Number of biotech companies in the U.S. 2012-2016

Biotechnology companies are on the rise as big businesses in the United States. As of 2016, there were 449 public biotechnology companies in the U.S. This is an increase from 2015 when there were 442 public biotechnology companies. During that same year there were 2,336 private biotechnology companies operating in the United States. Biotechnology has provided live saving drugs and agricultural solutions to millions globally.

Global biotechnology companies

Biotechnology companies are responsible for some of the biggest breakthroughs in modern pharmacology using genetic manipulation to solve health problems. The top biotechnology companies globally include Amgen, Gilead Sciences and Novo Nordisk. Both Amgen and Gilead are headquartered in the United States. The top biotech drugs sold globally include Humira, Rituxan and Enbrel. Many of these medications are used to treat multiple chronic diseases.

Biotechnology in agriculture

Healthcare isn’t the only sector that biotechnology is dramatically impacting. Biotechnology is used in agriculture to genetically modify products (plants or animals) or to develop microorganisms to help in agriculture. The total global acreage of genetically modified crops has been increasing every year. However, the United States, Brazil, and Argentina are among the top producers of genetically modified crops. Among genetically modified crops in the U.S., soybeans, cotton and corn are the most commonly produced.

Number of biotechnology companies in the United States from 2012 to 2016

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Release date



United States

Survey time period

2011 to 2016

Supplementary notes

Figures for 2012-2014 were added from previous editions of the report and may not have been be restated.
* No data was given about the total number and the number of private companies.

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