2020 Life Sciences
Real Estate Outlook

Fueling biopharma and med device innovation

The life sciences industry has traditionally offered an interesting paradox—though it is built on innovation, trends take years to fully manifest. However, over the past few months, the global race to develop COVID-19 tests, therapeutics and vaccines has necessitated rapid adaptation, both in activity and working environment. The past several months revealed the critical role of the life sciences industry within our national and global economy. Real estate, in turn, will play an essential role in maximizing the efficiency and results for life sciences companies. Pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies can take action by answering the following questions:

How do we foster innovation through real estate?

Simply put, innovation is enabled by enhanced speed-to-market in order to produce, test and improve pharmaceutical development. For this reason, companies need access to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facilities to facilitate small-batch drug production and shorten the supply chain.

Robust growth forecast for brand-name pharmaceutical manufacturing
(+16% growth through 2025)


How do we heighten productivity?

The most obvious answer to this question is the recruitment and retainment of top talent, and real estate plays a pivotal role in this endeavor. Life sciences companies will evolve the lab of the future, or what we call next-gen labs, to accommodate future demand, including:

  1. Bifurcated locations or remote work for administrative divisions
  2. Increased technology adoption and the use of computational labs
  3. Reshored supply chains for faster profitability and sustainability.

How do we adapt to more acute consumer and patient needs?

There are two ways the life sciences industry can continue t meet consumer and patient needs: continued capital investment and regulatory advances. The desire for good health and increased longevity can only rise, increasing demand for cutting-edge, productivity-enhancing life sciences real estate.

Global biopharma research and development (R&D) spend forecast


In 2020, the top-ranked clusters, Boston, San Francisco and San Diego, retained their rankings as the clear leaders among the U.S. life sciences ecosystems, remaining the top contenders for venture capital investment. In fact, these three clusters captured 70 percent of all venture capital investment for 2019. Venture capital is the wellspring of life sciences real estate demand, as it guarantees long-term activity in an industry that requires a substantial amount of research and development prior to revenue generation.


Download our 2020 Life Sciences Real Estate Outlook to diver deeper into these trends, explore each of the top life sciences geographic clusters, and discover additional themes from the industry.

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