Italy Emerges on Real Strength


“Existing Italian companies are founded on real scientific and entrepreneurial strength - the lack of resources makes selection, and selects real strength”, said Leonardo Vingiani, Director from the Italian Biotech Industry Association (ASSOBIOTEC) during an interview with EuropeanBiotechnologyNews (see next page) about the emerging Italian biotech sector. In fact Italy has turned the disadvantage of lack of venture capital and government funding support into a motor to create strong and stable biotech companies, which are growing rather slower compared to other European companies, but in a more solid way.

Italy did not fully participate in the recent international boom in biotechnology - untill now. Public and private funding was poor while competitors saw their national initiatives create a considerable biotech industry. At the beginning of the new century Italy's industry invested 0.6% of the country's GDP into R&D. During the 1990s the headcount of Italian R&D dropped to 76,000; half the number of that of France and a third of the German workforce. But recently, all responsible institutions seem to take charge of a change.
Public funding of life sciences research is being channeled through the National Research Council's Target Project on Biotechnology (CNR) and amounts to about Euro40 million annually. It is divided among 360 research groups. Thus most of the Italian life science research institutes depend on funding by the EU. However, the CNR has resulted in 1,500 publications and 15 patents and it has helped to spin off some biotech start-ups. After having missed the first wave of genomics, Italy's government decided to embark on the second functional genomics phase by supporting the Ipergen programme with Euro25 million up to Euro100 million. CNR covers expenses of five research programmes in biology, biotechnology, gene therapy, plant biotechnology and genetic engineering over five years with a total amount of Euro564 million.
Italy's biotech industry comprises a total of about 90 companies. Other statistics count more than 200 companies, but 150 of them are so called ‚established' companies - existed before the advent of biotechnology and adopted its methods. Consequently, about 70 small companies have emerged added to about ten biotech spin-offs from larger pharmaceutical companies. Financial support has been recently mobilized by the National Agency for Economic Development which provided about Euro30 million for biotech startup through its Startech programme. Moreover, Italy's legislation has removed a lot of obstacles hampering the formation of start-ups. Nevertheless there are still voices claiming for more support.
Italian Institute for Foreign Trade
Nature Biotechnology, (19) 516 (2001)
Wall Street Journal Europe
Istat - Istituto Nazionale di Statistica
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
BIOCOM Data-base



Milan – Everyone agrees that Italy is not Greece, but it is common wisdom that the country could also be doing better. Considering the meagre growth of the Italian economy in the last decade however, data fom the 2011 survey of...



Milan – Italian drugmaker Newron Pharmaceuticals S.p.A. and Merck Serono have broadened the scope of their 5-year-old collaboration on CNS drugs. In addition to the Parkinson’s treatment safinamide, under the terms of a new...



Milan/Berlin – Swiss-Italian biotech Philogen SpA has revoked its plan to sell a 23% stake worth EUR65.3m and go public on the Milan stock exchange this Friday. The move came after German Bayer HealthCare unexpectedly terminated...



Rome – The EUR2.5m ERC Advanced Grants are the Grammies of European science – not in the same league as a Nobel Prize, but still a lucrative honor. In the fourth round since 2007, the European Research Council awarded some a590m...



Modena/London – Researchers from Germany, Italy and the UK have identified a molecule that is key to the onset of addiction and also involved into memory formation (EMBO Journal, doi:10.1038/emboj.2010.279). According to results...



Genoa/Philadelphia — The inexpensive anti-gout drug allopurinol can counteract colorectal adenoma progression, according to data presented yesterday at the 9th Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference...

Displaying results 11 to 20 out of 181

< Previous 11-20 Next >

© 2007-2015 BIOCOM


Current issue

All issues


All videos

Product of the week


Stock list

All quotes


  • ZELTIA (E)4.12 EUR22.99%
  • WILEX (D)2.20 EUR10.00%
  • DEINOVE (F)6.85 EUR7.54%


  • IMMUPHARMA (UK)28.50 GBP-12.98%
  • BAVARIAN NORDIC (D)35.60 EUR-8.48%


  • THROMBOGENICS (B)4.08 EUR43.7%
  • OREXO (S)65.25 SEK40.9%
  • ZEALAND PHARMA (DK)155.00 DKK26.0%


  • THERAMETRICS (CH)0.04 CHF-33.3%
  • IMMUPHARMA (UK)28.50 GBP-30.1%


  • KARO BIO (S)43.10 SEK5221.0%
  • CHRONTECH PHARMA (S)0.34 SEK325.0%
  • GALAPAGOS (B)38.85 EUR237.5%


  • NEOVACS (F)0.72 EUR-76.7%
  • BIOTEST (D)19.00 EUR-74.8%
  • EVOCUTIS (UK)0.16 GBP-70.9%

No liability assumed, Date: 09.10.2015


All Events