West Virginia's Biotech Industry

Biotech Industry

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West Virginia brings together the essential elements the biotechnology and biomedical industry needs to grow.

The state provides access to:Marshall University's Forensic Science Center
  • One of the nation’s highest concentrations of agricultural feedstock, chemical and pharmaceutical industries
  • Research hubs such as the state’s major research universities, attracting resources and collaborative partners
  • Governmental programs that stimulate biomedical/biotechnology research, funding and commercialization
Industry concentrations
Industry giants such as Dow, DuPont, Bayer, PPG, BASF and Proviron have each established a presence here. Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc., the No. 1 U.S.-based manufacturer of generic pharmaceutical products, and Alcon Laboratories Inc., the world's second largest manufacturer of consumer vision care products, operate in West Virginia.

West Virginia is also home to biotechnology startups such as Protea Biosciences, Vandalia Research and Progenesis.

Research hubs
The Mid-Atlantic Technology, Research and Innovation Center (MATRIC) in Charleston provides expertise in chemical and environmental technologies, health and life sciences, and advanced engineering systems.

West Virginia’s colleges and universities are regional leaders in biomedical and biotechnology. These hubs generate opportunities for collaborative research efforts and concentrations of a skilled talent pool.

West Virginia University (WVU) in Morgantown won recognition through its research in nanotechnology and material sciences; biomedicine; energy; and biometrics, security and sensing technologies. Among many research-oriented WVU facilities are the National Research Center for Coal and Energy; the $30 million Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute; the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center; and the new WVU Erma Byrd Biomedical Research Center.

Marshall University in Huntington has distinguished itself through environmental, medical and forensic research. The university’s biotechnical/biomedical resources include the $40 million Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center, which opened in 2006 and houses faculty, staff and students from the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and the College of Science, as well as the Marshall Institute for Interdisciplinary Research. The Forensic Science Center is home to Marshall’s nationally acclaimed graduate program in forensics and one of the most skilled DNA work forces in the country.

Supportive programs
West Virginia’s innovative Research Trust initiative, popularly known as “Bucks for Brains,” is a $50 million investment in boosting the research power of its two major research universities: West Virginia University and Marshall University. The schools have five years to match the state funds by raising an equal sum in private and corporate donations. The research is expected to generate discoveries that evolve into marketable products, business spinoffs and jobs.

West Virginia’s Strategic Research and Development Tax Credit offsets up to 100 percent of taxes for R&D projects. Direct expenses in research and development are now eligible for a sales tax exemption.

The state's High Growth Business Investment Tax Credit is equal to 50 percent of the qualified investment made in companies that have been certified by the tax commissioner as eligible for the Strategic R&D Tax Credit.