Biotech companies can fetch

Biotech firms

The biotech industry has been known for attracting billions of dollars in investments the past few years. But jobs? Not exactly the sector’s strong suit.

You don’t need to look much further than last year’s biotech IPOs to see that the early-stage drug development firms that raise millions of dollars do not turn around and use that money to make new hires. On the contrary, in the biotech world — as in any industry that depends on venture investment, like technology and software — remaining small for as long as possible is seen as a good thing.

While that may arguably be good for the “fail fast and cheap” philosophy of drug development, it’s not so great for the local economy. That’s why I decided to find out which of the Massachusetts biotech firms grew their employee base the fastest over the past year, based on the most recent annual filings (as recorded in Bloomberg). I’ve split the list into two groups: Biotechs with 10-99 employees; those with more than 100 employees. Below are the top five companies in both categories.

Biotechs with more than 100 employees:

  1. Synageva BioPharma (Nasdaq: GEVA), Cambridge: 64 percent growth to 282 employees
  2. bluebird bio (Nasdaq: BLUE), Cambridge: 64 percent growth to 143 employees
  3. Alnylam Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ALNY), Cambridge: 55 percent growth to 256 employees
  4. Sarepta Therapeutics (Nasdaq: SRPT), Cambridge: 40 percent growth to 204 employees
  5. Aegerion Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: AEGR), Cambridge: 36 percent growth to 295 employees

Biotechs with 10-99 employees:

  1. Idera Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: IDRA), Cambridge: 150 percent growth to 45 employees
  2. Radius Health (Nasdaq: RDUS), Waltham: 150 percent growth to 25 employees
  3. Karyopharm Therapeutics (Nasdaq: KPTI), Newton: 129 percent growth to 71 employees
  4. Dicerna Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: DRNA), Cambridge: 91 percent growth to 42 employees
  5. Flexion Therapeutics (Nasdaq: FLXN), Burlington: 81 percent growth to 81 employees
Interesting facts
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