A Decade of Growth: New York’s Life Sciences Industry

December 2023


New York City’s life sciences industry has experienced steady growth over the past decade in response to strategic investments by the public and private sectors. As a result, New York is well on its way to becoming a world-class hub for life sciences and is on pace to maintain its top-three spot in life sciences venture capital dollars raised in the U.S. — up from eleventh just ten years ago.

A catalyst for New York’s emergence as a global life sciences hub was a 2016 report published by the Partnership Fund for New York City (New York’s Next Big Industry: Commercial Life Sciences). Subsequently, city and state government have invested $1.5 billion to accelerate the development of wet lab space, support creation of multiple incubators and accelerators, and attract venture capital investors to the region.

As outlined in this report, the life sciences sector has emerged as a meaningful contributor to the state and local economy and to the intellectual capital of New York.

Key Takeaways

Ratio of Private to Public Investment

New York received 77 cents of VC funding for every dollar of NIH funding received in FY 2022, up substantially from 33 cents in 2018 and 10 cents in 2013.

Job Creation in Life Sciences

New York state life sciences companies added 17,000 jobs over the last decade, with about 94% of the new jobs being added within the last six years. New York City life sciences companies added over 5,000 jobs in 2021 and 2022 alone.

New Business Formation and Industry Maturation

The number of life sciences companies in the city has increased 6% annually since 2013. In addition, more mature companies have a presence here, with the median pre-money valuation growing from $11 million in 2013 to $28 million in 2022, signaling growing confidence in New York as a destination for life sciences activity.

Closing the Venture Capital Gap

Despite recent tightening, a decade-long view of the state’s life sciences sector illuminates remarkable growth and notable progress toward closing the gap with industry leaders California and Massachusetts. Over the decade ending FY 2022, life sciences VC funding in New York grew 33% annually.