16 Biotech Companies Improving Lives in San Diego

Take a look at how these biotech companies are developing products and solutions to improve the lives of people in San Diego and beyond.

Written by Sunny Betz
16 Biotech Companies Improving Lives in San Diego
Margo Steines | Feb 27, 2024

As companies in every tech industry imaginable race to find solutions to the COVID-19 crisis, it’s no wonder that biotechnology is on everyone’s lips. Organizations in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors may be working around the clock to find effective treatments for the novel coronavirus, but even when the dust has settled, researchers and engineers will continue to put in the time to improve the lives of people living with diseases and conditions that are far less headline-worthy.  

Demand for biotech innovation shows no sign of slowing down, and in cities like San Diego, where biotech companies are a driving force for infrastructural growth and real estate leasing, life sciences play an integral role in more than just the economy. San Diego has long been a hub for biotech testing and innovation, with UCSD alone boasting revenue streams of over one billion dollars per year in sponsored research, but what sets the SoCal city apart is its commitment to community empowerment through health tech initiatives. 

Whether you’re anxious to jump into the race to find a coronavirus vaccine, or you want to put in the long term work of improving quality of life for everyday patients, you’ll want to take a look at how these biotech companies are building a better world in San Diego and beyond.

Biotech Companies In San Diego To Know

  • Schrödinger
  • Dexcom
  • Illumina
  • NuVasive
  • Human Longevity
  • EAG Laboratories
  • Quidel
  • Biotix


Founded: 1849

Pfizer is a biopharmaceutical innovator that has developed medicines and vaccines for nearly two centuries. Working alongside healthcare providers, governments and local communities, Pfizer aims to advance wellness, prevention, treatments and cures for various diseases. The company operates a 25-acre campus in La Jolla with laboratories for biology, chemistry, pharmacokinetics and drug metabolism, immunology and other areas.


Founded: 1990

Schrödinger is a biotech company that uses machine learning and physics to power its computational platform for drug discovery. Looking at antibody design, peptide discovery, enzyme engineering and other critical areas, the platform facilitates an efficient discovery-to-formulation pipeline that gets lifesaving drugs into peoples’ hands quickly and safely. The company’s therapeutics group also works with a long list of collaborative discovery programs, working on drugs for immunology, oncology and other critical patient-care areas.


Founded: 1998

Illumina is a genetic sequencing company that produces assays for genetic variation analysis in clinical tests. Their technology helps power clinical studies into disease transmission, as well as making it easier for researchers to track pathogen spread, discover effective therapies and test vaccines. Illumina's assays have powered breakthroughs in a number of research fields including oncology, microbiology, agrigenomics, and reproductive healthcare.


Founded: 1999

Dexcom offers solutions for diabetes management by offering a continuous glucose monitoring kit that patients can use to care for their condition and maintain control over their health. Their wearable devices remove the need for fingerstick testing, instead relying on sensor technology to calibrate and transmit glucose numbers to patients every five minutes. In addition to their health monitoring products, Dexcom seeks to support their customers by empowering the diabetes community through their Dexcom Warriors program, which highlights the accomplishments and everyday lives of people managing diabetes.


Founded: 2013

Human Longevity aims to harness the advantages of genomic research to help people live longer and healthier lives, creating a database of clinical data to help doctors understand the full picture of their patients' health. Their platform relies on machine learning and computing technology to turn clinical datasets into actionable insights, helping medical professionals make new discoveries in healthcare and extend the lifespans of their patients at any age.


Founded: 2006

The researchers and developers at Tandem Diabetes Care hone their attention in specifically on the study and treatment of diabetes, with a focus on insulin infusion therapies. They produce insulin pumps and software products that work hand in hand to help diabetes patients both treat their symptoms and maintain control over their insulin levels and their overall health. The company also offers Basal-IQ technology that patients can use to predict insulin lows and act in advance to help mitigate any negative symptoms.


Founded: 2002

BioLegend's team of researchers develops antibodies and reagents for use in biomedical cases, with the goal or supporting optimal patient care and finding the best treatments for diseases and chronic conditions. Their products address a wide swath of biomedical research areas, including neuroscience, cell biology, immunology, oncology and epigenetics.


Founded: 1997

NuVasive develops medical products and surgical devices designed to help patients undergoing surgery have both noninvasive experiences and successful outcomes. The company mainly focuses on spinal surgery technology, offering a portfolio of software and hardware products designed to help surgeons transform care for neck and back pain. Among the many services they offer are spinal alignment software, orthopedic solutions, neuromonitoring, and technology to reduce surgical radiation.


Founded: 1978

EAG Laboratories develops and distributes scientific technologies and services to companies in the life science, engineering and materials sectors. Their work with companies in generic drug manufacturing and pharmaceuticals covers everything from chemical imaging to regulations compliance, helping organizations protect and optimize their products at every step of their lifecycle. The team of researchers at EAG Laboratories collaborates with leading biotechnology companies to both develop effective medical products and protect their patents and other intellectual property.


Founded: 1979

Quidel hones in on developing diagnostic technologies to help providers identify and manage infectious diseases and chronic conditions at the point of care stage. Their suite of immunoassays and diagnostic tests help medical professionals treat respiratory conditions, cancers, women's health issues, autoimmune diseases and a range of other conditions. Headquartered in San Diego's University City neighborhood, Quidel has additional locations throughout the United States and internationally in China, Germany and Ireland.


Founded: 2005

Biotix develops and manufactures liquid handling products for laboratories and life science corporations around the world. Their suite of precision tools and pipettes are built to be implemented in both robotics and manual use cases, helping scientists and researchers maintain the integrity of their samples and achieve more successful testing results. In addition to their liquid handling products, Biotix additionally offers services such as engineering and in-house molecular testing.


Founded: 2005

Based out of the Alexandria Tech Center in San Diego, BioDuro connects companies in the biosciences and pharmaceutical industries with outsourced manufacturing services to create and distribute their products more quickly. The company has additional international manufacturing facilities in Beijing and Shanghai, where their teams of researchers and engineering professionals work with companies across the world to develop innovative products that can improve the lives of their patients.


Founded: 1996

ACON Laboratories is a diagnostic biotechnology company that develops and manufactures medical devices for healthcare companies and organizations in over 130 companies around the world. With a range of solutions targeting diabetes care, immunoassays and clinical chemistry, ACON Laboratories supports clinicians working towards breakthroughs in patient care and outcomes.


Founded: 1995

Prometheus Laboratories specializes in diagnostic products and pharmaceuticals, with which they support the care that physicians are able to deliver to their patients. Their team seeks to find the best new technologies for enhancing patient care across the world, and their products target a variety of conditions including such as Crohn's disease, kidney conditions, arthritis, and leukemia.


Founded: 2014

Poseida Therapeutics explores opportunities to support the health of patients with underserved medical needs, building cell and gene therapies for use in cancer and genetic disease treatment. Their mission is to find cures for diseases such as prostate, multiple myeloma and other cancers, developing both autologous and allogeneic gene therapies capable of achieving effective and positive results in patient health. 

This article was originally published in 2020 and has since been updated. Ashley Bowden contributed reporting to this story.

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