SDBN San Diego Biotechnology Company Directory Update February 2019: 675+ Life Science Organizations

The SDBN Directory has received a major update, it is now comprised of more than 675 categorized companies, with additional data including company size, founding date, website and mailing address, career page links, phone numbers, and social media links. Users can search by many of the available fields and can also view the map of all the companies, or by search results. The update represents a substantial update from the last update in 2013, when the SDBN Directory contained 430 listings. As shown below, the increase isn’t thought to be due to more companies being founded, necessarily, but due to more companies having a stronger online presence. View the SDBN Directory Howto to learn how to claim or submit your company.


The SDBN Directory is the largest and most accessible regional life science organization resource, and can be used by scientists and biotech researchers who are looking for products or services, business development professionals who want to invest or partner locally, and job seekers. Additionally, the data are useful to discover trends, as shown in the interactive, shareable figures and descriptions below.

Figure 1. The number of companies in each category are shown, broken down by the number of employees in each company. Not surprisingly, therapeutics, also known as drug discovery, companies are the largest sector. Additionally, the number of companies with 1-10 employees is normally the largest percentage, indicating that San Diego is a great environment for early stage startups. Note that some companies are in more than one category and are thus counted more than once for this figure. Users can easily use the advanced search to view the companies represented by each element of this chart, such as searching for all of the Diagnostics companies with 11-50 employees.

Figure 2. There are 64 publicly traded San Diego biotechnology companies in the directory, and you would expect that the percentage of public companies for each group would be the same, and would result in a similar ranking as Figure 1. This is not the case, presumably because it is more likely that a medical device or diagnostics company will progress to being publicly traded than a company selling research products or engaged in drug development.

Figure 3. We also looked at the total number of companies founded each year, since 1998, as well as the number of small companies that were founded, as San Diego is a startup breeding ground. We thought that both numbers would have “exploded” from 2013 to 2018 since the directory increased from 430 to 675 companies. However, this was not the case, there were peaks in the number of companies founded in 2008 and 2013, presumably coinciding with market conditions. We surmise that the growth in the directory is more a result of more companies having a stronger online presence, which makes them easier to find. We don’t always include startup companies from incubators or accelerators such as JLabs, Biolabs and COI Pharmaceuticals as they often don’t have a freestanding website, so our data may be skewed towards lower values. These efforts are definitely important for growth in the region.

Figure 4. As mentioned in figure 3, the increase in the number of companies in our directory isn’t thought to be due to more companies being founded, but rather due to these companies having a stronger online presence. This exposure includes social media, for which we’ve seen an approximate doubling in the number of San Diego life science companies on Twitter since we started tracking in 2013. For perspective, when this author was searching for a local job in the 00’s, she had only a one page printed listing of companies, likely from Biocom.

Figure 5. Number of biotechnology organizations by ZIP code. The companies are highly concentrated in the 92121/Sorrento Valley ZIP code, with 319 located in this area. Neighboring La Jolla (92037) and Carmel Valley (92130) are distant 2nd and third with 54 and 43 companies, respectively, and Carlsbad’s 92008 is fourth with 29. Click on each ZIP code area to see the number of biotech organizations in each, and the link at the bottom of the popup window will lead to a list of the organizations in that ZIP code (which we think is pretty cool!).

While this directory is the most comprehensive regional life science company database available online, it likely contains errors and omissions. Some companies maintain a website even after they’ve ceased doing business, and we used deductive reasoning to judge whether a company is still in business. Additionally, with mergers and acquisitions it is difficult to determine whether a company still maintains a San Diego presence.

All entries in the directory can be claimed by a company representative so that they can be edited as needed, and companies can also buy a yearly premium listing with many benefits, see details here. If you’d like to claim your company, search for it and click on the “Claim This Listing” button, and if it is not listed, submit it here. In addition, any entry can be flagged for deletion or corrections.

The directory will serve to connect the San Diego life science community as well as to promote the companies listed. The SDBN is already actively promoting companies to our 20K followers through SDBN Advertising, and will soon be providing complementary marketing services such as videos, webinars, written content, and direct mail. Sign up for the SDBN Newsletter to hear the latest updates.

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