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February 13th, 2008
Though by no means eclipsing the state's coal industry, the biomedical field is a new force in the Mountain State's economy, a study released Wednesday by West Virginia University says. It was responsible for nearly 22,000 jobs and a business volume of about $7.2 billion in 2006.
Ongoing research at Marshall University and WVU in the field generated an additional $200 million in 2007.
The study was released during a press conference in Morgantown involving WVU President Mike Garrison, Marshall President Stephen Kopp and Billy Tauzin, chief executive officer of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. Also present was the study's co-author, Tom Witt, a WVU economist.
"It was a very impressive report," Kopp said. "It was very illuminating in terms of the impact economically this has on the state."
The industry has been an emerging field at Marshall, where faculty at the new Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center have been working on everything from breast cancer research to nanotechnology.
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