Key Companies in Virginia

America's Top State for Talent

Ranked No. 1 in the U.S. for Education by CNBC, Virginia is home to over 150,000 people working in the life sciences industry and related occupations. Virginia’s excellent school systems ensure a steady flow of new talent every year. K-12 schools are ranked No. 1 in the South and No. 5 in the U.S. (WalletHub, 2023) and its higher education system is ranked No. 2 in the U.S. (SmartAsset, 2022). Virginia employers often draw talent from among the thousands of service members who exit the armed services in Virginia each year. 

WalletHub_Best Public Schools in the South_2023
SmartAsset_#2 Higher Ed_2022

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with a mission to enable its customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer. The Thermo Fisher Middletown facility is one of two Centers of Excellence for Clinical Diagnostics operations in the U.S. The company announced plans in 2017 to invest $9.5 million and create 57 new jobs to expand its clinical diagnostics operations. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. attributes its decades-long success in Virginia to the skilled talent pool of STEM and advanced manufacturing-related graduates in the region.


Haleon plc, formerly GlaxoSmithKline plc (GSK) is a Fortune 500 science-led global health care company that offers research, development, and manufacturing of innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines, and consumer health care products. In August 2019, the company announced the completion of its transaction with Pfizer to combine consumer health care businesses into a world-leading joint venture. The joint venture evaluated its locations worldwide and chose a former Pfizer R&D headquarters in the city of Richmond for a position in the portfolio of the new Haleon consumer healthcare division, investing $16.7 million and committing to hiring an additional 150 employees.

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Civica Inc.

The greater Richmond region is rapidly becoming a hub for innovation and production for the life sciences industry. Virginia Commonwealth University’s doctoral degree program in pharmaceutical engineering – the first of its kind in the nation – is developing a pipeline of talent for the pharmaceutical industry in the region. Recent collaboration between Phlow, the VCU Medicines for All Institute, AMPAC Fine Chemicals (AFC), and non-profit generic drug company Civica Inc. has put the region on the map as a pharmaceutical manufacturing cluster.

LifeNet Health

LifeNet Health is a global leader in regenerative medicine and the world’s largest provider of allograft bio-implants and organs for transplantation. LifeNet Health’s global headquarters campus has been located in Virginia Beach since 1982. The company has grown substantially across U.S. and international markets, and continues to call Virginia Beach home because of the region’s access to domestic and global markets, skilled talent, and world-class higher education and R&D assets. 

Life Sciences Value Chain in Virginia

Virginia’s life sciences ecosystem spans the entire value chain, including public and private R&D, laboratories that provide testing and other services, manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, and distribution of healthcare products. Home to the highest concentration of tech talent in the country, Virginia offers life sciences companies the talent needed to deliver innovative solutions through artificial intelligence, big data, bioinformatics, telehealth, electronic health records, and more. 


Twenty-five percent of federally funded research and development centers (FFRDCs) are in Virginia.


There are more than 50 major packaging and packing establishments in Virginia providing services to the life science industry.


Global logistics companies take advantage of Virginia’s strategic Mid-Atlantic location with 75% of the U.S. population within a two-day drive.

Virginia Talent Delivers

Home to the highest concentration of tech talent in the country, Virginia offers life science companies the talent needed to deliver innovative solutions through artificial intelligence, big data, bioinformatics, telehealth, electronic health records, and more.

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Merck, Rockingham County

Merck, Rockingham County

Merck & Co. Benefits from Custom Workforce Solution

Merck & Co. has completed seven expansions in Rockingham County in the last 25 years, demonstrating the company’s confidence in Virginia’s business climate. This growth has resulted in over $1.6 billion in capital investments and more than 250 new jobs, and the company now employs over 1,000 Virginians at its 1.1 million-square-foot facility in Elkton. To meet workforce demands associated with Merck & Co.’s robust growth, nearby Blue Ridge Community College (BRCC) and James Madison University (JMU) worked with the state, locality, and company to develop a program to address the short- and long-term need for talent with specialized skillsets.

Virginia has been a great asset in TemperPack’s growth because of its diverse and talented workforce, its pro-business policies, and its geographic location, which allows us to easily service the entire East Coast and beyond. We couldn’t ask for a better partner in business as we continue to expand.

Brian Powers Co-founder and Chief Growth Officer, TemperPack

World-Class Logistics Infrastructure

A dense network of roads, railways, ports, and airports provides transport links to supply chain and physical distribution networks, as well as worldwide connectivity for corporate travelers. Six major interstate highways cross through Virginia, including major North-South and East-West trucking routes, strategically positioning Virginia to offer excellent connectivity to key U.S. markets. Virginia is also served by the third-largest port on the East Coast, with a network of five terminals that can handle any type of cargo. For businesses that require or prefer air travel, the state is serviced by 16 commercial airports, collectively providing nonstop flights to 100+ domestic and 50+ international destinations. 

~150 nonstop service destinations from Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD)



The Medicines for All Institute (M4ALL), VCU’s College of Engineering

The Medicines for All Institute (M4ALL), VCU’s College of Engineering

Medicines For All Institute

Virginia has almost five million square feet of laboratory space, concentrated in Virginia’s three largest metro areas (Northern Virginia, Richmond, and Hampton Roads), as well as smaller nodes anchored by major research universities. The life sciences industry is anchored in the Richmond region by Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), a “Top 100” life sciences research center with over $335 million in externally funded research each year. The Medicines for All Institute (M4ALL), housed in VCU’s College of Engineering and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is committed to improving access to high-quality medications across the globe by re-imagining manufacturing processes. M4ALL’s chemical engineers and chemists optimize active pharmaceutical ingredient production and provide open access to manufacturers around the world to enhance the security of medicine supply chains.


Dynamic Centers of Innovation

Every year billions in federal research dollars are spent in Virginia, which is the 2nd-highest recipient nationwide of federal spending on contracts and grants in medical and life sciences fields. Virginia ranked No. 3 in number of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards in 2023, behind California and Massachusetts. 

Research activity in Virginia encompasses a wide array of disciplines relevant to the life sciences industry, including bioengineering, biomedical engineering, and chemical engineering. Major hubs of public and private research include the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus, the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, and major centers for medical research at the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Tech, George Mason University, and Hampton University. 

Virginia Bio, the state’s biotech industry group, works to promote the development of the industry through advocacy and by connecting industry with life sciences resources, including commercialization and entrepreneurship programs, funding mechanisms, and accelerators. 

America’s Top State for Business

Forbes_#3_Best States for Business - Regulatory Environment
NCSES_#3_2019_Top State for Federal Research and Development Funding
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Janelia Research Campus

An Attractive, Stable, and Predictable Operating Environment

In 2024, Virginia was named America’s No. 1 Top State for Business by CNBC for its business-friendly regulations, stable tax environment, and competitive cost of doing business. Virginia is widely recognized as one of the best-run states in the country, ranked No. 2 for governance by U.S. News & World Report. Virginia has the 4th-lowest private-sector unionization rate in the country, competitive costs of doing business, and state and local taxes that are lower than the nationwide average.

  • Virginia is the northernmost right-to-work state along the I-95 Corridor.
  • Virginia has had a stable 6% corporate income tax rate, one of the lowest in the nation, since 1972.
  • Sound economic policy and prudent financial management has earned Virginia a AAA credit rating since 1938 — longer than any other state.

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