Research in West Virginia

Research in Your Backyard: Developing Cures, Creating Jobs - Pharmaceutical Clinical Trials in West Virginia

This report shows that biopharmaceutical research companies continue to be vitally important to the economy and patient health in West Virginia, despite the recession.

At a time when the state still faces significant economic challenges, these companies are conducting or have conducted nearly 500 clinical trials of new medicines in collaboration with the state’s university medical schools, hospitals and clinical research centers. Of the nearly 500 clinical trials, more than 200 target or have targeted the nation’s six most debilitating chronic diseases—asthma, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, mental illnesses and stroke.

Institutions involved in clinical tests of treatments include the medical schools at West Virginia University in Morgantown and Marshall University in Huntington; such research centers as Marshall’s Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center, CAMC Health Education & Research Institute in Charleston and the Mary Robb Randolph Cancer Center at West Virginia University; and hospitals like Camden-Clark Memorial Hospital in Parkersburg, St. Mary’s Medical Center in Huntington, Wheeling Hospital and the Charleston Area Medical Center.

The biopharmaceutical drug trials provide steady revenue for research facilities all over the state and what’s more, nearly 40 of the clinical tests are in the initial stages of recruiting patients, which could be important to those still seeking effective treatments. In addition, these tests—which are being conducted all over the Mountain State—are helping to advance science and patient care since many involve cutting-edge, new-generation biotechnology medications.

Earlier reports have shown the nation’s biopharmaceutical companies are also an important source of jobs, research spending and tax revenue. A study by Archstone Consulting, for example, found that the industry sup- ported nearly 12,600 West Virginia jobs in 2008 and was responsible for providing nearly $3.1 billion in products and services.

Biopharmaceutical company employees in the state include life sciences researchers, management executives, office and administrative support workers, production workers, engineers, architects, computer and math experts and sales representatives.

In 2008, these workers were paid an estimated $124.1 million, leading to more than $4 million in state taxes and more than $25 million in federal taxation. Biopharmaceutical research firms that year also invested $144.8 million in research and development in the state. This new clinical trial report shows three years later, the trend continues: American biopharmaceutical research companies remain vitally important to the residents and economy of West Virginia.


Biopharmaceutical companies’ close collaboration with clinicians and research institutions in West Virginia benefits patients, the state’s economy and the advance- ment of science and patient care. Clinical trial business is good business for the state’s medical schools and clinical research centers and the medicines being tested are often cutting-edge cell and protein treatments with the poten- tial to be safer and more effective than older chemical compound drugs. What’s more, West Virginians contemplating participation in clinical trials have a wide range of choices—nearly 40 tests of new medicines for the six most debilitating chronic diseases in America are underway in commu- nities large and small all over the state and they need patient volunteers. Additional clinical trials recruiting patients target other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, traumatic brain injury, cystic fibrosis, influenza, lupus, and psoriasis.