OECD gives update of key biotech indicators
Geneva – The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has published the latest comparable figures on the biotech branch in the US and several European countries . As expected, the US had the largest biotech branch with 3,492 biotech R&D firms (including 2,335 dedicated biotech companies, 75% thereof employing less than 50 staff), generating 41.8% of all PCT patent applications and spending $32.4bn on biotech R&D. Taken together, all 27 EU countries made 28.8% of the patent applications. As of 2008, France had the most biotech firms in Europe (1,067/676 thereof dedicated biotechs) and highest company R&D expenditure with $2.5bn, followed by Spain (942/ 305, R&D expenditure by biotechs (bex): $607m, public biotech expenditure (pbe): $1.1bn), Germany (593/501, bex: $1.2bn, pbe: $4.6bn), Switzerland (288/184, bex: $922m), The Netherlands (206/72, bex: $396m, pbe: $138m), Italy (197/117, bex: $360m, pbe: $94m), Ireland (167/71, bex: $302m), Norway (161/n.n., bex: $127m, pbe: $154m), Belgium 145/122 bex: $574m), Finland (141/77), Denmark (124/79, bex: $492m, pbe: $182m), Austria (121/111), Portugal (120/55 bex: $32m, pbe: $32m), the Czech Republic (93/69 bex: $51m, pbe: $88m), Estonia (30/25 bex: $12.7m), Poland (21/11 bex: $9.9m, pbe: $181m), Slovak Republic (11/8 bex: $2.4m, pbe: $12.6m), and Slovenia (10/3 bex: $20.7m, pbe: $3.4m). Biotech R&D intensity was highest in Denmark (0.43%), Switzerland (0.38%), and the US (0.37%). While most biotechs (>60%) were small (less then 50 staff), most biotechnology R&D was undertaken by larger biotechnology firms. Several countries could not meet the OECD deadline and will be included next year: Belgium, Sweden and the UK.