German biotech on the upswing
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German biotech on the upswing

27.04.2016 - More revenue, more jobs, more financing, more R&D expenditure – all signs point towards sustainable growth in the German biotech sector. These are the results of the most recent company survey 2016, published by The report was once again conducted alongside the biotech standards defined by the organisation for economic cooperation and development (OECD).

According to the figures, sales of 593 dedicated biotech companies increased in 2015 to €3.28bn. Compared to last year, this is a strong rise of 8.3%. The most significant increase was in industrial biotechnology (+ 14.3%; €244.4bn), followed by medically active biotech companies (9.9%, €2.28bn). Similarly positive is the trend in spending on research and development (R&D): at €1.04bn, it is the first time this value has been over the billion mark since 2010 and has such put an end to the stagnation of recent years. Most capital went into the development of new therapies and diagnostics (+ 11.3%, €772.8bn).

The survey, which was carried out by BIOCOM, also showed an increase in staff numbers: at the end of 2015, in the dedicated companies, i.e. companies mainly concerned with biotechnology, a total of 19,010 jobs were counted (2014: 17,930), an increase of 6% compared to the previous year. With an increase of 5.5% to 20,250 employees, the other biotechnologically active companies registered in the pharmaceutical and chemical industry in Germany once again also showed growth.

Overall, the industry employs almost 40,000 people across Germany. “The growth is not just limited to beacon companies in the sector, but can be observed all over the whole country, especially in small and medium-sized companies,” said BIOCOM study leader Sandra Wirsching. The study showed that the industry is becoming increasingly less dependent on large companies and has grown across the spectrum.

A look at the main activities of the companies that were able to successfully attract funding also illustrates that the companies currently offering product candidates or platform technologies in immune oncology, infectious diseases or for cell-based therapies, are most attractive to investors. Diagnostics and bio-IT also scored well. “Many rounds of financing in 2015 – whether private or on the stock exchange – cover one of these areas,” stresses Wirsching. German biotech companies therefore have no problems in benefitting from the boom in these fields – if they manage to draw attention to themselves. Spectacular deals by RNA specialists Curevac (Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) and cell technology experts from Stage Cell Therapeutics (Juno Therapeutics) made headlines in 2015, but several million dollar pharma deals (Phenex with Baxter, BioNTech with Eli Lilly and Sanofi) also advanced the German industry into the international spotlight.


Clinical ResearchFrancePortugal

21.04.2016 An expert panel’s final report on the fatal drug trial earlier this year in France states that the death of one of the participants was most likely caused by the drug’s toxicity and not by any violation of the rules.


21.04.2016 For up to US$685m (€606m), Dutch ArgenX has outlicensed its human antibody programme ARGX-115 to AbbVie. The pre-clinical immuno-oncology candidate targets a protein believed to contribute to immunosuppressive effects of T-cells.


20.04.2016 The US government is forking out up to US$100m to get Basilea Pharmaceutica’s broad-spectrum antibiotic ceftobiprole on the US market. In the EU, ceftobiprole is already available.


19.04.2016 British drug developer Heptares Therapeutics and mAb maker Kymab Ltd have partnered up in yet another immuno-oncology collaboration. The companies plan to discover antibody meds targeting a superfamily of receptors.


15.04.2016 Not every company is put off by the current stock market climate. Swiss biopharma company GeNeuro has gone public at Euronext Paris, raising €33m in the process. Others, meanwhile, have to find different ways to raise money.

Event ReviewSwitzerlandBelgiumEU

13.04.2016 Despite political disturbances, 2015 was a good year for the biotech scene in Switzerland. Net sales increased by 5.1% to CHF5,133m and 400 additional people found jobs in the sector. As usual, the new numbers were presented at the annual Swiss Biotech Day – which set new records as well.


12.04.2016 German-Dutch life science investment specialist Forbion Capital Partners has raised more than €180m for its venture capital fund Forbion Capital Fund III. Once more the money will primarily go to European start-ups.

Event ReviewGermanyEU

08.04.2016 Do you win by being innovative?, was the question asked at this year’s DIA Euromeeting in Hamburg. In a relaxed and cooperative atmosphere, regulators, physicians and patients had ample opportunity to interact with the healthcare industry.


07.04.2016 Pfizer and Allergan have called off their merger, cancelling plans to relocate the US pharma giant to Ireland to avoid US taxation. The US government has put a spoke in Pfizer’s wheels - an unfair move, Allergan says.

© 2007-2016 BIOCOM

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No liability assumed, Date: 28.04.2016