Crowds enter the 2014 BIO International exhibit hall near the California booth on Wednesday. Photo by Chris Jennewein

San Diego slipped from second place to third in real estate-services firm Jones Lang LaSalle‘s latest ranking of U.S. biotech centers released Wednesday at the BIO International Convention.

While San Diego dropped a notch, the JLL report noted that Boston, San Francisco and San Diego are poised to lead the U.S. in biotech industry growth for years to come.

“All three cities are expected to lead the United States’ life sciences industry in the coming years because of the critical mass of start-ups and mid-tier companies, leading research institutions, access to private and public funding, and local leaders focused on growing their life sciences industries,” JLL said in its report.

Erin Bovee, the lead researcher for the 2014 JLL Global Life Sciences Cluster Report, said San Francisco had higher employment growth and more patents filed, pushing it ahead of San Diego this year.

Here is how JLL ranked the top U.S. biotech centers:

  1. Boston
  2. San Francisco Bay Area
  3. San Diego
  4. Raleigh-Durhan
  5. New York/Northern New Jersey
  6. Los Angeles/Orange County
  7. Philadelphia
  8. Washington/Suburban Maryland
  9. Minneapolis/St. Paul
  10. Seattle

The JLL report also examined global trends in the biotech sector. It found that the United States continues to lead in global research and development, but China is growing rapidly, and Asia as a whole is now leading in patent applications.

“The U.S. still leads innovation in this space, but it is eroding,” said Roger Humphrey, executive managing director of JLL’s life sciences group.

The report also identified key international centers, but Bovee said a ranking wasn’t done because it was harder to compare on an “apples to apples” basis. The first five listed were:

  • London/Oxford/Cambridge, England
  • Leiden, Netherlands
  • Beijing, China
  • Tsukuba, Japan
  • Osong Bio Valley, Chungcheong Province, Korea

In addition, cities as diverse as Vancouver, Sao Paulo, Tel Aviv and Moscow were identified as centers to watch.

The BIO convention continues through Thursday at the San Diego Convention Center with an estimated 15,000 attendees from around the world.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.