The Top 10 Biotechnology Companies by Market Value

There was a time when the stock market was driven by technology stocks that focused on electronics; phones, computers, and software development. That is changing to a new class of corporation; biotechnology companies that are focused on drugs, genetics, and engineered life forms. Here are the top 10 biotechnology companies by market value.


Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, Amgen began as Applied Molecular Genetics in 1980 and changed its name in 1983. It has 11 drugs currently approved and 23 more in trial. Number 1 in our top 10 biotechnology companies, Amgen’s market value is $50 billion.

Genzyme Corporation

Started in 1981 to develop and market drugs that targeted diseases caused by enzyme deficiencies in rare instances. The drugs are costly to produce and do not have a wide commercial appeal, and are known as ‘orphan drugs’. Owned by Sanofi-Aventis, this Cambridge, Massachusetts company is valued at $20 billion.

Biogen Idec

Formed by the merger of two biotech firms; Biogen and Idec in2003, this Weston, Massachusetts based company focuses on treatments for Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s. Biogen’s Swiss origins give this company a sizable presence in Europe. This firm is valued at $17 billion.

Life Technologies Corporation

Also formed by the merger of two corporations, this biotech company differs in that it does not produce pharmaceuticals but the reagents used in other biotech laboratories. It is headquartered in Carlsbad, California and is valued at $10 billion.

Human Genome Sciences

Based in Rockville, Maryland, number 5 in our top 10 biotechnology companies boasts a contract with US Government for the production of Abthrax. Abthrax is an antibody used for the prevention and treatment of inhaled anthrax. Founded in 1992, this company’s value is estimated at $5.2 billion.

Dendreon Corporation

Also founded in 1992, this biotech is headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Its primary approved product is Provenge which is an immunotherapy for prostate cancer. The patient’s own blood is combined with a protein which leads to increased survival. Its value is $4.7 billion.

Elan Corp Plc

Headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, this biotechnology firm was once valued at over $20 billion dollars but lost over 90% of its value due to an accounting scandal. Elan’s premiere offering is its NanoCrystal technology which allows dosing of insoluble compounds. Elan Corp Plc is valued at $3.8 billion.

United Therapeutics Corporation

This Silver Springs, Maryland Corporation was founded in 1996 as LungRx and changed its name in 1997 at the initial public offering. Its 3 products are designed for the treatment of Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension (PAH). It does however have other products in the pipeline and is valued at $3.8 billion.

Talecris Biotherapeutics Holdings Corp

Talecris specializes in immune therapies derived from blood plasma proteins. They are based in the Triangle Research Park in North Carolina. The company’s products are valuable to patients suffering from emphysema and leukemia. $3.3 billion is the current market value of this firm.

XTL Biopharmaceuticals Ltd

The last of our top 10 biotechnology companies, this Israeli firm has suffered since the 2008 failure of a nerve treatment in clinical trials but has continued to generate income from licensing and is in the process of rebuilding its pipeline. Latest reports place its value at $2.8 billion.

Since market value is based on the share price at the close of the market day, these figures are only approximations. Stock price fluctuations can artificially inflate or diminish the value of the corporation. It is interesting to note that there appears to be a correlation between the number of drugs or technologies offered and the size of the biotech firm.