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Michigan's Bio-Industry
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Biosciences in Michigan – A Rich Legacy of Discovery and Impact
(excerpted and edited from BioMatters®, Spring 2013)

Michigan has a long record of bioscience discovery triumphs and significant contributions to the health and welfare of humankind. They stem from a rich legacy of research, innovation and manufacturing in various industry sectors that have developed products for the betterment of lives around the world. Just a few of the key discoveries and notable achievements that have emanated from Michigan over the last 150 years include: 
  • AZT, the first approved treatment for HIV/AIDS discovered at Wayne State University
  • Lipitor, the cholesterol-lowering agent and largest selling drug in history discovered at Parke-Davis Pharmaceuticals in Ann Arbor
  • Oscillating electric bone saw invented by Dr. Horace Stryker
  • First U.S. pharmaceutical company – Parke-Davis & Company – and home to the first modern pharmaceutical laboratory and clinical trial methodologies
  • Hybrid corn, created by genetic modification at Michigan State University, to enhance crop yields
  • Anthrax vaccine, first manufactured by BioPort (now Emergent BioSolutions) in Lansing
  • Dilantin, the first marketed epilepsy treatment developed at Parke-Davis
  • Cisplatin, discovered at Michigan State University, a leading chemotherapy drug

Michigan’s over 600 bioscience companies, academic research centers and clinical institutions

reflect the breadth of ag/food/industrial and environmental, medical devices and equipment, pharmaceuticals and therapeutics, research/testing and medical labs, informatics and health IT, and bioscience product distribution. It’s where research and development, as well as manufacturing, converge with the delivery of healthcare and wellbeing.

Some of the best global “bio” brands call Michigan home

...for their facilities and are at the forefront of developing innovative products. The bioscience industry in Michigan continues to lead the way in creating solutions to some of the world’s most pressing medical, food, environmental and energy problems.

A robust community of bioscience start ups

...has witnessed an overall 7% increase in number of ventures over the last ten years with more than 150 companies launched during that period. An unrivaled statewide network of SmartZones provides business acceleration and wet-lab incubator services, allowing Michigan’s biosciences companies to benefit from a strong ecosystem that supports commercial growth from ideas to markets. Consequently, a strong entrepreneurial culture has taken root that has established Michigan as a hotbed for bioscience technology commercialization with a supporting CRO/CMO network that’s second to none. In short, Michigan offers a virtual product development ecosystem to bioscience businesses to profitable commercial outcomes.

Success breeds success

...and Michigan’s emerging bioscience companies have a remarkable track record of investment, growth, and return. A number of them like Esperion Therapeutics (acquired by Pfizer for $1.3 billion in 2003) HealthMedia (now J&J’s Health & Prevention Inc.), Accuri Cytometers and HandyLab (purchased by BD), and Somanetics (acquired by Covidien) are just a few examples of big commercial exits. 

Michigan’s world-renowned universities

...defined by its University Research Corridor, receive almost $1.2 billion alone in federal R&D funding for bioscience research – 4th among the major U.S. research clusters. Moreover, these institutions deliver high-tech, skilled bioscience graduates (>5,500/year, 8th in the U.S.). In addition, over 1800 bioscience patents were registered from Michigan institutions during 2004-2009, tenth in the nation. Our research centers offer unique technology partnership opportunities to the private sector by providing the intellectual property necessary for commercialization.

The state’s unparalleled bioscience talent pool built on its rich legacy in pharma and medical devices, and is broad as it is deep. Coupled with universities and technical colleges that offer a vast array of bioscience education opportunities, including specialty applied training, to meet the needs of employers. Michigan knows that advancing its bio-industry growth begins with ensuring that top talent is available, today and tomorrow.

The biosciences are Pure Michigan™

Increasingly, bioscience advancements are revolutionizing the way we think about healthcare, consumer products, food, crops and energy consumption...essentially the way we live. Michigan is ideally positioned for a continued role in this rapidly evolving world of biosciences, thanks to its diversity of sectors, research, technologies, commercialization and manufacturing.

Core Bio-Industry Sectors

Bio-Industry Defined

 State Bio-Industry Map

   MI Bio-Industry Facts 

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