A leader in the biotech industry

Recent Wins

  • Horizon Pharma, expanded its U.S. headquarters in Chicago and added 400 jobs
  • Vetter, started constructing a new $320M production facility in 2016 with plans to add 300 jobs
  • Valent, opened a new $27 million, 85,000 Sq Ft research center in 2016

Why Chicago

Chicago is a leader in the biotechnology sector with many companies choosing to locate their headquarters and research centers here. From 2015 to 2016, Chicago’s biotechnology sector gained 1,423 jobs. Organizations in the Chicago metro received $738.97 million in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant funding in 2016. Northwestern University, University of Chicago and University of Illinois at Chicago were the largest Chicago area recipients, receiving $268.05, $162.88 and $110.08 million, respectively.

Biopharmaceutical companies in Chicago received $65 million in venture capital in 2016. In addition to having two of the world’s top universities for life sciences – University of Chicago (#18) and Northwestern University (#39) – Chicago has a lower business cost for biotechnology/biomedical R&D than peer cities, including New York City, Los Angeles and Boston.

Advanced biotechnology research is thriving in Chicago. Argonne National Laboratory has an advanced photon source (APS), which allows researchers to build three-dimensional views of proteins. Argonne’s APS was instrumental in helping AbbVie develop the HIV drug Kaletra. In 2016, the University of Chicago entered into a five-year collaboration agreement with Abbvie to advance medical research in oncology.


Learn more about Chicago’s biotech industry:

Download Biotech Profile (PDF)