A San Diego life sciences startup. Courtesy CONNECT
A San Diego life sciences startup. Courtesy CONNECT

San Diego life science companies received $1.1 billion in venture capital investments in 2016 — a quarter of all the funding in California.

That was one of the findings released Wednesday by the trade group California Life Sciences Association in its annual report prepared by the accounting firm PwC.

The report found that the life sciences sector in San Diego employs 38,694 people at an average annual salary of $138,951.

Employment was higher in the Bay Area, Los Angles and Orange County, but San Diego ranked second in venture capital investment after the Bay Area. However, the report found that the life sciences industry is beginning to grow in Los Angeles.

“For years, the Bay Area and San Diego have been the two poles of California’s entrepreneurial life sciences culture,” the report said. “Despite its size and strength in entertainment, agriculture and other sectors, Los Angeles has remained relatively quiet. The city is starting to play catch-up and has made huge progress in the past few years.”

California leads the United States in life sciences, employing 122,500 people — three times as many as any other state. There are 3,040 companies generating more than $147 billion in annual revenue.

Chris Jennewein

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