It’s not always easy to spot Alabama on a map, but it’s hard to overlook the impact Alabama’s bioscience sector has had on our state’s reputation, economic development, and the lives of everyone it’s touched.

Alabama is home to 780 bioscience companies, and the industry has an annual economic impact estimated at $7.3 billion, as well as a track record for breakthrough discoveries. Birmingham-based Southern Research, for instance, has discovered seven FDA-approved drugs used in cancer treatment, and has made important advances in the treatment of AIDS, polio, and mosquito-borne viruses.

The HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville is a leader in research on the human genome, gathering genomic data for thousands of academic, clinical, and commercial clients nationwide.

Underscoring the track record of innovation found in Alabama’s bioscience sector is the fact that organizations in the state received $350.7 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) research funding in Fiscal 2018.

Beyond cutting-edge research and technology, one of the most notable achievements of the bioscience sector is the high level of employment that it has created. Nearly 18,000 Alabamians are employed in life science or biotechnology jobs, with average annual income topping $67,000. The economic engine that is the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) alone is responsible for an estimated 53,000 jobs — almost 10 percent of the total in the Birmingham-Hoover metropolitan area.

Pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing is expanding across the state. Oxford Pharmaceuticals opened a $29 million manufacturing facility in Birmingham that will eventually employ 200 people. In Opelika, medical device company Baxter invested $300 million in an expansion adding 200 new jobs.

At the center of considerable activity is Huntsville’s Cummings Research Park (CRP), the second largest research and technology park in the U.S. Home to a mix of Fortune 500 companies and homegrown innovators, along with nearly 30,000 employees, CRP contributes to the success of many high-tech enterprises, U.S. defense and aerospace agencies, and higher-education institutions.

Quick Facts

  • 780 bioscience companies
  • 54 medical device companies
  • $7.3 billion annual economic impact
  • NIH Funding totaled $350 million in 2018
  • 17,870 employed in bioscience
  • 623 bioscience patents awarded, 2009-2013
  • Southern Research discovered 7 FDA-approved anticancer drugs
  • Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance has 16 potential drugs in pipeline
  • Cummings Research Park is the 2nd largest research and technology park in the U.S.
  • Multiple teaching hospitals across the state

Bioscience Companies/Organizations

  • Alabama Drug Discovery Alliance (ADDA)
  • Agenta Biotechnologies
  • Blondin Bioscience
  • CFD Research Corp.
  • Conversant Bio
  • Dilyx Biotechnologies (Soluble Therapeutics)
  • Discovery BioMed
  • Evonik Industries
  • Gem Pharmaceuticals
  • GeneCapture
  • H2 Pharma
  • HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology
  • iCubate
  • iXpressGenes
  • Kowa Pharmaceuticals
  • Nektar Therapeutics
  • Midlothian Labs
  • Oxford Pharmaceuticals
  • Par Pharmaceuticals
  • Pharmavite (Nature’s Made)
  • Serina Therapeutics
  • Soluble Therapeutics
  • SouthernBiotech
  • Southern Research
  • UAB
  • UAH
  • USA Mitchell Cancer Center
  • US Diagnostics
  • Vivo Biosciences