The new players in life sciences: A look at five local companies

The new players in life sciences: A look at five local companies

The region has made a major investment in the life-sciences sector over the past 15 years. Governors going back to George E. Pataki have tried to use taxpayer dollars to leverage medical research conducted in Buffalo Niagara to create jobs and remake the local economy.

The Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus is a focus of those efforts. The campus hosts University at Buffalo research centers, Roswell Park Cancer Institute and business incubators.

“I think there’s a natural synergy with everything that’s happening in the life-sciences community,” said Dr. Irfan Khan, founder and chief medical officer of Circuit Clinical, a Buffalo-based startup.

Employment in the life sciences grew by 1.8 percent in 2016, to 6,541 jobs, according to a report prepared on behalf of Invest Buffalo Niagara. That’s below the 2.5 percent gain nationally for the industry last year. The life-sciences jobs make up about 1 percent of the 707,700 jobs in Western New York as of November, state Labor Department figures show.

Here’s a snapshot of five life-sciences companies at different stages of their development.

Circuit Clinical

  • Address: 77 Goodell St.
  • Founded: 2014
  • Description: The company seeks to make it easier for patients to enroll in and stay in clinical trials.
  • Employees: 14
  • Where they are now: As part of its agreement with the Buffalo Institute for Genomics and Data Analytics, or BIG, Circuit Clinical agreed to create 100 jobs, ranging from nurses to software technicians, over five years, and will receive $1.1 million in funding.
  • The year ahead: Dr. Irfan Khan, founder and chief medical officer, said the company should have 25 workers by the end of 2017. The company said it has nearly 40 clinical studies in the pipeline.
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