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Life Sciences

There's a lot of life in the Roanoke Region's life science sector. As one of the region's strongest clusters, more than 30,000 people are employed in nearly 300 firms and jobs are expected to grow 12.8 percent by 2022. This diverse sector includes clinical, research, biotech, and medical devices.

  • Anchored by the Carilion Clinic, one of the largest health care companies in Virginia and the region's largest employer (10,000 + employees and 67 physician specialties).
  • Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and Research Institute - Medical school opened in 2010. Conducting research into inflammation, neuroscience, infectious disease, cardiovascular science and cancer biology.
  • Area colleges and universities graduate more than 600 students annually (including approximately 400 at Virginia Tech) at all levels in the life sciences.
  • Jefferson College of Health Sciences offers a Master of Science in Nursing, Physician Assistant and Occupational Therapy and 12 baccalaureate and associate degree health care programs.

Centers of Excellence 

Who's Here 

  • Biotherapeutics – Preclinical stage company developing novel small-molecule drugs to treat inflammation associated with auto-immune disorders and type 2 diabetes
  • Blue Ridge Isotopes LLC – Nuclear pharmacy offering radiopharmaceutical products and services
  • Cardinal Mechatronics – R&D services for solving technical challenges existing at the intersection of mechanical, electronic, and software fields
  • Coeurative – Curative strategies for cardiovascular diseases related to cellular hypoxia
  • Aeroprobe – Contract R&D, materials science, and industrial engineering
  • American Biosystems – Direct-fed microbials used in waste treatment, feed and aquaculture products
  • Attention Point – R&D of assessment tools for the diagnosis of ADHD
  • eBroselow -- Web and mobile software tools for emergency medicine
  • Emtech Laboratories – Hearing care products
  • Excel Prosthetics – Custom-made prosthetics and orthotics
  • Foot Levelers – Custom orthotics, pillows and exercise equipment for spinal stabilization
  • High Performance Optics – Products that protect eyes from the effects of blue light.
  • Intrexon – DNA control systems to enhance safety and outcomes of biological therapeutics
  • Integer – Medical devices
  • Lambda Instruments – R&D of optical fiber-based sensors
  • Leone Bioventures LLC – Natural biopesticide that defends fruits and vegetables from fungus
  • Luna Innovations – Biotech instrumentation, nanotechnology
  • McAirlaid's – Non-woven composite materials for absorbency end uses
  • – One of the largest Internet retailers of microscopes in the world
  • MedCottage -- Mobile, temporary medical homes on a caregiver's property for rehabilitation and extended care
  • Nanosonic – Designs and develops molecular self-assembly processes that allow for controlled synthesis of material structure at the nanometer level
  • Novozymes Biologicals – Enzymes for industrial cleaning, odor control, turf/plant health
  • OcuCure Therapeutics – Ophthalmic eye drops to treat age-related macular degeneration
  • Plastics One – Cochlear implants, other medical devices
  • Precision Fabrics – Surgical drapes
  • ProGenetics – R&D, production of biologically produced therapeutics
  • Revivicor –Regenerative medicine, R&D of treatments for diabetes and whole organ transplantation (xenotransplantation, stem cells)
  • Smart Perfusion – R&D of organ perfusion and transplant systems
  • Synthonics -- Specialty pharmaceutical company that develops drugs that are safer, more stable, and more effective
  • Surgical Tools – Distributor of high-quality German surgical tools
  • TechLab – Develops, manufactures, distributes intestinal diagnostic assays
  • Techulon -- Develops and manufactures life science transfection reagents
  • Virginia Prosthetics – Custom-made prosthetics and orthotics

Video: Wireless Medcare


"We can discover, nurture and commercialize innovations that solve global problems in our own backyard -- and at the same time produce 21st century, cutting-edge jobs to benefit southwest Virginians." 

-- Kent Murphy, Founder and CEO of Luna Innovations, when announcing the company's move to Roanoke.

"Novozymes technology development requires a wide range of expertise and experience not readily available in one location. The quality of life in the Roanoke area has been a significant draw for helping bring this new talent to our company."

-- Greg Dornstauder, Global Director of Novozymes
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