10 Slides, 8 FAQs, and a few words about Spanish biotech by Jorge Barrero General Secretary ASEBIO
In 2005, five hundred and thirty-eight companies were doing biotechnological research in Spain.
Of them, only one hundred and twenty have biotechnology as their only field of activity. Those are the companies that make the core of the sector and are the main motor in terms of producing knowledge.
They have more than 370 M€ in total sales revenues, they invest almost 320 M€ in R&D (86% of their sales revenues) and devote more than 25% of their expenses to a highly qualified staff that exceeds 2.000 people.
WHY? Contribution (%) to the world scientific production (papers) in biotech related areas high standards of scientific production, and changes in both cultural and regulatory environment are main drivers for an emergent, but promising, biotech sector
By sectors, the red, sanitarian biotechnology, with its two sides, therapy and diagnosis, counts for more than the 50% of the sector, followed by the agro-feeding applications or green biotechnology (around 20%). The rest is divided between the white, industrial biotechnology, with a 5,7%, and a large number of companies that offer technological platforms with applications in several fields (23,6%), like genomics and proteomics.
Most companies totally dedicated to biotechnology have their origin in the public system of R&D (spin-offs).
However the biggest firms spun out from from consolidated industrial groups. This phenomenon has been essential for the grown of the Spanish sector and is the origin of a large number of the more veteran biotechnological companies (Pharmamar, Natraceutical, Puleva Biotech).
WHERE? Most of the companies operating in the sector are concentrated in Madrid and in Catalonia. There are other emergent poles such as Andalusia, the Basque Country and Valencia.
WHOSE? Most of companys are still mainly owned by their fouders but a lot of them got some money (less than 2 €M) from small seed capital funds. Venture capital (as biotechnology) is trying to overcome an historical delay in Spain. This could change in the middle term due to some new initiatives (both public an private). Moreover, in Spain the possibility of trading at the stock exchange is close to zero, eliminating a fundamental funding source for biotechnology companies and limiting the participation of pre-IPO venture capital.
WHO are us? ASEBIO brings together companies, associations, foundations, universities, technology and research centres that undertake their activities either directly or indirectly related to biotechnology in Spain. ASEBIO has been the biotechnology sector platform since 1999, bringing the sector together and representing its members’ interests before regional, national and European governments. ASEBIO belongs to and receives support from EUROPABIO, the European Association of Bioindustries and it is a member of the CEOE (The Spanish Confederation of Business Organisations).
MUCHAS GRACIAS For further information www.asebio.com [email_address]