NEW HAVEN, Conn., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Bioscience continues to flourish in Connecticut, although the sector grew at a more modest pace in 2003 than in the recent past, according to data released today by CURE (Connecticut United for Research Excellence, Inc.), the non-profit educational and business support organization for bioscience in Connecticut. The data, collected by CURE for its Ninth Annual Economic Report, show spending on research and development (R&D) activities at Connecticut bioscience organizations continued to rise to an all-time high of $3.9 billion in 2003, a 5 percent increase over 2002. Over the last five years, the increase amounts to 47 percent. An increase of 3 percent is projected for 2004. In addition, total spending by bioscience operations in Connecticut amounted to over $4.1 billion in 2003, an increase of 8 percent over 2002, and an increase of 178 percent over the last five years. An increase of 5 percent is projected for 2004. The new CURE data show the bioscience industry in Connecticut directly employing 17,985 people in 2003. That represents an 8 percent increase from the prior year and a 20 percent increase over the past five years. Employment is projected to remain about the same in 2004. The effects of employment and spending by the State's bioscience industry are multiplied throughout the local economy. According to an independent analysis based on CURE data performed by Mark A. Thompson, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Business at Quinnipiac University, every bioscience job in Connecticut supported a total of 3.1 jobs in the State in 2003. The total impact on the State's economy of employment in the bioscience industry was equivalent to approximately 55,800 jobs. The total impact of bioscience payroll and non-payroll spending in the State was over $6.9 billion. Clinical studies expenditures in Connecticut decreased 4 percent to $584.6 million in 2003, compared with a 95 percent increase over the past five years. The survey also found that Connecticut bioscience R&D spending accounts for 10% of all R&D dollars spent by the nation's pharmaceutical companies. In addition, Connecticut-based pharmaceutical companies conduct an average of 35% of their overall worldwide research in the state. Connecticut laboratory space devoted to bioscience increased 6 percent to over 5.6 million square feet, with a 1 percent increase projected for 2004. Office space occupied by bioscience organizations increased 7 percent to over 5.6 million square feet, with a 3 percent increase projected for this year. "These solid gains show that a vibrant bioscience culture has taken root in Connecticut," said Peter Farina, Ph.D., Vice President, Development of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and co-chair of CURE. "Our combination of R&D-driven pharmaceutical companies, entrepreneurial biotechnology firms, and major academic research centers is obviously a recipe for success. At the same time, nothing can be taken for granted, Connecticut and industry must continue to work together to nurture this hospitable climate." "Connecticut policy makers are increasingly ahead of the curve," commented Paul R. Pescatello, President and CEO of CURE. "Certainly the R&D tax credit exchange and laboratory construction financing programs are evidence of this. But it is evident in other actions as well. When researchers identified a need for legislation concerning stem cell research, Connecticut was one of only a handful of states that responded. This year the Senate passed legislation making Connecticut a safe haven for embryonic stem cell research. I'm certain the House will follow next January, making Connecticut the third state, along with California and New Jersey, to have passed such legislation." Biotechnology companies have been using Connecticut's unique R&D tax credit exchange program to help grow their businesses. Emerging biotechnology companies exchanged unused R&D tax credits to the State of Connecticut for 65 percent of their face value for a total reimbursement of approximately $9.7 million for the years 2002 and 2003. During this same period, Connecticut biotechnology companies invested almost $540 million in R&D, over 55 times the amount reimbursed by the State. In its last session, the Connecticut legislature made the R&D tax credit exchange program a permanent feature of Connecticut's tax code. The climate for emerging bioscience companies to raise the money needed to finance operations prior to earning revenues on marketed products has begun to open up. After a bleak 2002, Connecticut's emerging bioscience companies raised $185 million in public and private financing in 2003, and will beat that amount in 2004, having raised $273 million this year to date. "It is a mark of the core research excellence of our companies that all weathered the economic downturn and are poised for growth. No other geographic bioscience cluster came through the last several years with the resilience of the Connecticut cluster," said Kevin Rakin, President and CEO of Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and co-chair of CURE. CURE (http://www.curenet.org ) is a statewide coalition of over 100 educational and research institutions, biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies and other supporting businesses. It is dedicated to promoting the growth and increasing public understanding of biomedical research and science in Connecticut. Now in its ninth year, the CURE economic report has become the recognized benchmark measuring the development of Connecticut's bioscience industry. The companies and institutions contributing to the ninth report were: 454 Corporation, Achillion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Agilix Corporation, Alexion Pharmaceuticals Inc., All Excel, Inc., Bayer HealthCare, Boehringer-Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Cellular Genomics Inc., CuraGen Corporation, CyVera Corporation, Farmington Pharma Development Corporation, Genaissance Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Hepaticus, Inc., Ikonisys Inc., Institutes for Pharmaceutical Discovery, LLC, L2 Diagnostics, Molecular Staging, Inc., Neurogen Corporation, Pfizer, Inc., PhytoCeutica, Inc., Purdue Pharma LP, Protein Sciences Corporation, Protometrix Inc., Rib-X Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Sopherion Therapeutics, Inc., University of Connecticut, Vion Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Yale University Attached table: 1. Operating Expenses + projection 2. R&D expenses + projection 3. Clinical Studies 4. Laboratory Space + projection 5. Office Space + projection 6. Total FTE Employees + projection CURE 9th Annual Economic Report: Selected Statistics on Bioscience in Connecticut Year End Year End Year End 1999 2002 2003 Operations(a) $1,480,545,136 $3,798,276,000 $4,114,040,523 R&D(b) $2,645,045,136 $3,715,990,399 $3,888,898,548 Clinical Studies(c) $299,767,627 $611,102,340 $584,600,809 Laboratory Space(d) 4,300,998 5,327,306 5,636,348 Office Space(e) 5,287,393 5,635,590 Employees(f) 15,005 16,686 17,985 5-Year 1-Year Projected Projected Growth Growth 2004 Growth Operations(a) 178% 8% $4,304,711,558 5% R&D(b) 47% 5% $3,994,352,966 3% Clinical Studies(c) 95% -4% Laboratory Space(d) 31% 6% 5,692,348 1% Office Space(e) 7% 5,788,990 3% Employees(f) 20% 8% 18,073 0% Notes (a) Total annual operating expenses of Connecticut bioscience operations. Figures in dollars (b) Total annual R&D expenditures of Connecticut bioscience operations. Figures in dollars. (c) Total annual expenditures on clinical studies conducted from Connecticut. Figures in dollars. (d) Laboratory space occupied by Connecticut bioscience operations. Figures in square feet. (e) Office space occupied by Connecticut bioscience operations. Figures in square feet. (f) Number of people employed (full-time equivalent) at Connecticut bioscience operations. Bioscience operations include biotechnology companies, pharmaceutical companies, and the bioscience research portion of university operations. Data was not collected for every category for every year.