Home to global leaders in life sciences, such as the largest biotechnology company in the world, Johnson Johnson, which has helped create a long history of innovation in healthcare, pharmaceuticals and life sciences since the Johnson brothers founded J&J in 1886. For the past 130 years, the life sciences industry has continued to build, innovate and grow. Currently, Middlesex County has:
- NJ is ranked #1 in the nation for public education.
- Students who grow up in Middlesex County have higher GED and college graduation rates than 98% of students in the U.S
- Deep supply of biochemists and biophysicists, bioengineers, biomedical engineers, and chemists compared to the national average.
- Deep supply of talent in data-relevant roles, including computer scientists, data analysts, and cybersecurity engineers.
- Middlesex County has the most Life Sciences employees of any county in New Jersey (11,300 according to NJDOL)
- Middlesex County’s labor force is more productive than 96% of all counties in America, including Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Durham County (Research Triangle Park), Suffolk County (Boston) New York County (NYC/Manhattan), and Philadelphia County.
- Two top-tier research universities: Princeton and Rutgers create a Life Science corridor along Route 1 for companies like Bristol-Myers Squibb, Novo Nordisk, Genmab and Chromocell.
- Rutgers Business School is ranked as the #1 business school for healthcare, pharma, and biotech worldwide.
- Rutgers University is a major source of talent to the life sciences. A unique Master of Business & Science program offers concentrations in drug discovery & development and biotech and genomics.
- Training and education for careers in the life sciences begins at the K-12 level. Middlesex County Academy is ranked among the top 10 STEM high schools in the U.S.
- The talent pipeline is also fueled by award-winning Middlesex College, offering an Associate in Science degree in Biotech.
- The National Science Foundation Innovation Corps Northeast Hub is based in Central New Jersey . The program provides training, mentoring and resources to enable academic researchers (including students) to form startup companies. This program creates a pipeline of start-up companies across industries, including the life sciences.
Research & Development
Middlesex County is an epicenter of research and development, ranking in the top 99.5% for university-based R&D spending in engineering, geosciences, life sciences, math and computer science, and physical sciences .
- Since 2019, companies with operations in Middlesex County have averaged about 13-14% of FDA New Drug approvals.
- Life Sciences companies with operations in Middlesex County account for approximately 12-15% of the revenue of the global life sciences market.
- Hundreds of R&D life sciences facilities, with approximately 5.5M Sq. Ft. of dedicated R&D Lab space, is occupied. (Data Axle)
- New York-Newark-Jersey City MSA ranks #3 in the U.S. for domestic R&D performed by companies.
- The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research established an operation at Princeton University to focus on cancer metabolism. The clinical translation of that research will be done in partnership with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ and RWJBarnabas Health.
- The Rutgers University Microbiome Program (RUMP) is a newly established, university-wide initiative that focuses on microbiome science research, education, clinical care, technology transfer, and community outreach.
- Rutgers University is providing biomedical expertise to the region.
Rutgers University Biomedical Research Innovation Cores: A set of 4 centers specializing in drug discovery. The centers provide access to very expensive scientific instruments and facilitate ‘science sharing’. This is particularly helpful with drug delivery for smaller companies. For example, in medicinal chemistry, they develop molecules to test drugs. They can do pilot projects, do the experiments for companies, or they can come into the research center and work with RUBRIC staff to do the tests. They helped PTC Therapeutics (now a global company) develop their products.
Middlesex County is fostering a dynamic ecosystem for life sciences companies to grow, collaborate, innovate, and succeed. Below is a small sample of the game-changing work and discoveries being done here today:
- Middlesex County is home to Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the state’s only National Cancer Institute designated Comprehensive Cancer Care Center.
- Rutgers Institute for Translational Medicine and Science (which includes Princeton and NJIT) was awarded a large $29M NIH grant to speed translation of research discoveries into patient care.
- Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital New Brunswick, an RWJBarnabas Health facility, in conjunction with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, is one of only two certified programs in the state to offer CAR T-cell immunotherapy.
- World-renowned scientists are developing cancer immunotherapies, including Dr. Christian Hinrichs, who discovered “new technologies to make T cells target a range of common cancers.”
- PTC Therapeutics uses cell and gene therapy to address rare diseases.
- Genmab is a Danish company developing antibody products for cancer patients. In 2019, the company leased 90k+ sf. in Plainsboro for its new US HQ and research lab.
- Rafael Pharmaceuticals conducts research in the field of altered cancer metabolism directed therapies.
- Bristol Myers Squibb’s R&D facility in New Brunswick focuses on product and process development and manufacturing to support clinical trials.
Whether you’re seeking expansion, relocation or consolidation, Middlesex County, NJ has the infrastructure in place to help your organization thrive. There are numerous life sciences campuses along the Route 1 Corridor aptly named Einstein’s Alley, including Princeton Corporate Plaza, Cedar Brook Corporate Plaza, Princeton Innovation Center; and additional move-in-ready lab space is under construction at The Hub in New Brunswick – a center for medical research and innovation in the life sciences described here as “an ecosystem where creative collisions can take place…where ideas go from the lab bench, to a small company, to a generator of employees and eventually an initial public offering.”. This area also includes the New Jersey Bioscience Center, a 50-acre campus that contains the Incubator at North Brunswick (NJ’s largest biotech incubator), step out labs, independent R&D space and build-to-suit space.
Located just outside of New York City and Philadelphia, Middlesex County is uniquely positioned in the middle of the Northeast Corridor and is one of the most connected destinations in New Jersey with access to 38 million consumers and $2.8 trillion GDP within 150 miles. It is at the center of AMTRAK and NJ Transit’s Northeast Corridor Lines, which transports millions of riders per year.
Access to Capital Funding, Resources & Services
Whether you’re looking for lab space, access to capital funding, or partnerships with leading research institutions, Middlesex County’s Office of Business Engagement is your trusted advisor.
We recognize that access to venture capital and other forms of funding is critical for life sciences companies in the early stages. There are local venture capital partners to help you obtain grants and funding and numerous venture capital firms that are active in New Jersey. Through the New Jersey Innovation Evergreen Fund, professional VC investors can get access to up to $10 million per year to invest in NJ-based life sciences companies. And Wall Street – the financial mecca for investment capital - is only a 45-minute drive or train ride from Middlesex County.
Whether you’re looking for lab space or funding, the Middlesex County Office of Business Engagement can steer you towards the right programs and incentives. Through the NJEDA’s Angel Investment Tax Credit Program, investors who invest in an emerging technology business in NJ may be eligible for a tax credit of 20-25% of their investment; while the NJ Ignite program supports entrepreneurs by providing rent support grants to locate in collaborative spaces. The Technology Business Tax Certificate Transfer Program is available to technology and biotechnology companies, allowing participants to sell their New Jersey net operating losses and unused research-and-development (R&D) tax credits to unrelated profitable corporations for cash. The cash can then be used as working capital or to fund research.
Check out some of the startups who have found success here:
- Ascendia Pharmaceuticals (North Brunswick) (novel formulations technologies) raised $5M of development capital in April 2021.
- PMV Pharma (Cranbury) (precision oncology) closed $70M in Series D financing in 2020.
- Elucida Oncology (Monmouth Junction) (delivery platform for therapeutic treatments in oncology) $43.74M Series A1 venture funding January 2021.
- BioAegis Therapeutics (North Brunswick) (treatment of inflammation and infectious disease) raised $7M in investments; announced October 2020.
- Bionex Pharmaceuticals (North Brunswick) (contract R&D services) received $200,000 angel investment in October 2020.
Quality of Life
New Jersey is consistently ranked #1 for public education in the nation and Middlesex County is home to the #1 public school in the state: The Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies. A diverse range of technical and vocational schools, union training programs, and leading institutions of higher education contribute to the fact that children who grow up in Middlesex County have higher GED and college graduation rates than 98% of students in the U.S. Explore stories about Middlesex County from the people who live here.
With over 40 languages spoken here, diversity is the backbone of Middlesex County. We celebrate and take pride in the strength of our community’s cultural life. From providing residents with experiences in the arts to programs that train students for careers in the arts, Middlesex County invests in our arts community.
From historic rural towns to bustling city centers, quiet suburban communities and waterfront neighborhoods, Middlesex County is adaptable to any lifestyle. Parks, outdoor spaces, and quaint downtown streets are easily walkable and bikeable. This is especially great for weekend outings and daytrips to innumerable parks, restaurants, and activities. And being in Central Jersey, New York and Philadelphia are short trips away. Middlesex County embodies all the perks of small-town appeal with the benefits of city-living, providing residents with the perfect live-play-work balance we all desire.
Discover the Middlesex County difference for yourself.