The Largest Biotech Companies In The World

Researcher at work in a biotechnology laboratory.

What Are Biotech Companies?

Biotechnology is the use of advances in life sciences in the production of marketable goods. A biotech company, therefore, is an enterprise that produces products and services by utilizing biotechnology. Many biotech companies exist around the world. This article takes a look at some of the largest biotech companies according to market capitalization values.

The Largest Biotech Companies in the World

1. Johnson & Johnson

The largest biotech company in the world is Johnson & Johnson, founded in 1885 as a provider of ready-to-use surgical dressings. Today, this company is a multinational pharmaceutical, medical devices, and first aid supplies manufacturer. Some of the most well known Johnson & Johnson brands include: Tylenol, Neutrogena, Band-Aid, Acuvue contact lenses, and Clear and Clear. It operates in 60 countries with sales in more than 175 countries and headquarters in New Brunswick in the US state of New Jersey. It employs approximately 127,100 individuals and had global sales of around $70.1 billion in 2015. In 2016, Johnson & Johnson had a market capitalization of $314.1 billion.

2. Pfizer

Pfizer is the second largest biotech company in the world. It was founded in 1849 as a chemicals company and began to grow significantly in the 1880’s after producing and selling citric acid. Today, Pfizer is a global pharmaceutical company that specializes in vaccines and medicines for a wide range of health fields, including: oncology, immunology, diabetology, neurology, and cardiology. Some of its most well known brands are Celebrex, and Lipitor. Its corporate headquarters are in New York City, with research headquarters in Groton in the US state of Connecticut. This company has approximately 78,300 employees and had a 2015 revenue rate of $48.85 billion. In 2016, Pfizer had a market capitalization of $196.3 billion.

3. Roche

The third largest biotech company in the world is Roche, founded in 1896 as a provider of vitamins. It was the first company in the world to mass-produce synthetic vitamin C. Today, it is a multinational pharmaceuticals and diagnostics healthcare company. Some of the most well-known Roche products include: Valium, Bactrim, Avastin, and Naprosyn. Its headquarters are located in the city of Basel in Switzerland. Over the years, Roche has acquired a number of biotechnology companies with the most recent being Tensha Therapeutics for $115 million, announced in January of 2016. This company has around 88,509 employees and a 2014 revenue rate of $47.65 billion. In 2016, Roche had a market capitalization of $192.1 billion.

4. Novartis

Novartis is the fourth largest biotech company in the world. It was founded in 1996 after a merger between Ciba-Geigy and Sandoz Laboratories. It is a multinational pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland that produces a number of drugs, consumer health products, and animal health products (for pets and livestock). Some of its most well-known pharmaceuticals include: Diclofenac, Clozapine, Letrozole, and Ciclosporin. Novartis is a member of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. This company employs 118,700 individuals around the world and in 2015, had a revenue of $50.359. In 2016, Novartis had a market capitalization of $170.5 billion.

The chart published below provides a more complete list of the largest biotech companies in the world.

Which Are The Largest Biotech Companies In The World?

RankCompanyMarket Cap in 2016 (USD billions)
1 Johnson & Johnson NYSE: JNJ314.1
2 Pfizer NYSE: PFE196.3
3 Roche OTCQX: RHHBY192.1
4 Novartis NYSE: NVS170.5
5 Merck & Co. NYSE: MRK164.3
6 Amgen NASDAQ: AMGN108.9
7 Sanofi NYSE: SNY101.8
8 AbbVie NYSE: ABBV100.2
9 Bristol-Myers Squibb NASDAQ: BMY98.2
10 Gilead Sciences NASDAQ: GILD96.6
11 GlaxoSmithKline NYSE: GSK93.3
12 Novo Nordisk NYSE: NVO92.6
13 Celgene NASDAQ: CELG91.4
14 Bayer FWB: BAYN85.3
15 Eli Lilly & Co NYSE: LLY80.9
16 Allergan NYSE: AGN72.7
17 AstraZeneca NYSE: AZN68.8
18 Biogen NASDAQ: BIIB61.6
19 Abbott Laboratories NYSE: AZN56.4
20 Shire Pharmaceuticals NASDAQ: SHPG50.1

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