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Pharma Is at Home in the Heartland

Amanda Stevenson-Grund - Friday, April 22, 2016

Kansas City is one of the 15 largest U.S. markets for providing contracted research services to the pharmaceutical and medical device industries, a group that is estimated to be generating as much as $39.5 billion a year,” – Twiddy, Kansas City Business Journal. 2012

A thumbtack above Kansas City on a map shows KC is home to CROs and pharmaceutical organizations

To classic movie lovers all over the world, the phrase “There’s no place like home,” evokes the thought of Kansas and the American Midwest. The same could be said of many drug development companies, but not because of the Wizard of Oz. The Midwest, particularly Kansas City, is a growing home for contract research organizations (CROs) and pharmaceutical companies because of the opportunities for collaboration, funding and expansion.

The Kansas City area boasts more than 70 contract research organizations (CROs) and contract service providers (CSPs) that generate an estimated $1.33 billion in annual revenue and employ more than 9,000 workers,” writes the Kansas City Area Life Sciences Institute, Inc. in a 2012 bulletin. The sheer number of organizations located in Kansas City means any company looking to collaborate will likely find a partner. Collaboration isn’t limited to other businesses. Other potential collaborators include several nearby universities and colleges.

Funding opportunities also bring groups to the area. Bioresearch Central writes, “Our region offers some of the country’s most innovative bioscience funding opportunities including the Kansas Bioscience Authority and the Missouri Technology Corporation.” The Kauffman Foundation is another attractive resource for businesses looking to settle in Kansas City.

Expansion is another reason some CROs and pharmaceutical companies find a home in Kansas City. For example, in 2013, the draw of the Animal Health Corridor led Stason Pharmaceuticals to announce the relocation of its animal health division to Kansas City. Stason also started a human health entity in the area, a natural expansion. Animal health is but one of several other industries in Kansas City that could expand into drug development. Agriculture is another.

The opportunities for collaboration, funding and expansion are all reasons CROs and pharmaceutical companies want to call Kansas City home. Orbis Biosciences is proud to be in one of the best cities for our field. We welcome the opportunities that come from sharing the space with so much great talent. We know that as we work together and grow, the world will associate Kansas not just with home, but also with life-saving medicine.

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