cities for life sciences is tough.

However, the following three locations show excellence in life sciences across many fields, representing some of the most advantageous locations for sector investment and growth.

As MedTech emerges as a significant life science growth area in 2023, selecting a profitable location can be key for investors and critical for success.

Boston, Massachusetts

As the state capital and most populous city, Boston is the financial and cultural hub of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  

Consistently ranked within the top 30 most economically powerful cities in the world it is the sixth-largest economy in the US and the 24th-largest by population. 

With the combination of world-class biotech and life sciences companies, leading academic research institutions serving the sector and pharmaceutical companies for distributions, Boston has emerged as one of the top US cities for life sciences.  

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As of 2022, there are in excess of 1,000 biotechnology companies in the Greater Boston region. These include established Akili Interactive Labs, Boston Scientific and Immunogen, with numerous start-ups also choosing the area as their home.  

Collaborations between leading academic institutions including Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, the Broad Institute and Mass General Research Institute continue to drive forward the sector and encourage further investment in the industry.  

Boasting more than 100 life sciences companies, Kendall Square in Boston is considered the epicentre of the US biotechnology industry, including the Milken Institute rating Boston as the top life sciences cluster in the country.  

Cementing its status as one of the top US cities for life sciences is the fact that, as of 2022, Boston receives the greatest share of US-wide annual funding from the National Institutes of Health.  

Charleston, South Carolina 

As the largest city in South Carolina, Charleston is the economic driver in the state.  

After emerging as a high-tech hub in the 21st Century, the city has become colloquially referred to as ‘Silicon Harbor’, with innovation and business driven by the Charleston Digital Corridor initiative.  

Part of the industry growth in Charleston is directly related to the collaborations between the Medical University of South Carolina and local life sciences and biotech companies.  

As of 2022, the city is home to about 35 pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers, and an additional 50 research and development facilities for life science work.  

With support from both local government and the business community, Charleston, and South Carolina more widely, is emerging as a centre of life sciences and tech innovation.  

In addition, Charleston has become one of the best US cities for life sciences due to both the state’s commitment to research and development as well as the strong and growing partnerships and collaborations that exist between companies and universities invested in the sector.  

Due to the presence of a highly skilled workforce, life sciences companies have a wealth of available talent when setting up a new business or expanding their existing enterprise.  

Combined with the continued growth of the economy after the pandemic-driven decline, Charleston is becoming one of the top US cities for life sciences and a genuine hub for bioscience and medical research. 

Austin, Texas 

Austin is the capital of Texas and the financial heart of the state. Already known as a high-tech epicentre with companies including AMD, Oracle and Nintendo operating from the city, it is also emerging as a biotech hub and one of the top US cities for life sciences companies.  

Within the city and metropolitan region there is an expanding cluster of innovative life sciences companies that are helping establish it as a hub for the sector, with a blend of established and emerging companies.  

With its world-class academic research facilities and a highly educated population, Austin continues to attract life sciences investment.  

This is often driven by collaboration between companies, research facilities and academic institutions including the Dell Medical School and University of Texas at Austin.  

In total, there are about 20 colleges and universities providing life sciences-related and healthcare education in the Austin area. 

Thanks to an entrepreneurial environment led by substantial funding and ongoing research collaboration, Austin has become one of the leading US cities in the life science sector, according to a new report from CBRE. 

The report ranks Austin in third place among the most influential emerging life sciences cluster locations.  In 2023, multibillion-dollar alternative investment firm NexPoint, announced plans for TxS District in the state.

This is designed to be a 200-acre life sciences development in Texas that will foster innovation and collaboration among companies and institutions across the life science sector, a significant addition to the life science landscape in the state.

Combined with the profusion of research facilities and educational institutions, this has cemented Austin’s position as one of the top US cities for life sciences. 

Information, Data and Statistics from Austin Business Journal, Texas Chamber of Commerce, Boston Chamber of Commerce, CBRE,