Growth in the biotechnology sector has lifted Georgia a spot in state rankings to seventh in 2005 from eighth in 2004, according to the latest biotechnology report from Ernst & Young.

The Global Biotechnology Report said North Carolina remained third as it did in 2004.

Florida, meanwhile, cracked the top 10 for the first time in 2005 at 10th.

“Our region continues to be a dynamic place to create, build and locate biotechnology companies,” said Mike Constantino of Ernst & Young, the firm’s Southeast Area Life Science Practice Leader who is based in Raleigh. “The area is loaded with great universities spinning out exciting new technologies and has a business climate that contains many public/private partnerships. Venture capital continues to expand and State governments are very supportive. I believe this region will continue to increase in importance with respect to biotechnology, and life sciences companies in general.”

Other statistics in the report showed that in 2005:

  • The Southeast’s top 30 biotech-related public companies produced $1.9 billion in revenues.

  • Those firms had a market capitalization of $8.9 billion

  • The firms invested $659 million in research and development in 2005, an increase of 20 percent over the previous year.