Biotech in SSF

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South San Francisco — the Birthplace of Biotechnology, the hub of biotech industry and the home of industry giants such as Genentech Inc. — is booming. Our economy is anchored by a thriving Biotech community, which continues to grow. South San Francisco is home to the largest biotech cluster in the world, with over 200 biotech companies, and 11.5-million square feet of biotech space on 500-acres. We have the nation’s premier life sciences workforce drawing from nearby UCSF, Stanford, and other world-class academic institutions. What is even more exciting is that we have another five million square feet of new R&D space approved, much of it already under construction.

As the Birthplace of Biotechnology, we are the first city in the nation to plan for biotechnology growth. We have invested over $300 million toward street improvements, water quality and sewer delivery upgrades. We work closely with the universities and our community college to sustain our talented workforce. We are now working to increase our housing stock close to businesses and for employees. Besides building over 600 modern residential units in downtown, we have plans to build another 1,200 units near two other transit hubs. The new housing will help your employees find affordable housing and get them out of their cars and off the roads.

In the recent past, the problem was finding space for start-up and mezzanine-size companies since vacancy rates are around two percent, or less. The Real Estate Trusts are responding to the shortage by proposed new developments and receiving new entitlements for projects alone would add five million square feet in South San Francisco. 


The City of South San Francisco is very convenient, it is minutes away from Silicon Valley as well as SFO/San Francisco International Airport, and only 15 minutes to vibrant downtown San Francisco.

Just minutes away from one of the most iconic cities in the world, and with close proximity to world-class wineries, gorgeous beaches and Olympic-style ski slopes, South San Francisco has everything you need to build the best quality of life. With plenty of residential space and an additional 380 units under development, this is the place to call home.

South San Francisco offers its citizens a city in which to live comfortably in fine residential areas; a place of recreation in parks, swimming pools, and marina; a place to work in more than 2,800 firms and businesses including many biotech companies such as Genentech which gives the city the title of “Birthplace of Biotechnology”.

For a list of the biotechnology companies in South San Francisco – see the attached PDF

Biotech Lives Here SSFCity Brochure – see the attached PDF


 Beyond our location advantages, the City and our four Real Estate Investment Trust Companies have invested millions to create the climate for growth. Today, South San Francisco’s construction projects could change the shape of biotech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area and California. The list the recent South San Francisco projects include Genentech’s campus expansion, BioMed Realty Trust’s 1.25 million square feet Pacific Gateway campus, 2.25 million square feet waterfront campus at Oyster Point Marina, HCP Investment’s 884,000 square feet Britannia Cove campus, now under construction, and Alexandria’s 291,000 square feet of office/R&D campuses.   For companies that cannot wait for these projects to be completed, the submarket in South San Francisco has also opened up recently. At this time, HCP can accommodate small and mezzanine-size companies in two buildings, totaling 275,000 square feet. Alexandria can also offer portions of an existing 400,000 square feet campus.

A majority of South San Francisco biotechnology companies belong to the Medical sector, which involves researching and developing applications for drugs and therapies, as well as the manufacturing of medical devices and other research consumables. Sixty-one percent of the City’s biotech companies specialize in biopharmaceutical research and development (R&D) (e.g. vaccines, allergenic products, gene therapies, etc.), which reflects the high demand for R&D in biopharma.  Companies currently located on the East Coast should consider locating to South San Francisco because we are the center for cutting edge science.  We can link you with our companies undertaking:

  • Next Generation Sequencing

  • Translational Medicine

  • Digital Health

  • Neurology and Aging

  • Data Analysis

  • Blending of High-Tech and Biotech research

 biotech cluster CA




The College of Business at San Francisco State University, in partnership with the City of South San Francisco and the California Life Sciences Association (CLSA), has launched its MBA program for Biotech professionals in South San Francisco. 

Classes have been ongoing since Fall 2018 and take place at the Grand Avenue Library (306 Walnut Avenue) in downtown South San Francisco two nights per week. Basic information about this program is available on SFSU's website.