ANN ARBOR — The state’s top leaders in business, life sciences, pharmaceutical and medical device innovation met Thursday to develop strategies to grow Michigan’s biosciences industry. The meeting was hosted by MichBio, the state’s biosciences industry trade association. Thursday’s event was part of MichBio’s newly created CEO Leaders’ Club, a program series for senior bioscience executives from around the state. 

The featured guest was Alex Gorsky, chairman and CEO, Johnson & Johnson, and a native Michigander. A workgroup discussion followed the moderated Q&A and set the stage for initiating a bioindustry led strategic planning effort.

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“We greatly appreciated Alex Gorsky’s national and global perspective about the future of the biosciences industry,” said Steven Rapundalo, President and CEO, MichBio. “Michigan needs a strategic path to leverage its strong legacy of biomedical innovation and commercialization. The states that are top ten in the life sciences industry have done two things well. First, they’ve developed a strategic plan and have had the fortitude and commitment to follow it through. Second, they have addressed their workforce needs by working with higher education in an integrated manner to ensure that the industry is supported. All of our competitors have growth strategies, yet the last time that Michigan had one was a decade ago. It’s time to change that.”
Commenting on Michigan’s potential to grow the life science economy, Michael J. Jandernoa, board member and former CEO of Allegan’s Perrigo Co., said: “We have one of the fastest growing life sciences communities in the country — here in the state of Michigan. Our vibrant life sciences startup community is having a significant impact in our state, and will have across the country and around the globe. Michigan is at a precipice and the potential for job growth is substantial. For every life science job created, four good paying spin-off jobs are created.”

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The commitment to developing a strategy was reinforced by William U. Parfet, chairman and CEO of MPI Research:

“Michigan has a robust history and heritage in the life sciences,” Parfet said. “We rank 10th in the nation for life science patents and research funding.  Michigan’s background, not only with its universities, but with its medical centers, well established physicians, vast array of support services in the pharmaceutical and medical device industry make it well positioned to lead in this arena.”

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MichBio is the trade association committed to driving growth in Michigan’s biosciences industry and its many sectors, including agri-biotech, food and nutrition, bio-based technologies and renewable chemicals, industrial and environmental biotech, medical devices and technologies, pharmaceuticals and consumer healthcare, diagnostics and research products, testing and research services, and clinical research. MichBio members include biosciences companies, academic and research institutions, biosciences service providers, and related organizations. For more information, visit