By Leslie Luna
With near-perfect weather, a vibrant lifestyle, and a big entrepreneurial spirit, it’s no surprise Carlsbad is quickly becoming a hub for innovation. The city continues to foster economic prosperity within the community with high paying jobs and rewarding careers.
In fact, Carlsbad’s Life Sciences industry – which includes pharmaceuticals and medical devices, in addition to biotech – is responsible for nearly 7,500 jobs and more than 200 Life Sciences companies. Key employers like Thermo Fisher Scientific and Zimmer Dental are leaders in their fields breaking through industry ceilings and making life-changing discoveries.
As a result of its widespread reputation for innovation, the city continues to attract high-tech businesses. In a two-month span, two British companies expanded their operations in the U.S. with facilities right here in our backyard.
DNA Electronics Inc., cut the ribbon on a new 15,000 square foot manufacturing facility on Rutherford Road in late February. The Carlsbad campus houses laboratories including specialized cleanrooms and 9,000 square feet of office space. Company officials say they currently employ 38 people relocated from their previous facility in New Mexico.
DNAe is a global company that manufactures innovative products that deliver faster, simpler and more cost-effective DNA analysis. The company plans to manufacture a test for the microbial cause of bloodstream infection leading to sepsis under the LiDia™ brand at its Carlsbad campus.
“As we prepare to begin manufacturing our lead product, our new facility in Carlsbad enables us to tap into a wide pool of local talent and world class industry partners to support the next phase in our development,” said Victor Esch, President and CEO of DNAe in a recent statement. “With these new facilities, and our strong and growing team, we are in an excellent position to make a game-changing impact in the infectious disease diagnostics space. Our first products will specifically address the huge global need for rapid diagnostics for sepsis.”
According to DNAe, there are more than one million cases of sepsis in the U.S. each year, and 28-50 percent of people with severe sepsis will die.
“The opening of our Carlsbad facility lays the foundation for the next phase of our story, as we commercialize our technology toward market introduction of LiDia™,” said Dr. Steve Allen, CEO of DNAe Group. “We are excited to be able to deliver on the extensive research and testing that has propelled us from a spin-out of Imperial College London to a company focused on improving clinical practice and patients’ lives through near-to-patient, blood-to- result rapid diagnostics.”
Building partnerships with innovative organizations is key to keeping our economy thriving. Mayor Matt Hall expressed it best at the ribbon cutting, when he said, “Carlsbad is home to an active scientific community and we welcome DNAe, and the opportunities and skills it brings to the area.”
On Fleet Street just off the I-5 is another innovative Life Sciences company, Greenwich Biosciences, a subsidiary of GW Pharmaceuticals which is the global leader in cannabinoid-based medicines. Their lead product, Epidiolex® is in development to treat severe epilepsy syndromes.
Greenwich Biosciences quadrupled their space in March by moving into a 21,000 square feet office that was previously Jenny Craig’s call center. Company officials say the city’s proximity to San Diego and Orange County made it an ideal place to further develop and commercialize novel therapeutics.
The company currently employs 85 U.S. employees, but it is rapidly growing and expanding and plans on having about 200 employees, 100 based in Carlsbad, within the next 12-18 months. For the latest job openings please visit greenwichbiosciences.com/open-jobs.
“We consider ourselves partners with all of you, we’re not simply a bureaucracy that sits in the shadows, we want to be forward thinking, we want to make Carlsbad a place that you desire to call home for a long time,” said Carlsbad City Manager Kevin Crawford during a ribbon cutting for Greenwich Biosciences. “We expect an ongoing relationship that we will continue to foster.”
Compared to the rest of North County, businesses in Carlsbad’s Life Sciences cluster led the way in the number of patents issued in 2015. Carlsbad firms netted more than 650 patents, that’s according to U.S. Patent and Trademark Office records. Based on the number of patents issued per worker, Carlsbad averaged 12 patents for every 1,000 workers, compared with 3.6 patents per 1,000 workers in San Diego, and 8 per 1,000 workers in San Francisco.
“We can agree we are a very progressive business community and city,” said Ted Owen, CEO of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce. “Innovation has found a home in Carlsbad.”