New tax heaven for innovation?


Brussels – The Belgian government is seeking to foster corporate investment in technological innovation with tax breaks. A new law that has come into effect this year will grant patent owners tax exemptions on 80% of their patent income in Belgium. Under the new law, the maximum effective tax rate on patent income for any company that has done R&D in a research centre – either in Belgium or abroad – will be 6.8%. Ivo Onkelinx, a tax partner with the international law firm Linklaters in Brussels, said that the measure was “very straightforward” and will be “especially interesting for start-up companies”. Brent Springeal from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer stated that the tax deduction makes Belgium one of the best places to develop and license intellectual property – especially in the life sciences. The new law is applicable not only to income from license patenting, but also to income from the sale of goods produced or services provided by the Belgian company or branch that directly holds the patent used for the production or service.
For instance, a pharma distributor that has developed a new patented production method that enhances the product’s properties and justifies a higher reimbursement price will profit from the tax deduction – even if he does not receive royalties. Indeed, a part of the price of the enhanced product is seen as a royalty paid by the consumer, and is therefore applicable to the new law. However, all patents must be developed by a Belgian company. Inlicensed products must be improved by the Belgian company that claims for the tax deduction.



Mechelen - Galapagos NV confirms its status as one of Europe best drug discovery companies. The Belgian biotech received €4 million as the first milestone payments from French Servier for the discovery of new targets for...



Munich/Groningen/Penzberg – For ten years, the application of image-guided surgery with tumour-specific fluorescent dyes has been limited to animal studies, because no one could predict safety or bio­distribution of such targeted...



Zwijnaarde/Rotterdam – In vivo camelid antibody specialist arGEN-X BVBA has baged €27.5 million of fresh capital for development of its preclinical monoclonal antibody pipeline. The round B financing of the 3 year-old company,...



Brussels/Ghent – Belgian researchers have demonstrated that tumour cells secrete the angiogenesis factor VEGF to create a microenvironment that fosters proliferation of cancer stem cells. In mice with squamous cell carcinoma,...



Mechelen – Belgian drugmaker Galapagos NV has reported impressive results of a proof-of-concept trial with its oral janus kinase 1 blocker GLPG0634 + Methothrexate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis. In the 24 patients...



Naarden – Enzyme replacement therapies specialist Oxyrane NV raised €20 million in a series D round of financing. The therapies are designed to treat lysosomal storage diseases, a class of more than forty rare inherited diseases....



Hilden/Venlo – Sample and assay technologies provider Qiagen N.V. is set to eliminate about 10% of its current global workforce of 3,800 employees. The company says the cuts are one result of implementing a project aimed at...



New York/Ghent - Big brother is gone. Belgian biotech Ablynx regained the rights for nanobodies targeting TNF-alpha from Pfizer. The US- pharma outfit decided it did't want ATN-103, even though it met its goal in a mid-stage...



Amsterdam - The second blow could be the ultimate one. Amsterdam Molecular Therapeutics received a second negative opinion for Glybera to treat lipoprotein lipase (LPL) deficiency. The European Medicines Agency's (EMA) Committee...



Bilthoven – The current impact of hospital acquired infections with multi-resistant bugs is lower than suggested by startling news articles. According to a study of Dutch researchers, bloodstream infections caused by...

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