German biotech report: sector grows despite financial crisis
Berlin/Chicago – Despite the financial crisis, the German biotechnology sector grew in the last year. According to a brand-new biotech-report commissioned by the German Research Ministry and published just a couple of days before BIO (Chicago, 3-6 June), Germany’s biotech firms increased employment by 5% to a total of 31.600 jobs (more...). Additionally, the number of biotech companies grew by 6% while revenues remained stable at EUR2.2bn, as in 2008. The report, conducted by biotechnologie.de (with a response rate of over 80% from the companies) provides an excellent source of internationally comparable figures, at it covers all biotech companies active in Germany and is compliant to the OECD biotechnology guidelines. In 2009, there were 531 dedicated biotechnology companies, an increase of 12 firms compared to 2008 and employing 14,950 staff (2008: 14,450). Additionally, the number of companies, in which biotech was only one aspect of business activity, grew from 92 to 114 enterprises, with 16,650 staff (2008: 15,520). The dedicated biotechnology firms had 8 drugs on the market and 102 under clinical development, had invested EUR1bn into R&D and received funding of EUR51m, the same amount as in the year before the financial crisis. However, while public companies increased their capital by EUR122m (+32% as compared to 2008), VC money was difficult to obtain for the most biotech SMEs. VC investments decreased by 30% compared to 2008 and achieved only EUR142m. "German biotech companies have shown tremendous robustness in the economic crisis. Many companies have adapted to the difficult financial environment and reduced their loss, mainly by establishing a profitable service business," said Boris Mannhardt, PhD, Director of Studies of biotechnologie.de and responsible for the annual survey.