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Report on Biotechnology in Belgium


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Report on Biotechnology in Belgium

  1. 1. BelgianBiotechnology
  2. 2. Belgium: companies by sector Turnhout Lommel Oostende Brugge Zelzate Beveren Antwerpen Herentals Balen Lokeren Lier BreeVeurne Torhout Gent Boom Heist-op- Westerlo den-Berg Dendermonde Tielt Ieper Wetteren Mechelen Diest Genk Hasselt Asse Leuven Poperinge Waregem Oudenaarde Brussels Ninove Sint-Truiden Ronse Overijse Tienen Geraardsbergen Tongeren Mouscron Wavre Visé Tubize Waterloo Tournai Enghien Waremme Ath Eupen Soignies Nivelles Liège Gembloux Verviers La Louvière Huy Mons Aywaille Namur Malmedy Binche Charleroi Durbuy Ciney Florennes Dinant Vielsalm Marche-en-Famenne Philippeville Agricultural & Food Gedinne St-Hubert Couvin Bastogne Libramont Healthcare Bouillon Industrial & Environmental Arlon Multi-sector Virton
  3. 3. ContentsPresentation of the sector�������������������������������������������������� 4 Belgium, a key player in biotechnology in Europe ��������������������� 6 Well supported: the Belgian players in biotechnology �������������� 8 A leading country for research ������������������������������������������������ 11 An industry with strengths right along the value chain ����������� 12 The real challenge: finance ������������������������������������������������������ 13 A fiscal environment designed for foreign investors ��������������� 14Biotechnology success stories in Belgium ��������������������� 16 Health �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 18 Delphi Genetics ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������18 ThromboGenics ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 20 Peptisyntha �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 22 IBA Ion Beam Applications ����������������������������������������������������������������24 Ovizio ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 26 Cardio3 BioSciences ������������������������������������������������������������������������ 28 Artelis ����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 30 Industry and environment �������������������������������������������������������� 32 Ecover ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 32 Agriculture and food ���������������������������������������������������������������� 34 CropDesign �������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 34Index of companies ���������������������������������������������������������� 36 Agriculture & Food ������������������������������������������������������������������� 38 Healthcare ������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 42 Industry & Environment ����������������������������������������������������������� 60 3
  4. 4. 1Presentationof the sector
  5. 5. Belgium,a key player in biotechnology in EuropeShare of the world market Research and developmentThe quality of an industry is reflected in part by its export Spending on research and development is high in relationperformance� These figures demonstrate the competitive to the country’s size, as confirmed by the latest OECDedge of a country’s products and businesses� figures:Belgium is one of the most open economies in the world, À Fifth-highest level in the OECD of public funding (directand this is true for the biotechnology sector too� Although and indirect) and tax incentives for R&D in the businessthe country represents only 3% of the economy of the EU27, sector in 2008�it accounted for 17% of EU exports of biopharmaceuticals in À Fourth country in the world in terms of biotechnology2008� In 2009, the Belgian trade balance for pharmaceuti- R&D per firm�cals was in large surplus (€7,216,415), and exports grew by11�76% between 2008 and 2009� À Third country in Europe in terms of biotechnology R&D per capita in the business sector�In addition, Belgium accounts for a remarkably high pro-portion of Europe’s turnover in biotechnology� It represents À Second highest proportion of biotechnology R&D in total16% of the European biopharmaceutical industry, making national R&D in the world�our country a key player at world level� À World number one for R&D intensity (R&D / production) in the pharmaceutical industry (EFPIA, 2008)�Relative importance of Belgium in the EU27in 2008 (biopharmaceuticals) Number of companies18% The Belgian biotechnology sector is divided into three dis- 17% tinct areas: red, white and green� The country’s main asset 16% is in health-related biotechnology: this accounts for 80%16% of the national activity� White and green biotechnology are growing rapidly, and account for 15% and 5% respectively14% of the total�12% The biotechnology sector is vast and covers a wide range10% of industries� This study includes companies that meet the sectoral definition used by the OECD: “The application of 8% science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts,8% 7% products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living mate- 6% rials for the production of knowledge, goods and services”�6% Based on this definition, 17% of the country’s 308 biotech businesses are concentrated within Brussels itself, while4% Flanders and Wallonia host 49% and 34% respectively� 3% 2%2%0% n DP e s ng r ts ve rm Belgian workers are among lu tio or di G va o la ffi p en rn Ex pu d ro the five most productive in the Tu sp dePo be Ad D um world, according to recent figures R& N from OECD and the InternationalSource: EFPIA, Eurostat for the added value, for the numberof firms and turnover Labour Organisation (2008)� But it is particularly in the biotechnology sector that Belgian superiority is most striking� 6
  6. 6. 1. Presentation of the sectorInnovation EmploymentRevealed biotechnological advantage (2004-06) Belgian biotechnology provides direct employment to more than 30,000 people in Belgium, mainly in the health sector (80%)� These workers are particularly well qualified, and train- Denmark ing in science and technology in Belgium is among the best Belgium in Europe, both at secondary level and in universities� Belgian workers are among the most productive in Europe� Singapore Canada New Zealand Some of the most productive researchers Australia in the world Poland Belgian workers are among the top 5 most productive in the Spain world according to recent OECD statistics and the International Labour Organisation� But it is especially in the biotechnologyUnited States sector that the country stands out: Israel À In Belgium the number of drugs in development per mil- lion inhabitants is the highest in the world, ahead of the 0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 United Kingdom or the United States�Source : OECD, 2009 À The regions of Flemish Brabant and Walloon Brabant have respectively 61% and 58% of scientists in their economicallyThe Belgian innovation system is among the best in the world� active population, placing them in the top 10 EuropeanAccording to the latest figures from OECD, our country has regions in this regard�the fourth largest global technological advantage in biotech-nology, and the third in Europe� OECD describes Belgium’sstrengths as: À The number of active researchers in the pharmaceutical industry in Belgium is growing rapidly� Between 2002 and 2007, it rose from 3,591 FTEs to 4,838, an increaseÀ the importance that public authorities give to the sector; of 35%�À the strong concentration of researchers in the workforce; À Belgium consistently outperforms the OECD average, inÀ the high number of graduates in science and engineering; terms of researchers per thousand employees, the number of science and engineering graduates as a percentageÀ the share of science and technology employment in total of degrees awarded, the proportion of employment in employment; science and technology in total employment, or scientific articles published per million population (OECD, 2010)� ItsÀ strong collaborative relationships in innovation; human resources also help make Belgium the 6th most innovative member of the EU27�À and a remarkable degree of openness in the sector to Foreign investors have seized the opportunities, and we are one international partnerships (the leading OECD country in of the world’s most open countries to international research� terms of the percentage of national inventions owned by 50% of Belgian inventions are owned by foreigners, against foreigners, and 59% of R&D in the country is conducted an OECD average of just 15%� Belgians work closely with by foreign affiliates)� foreign researchers, and are integrated into major international networks to provide research of the highest quality� In Belgium the number of drugs in development per million inhabitants is the highest in the world, ahead of the United Kingdom or the United States� Patrik De Haes, CEO ThromboGenics 7
  7. 7. Well supported: the Belgian players in biotechnology 1. SUPPORt aND aDvICE tO fOREIgN INvEStORSFIT, AWEX and Brussels Export each promote 1� Supporting exporters from the regiontheir own region: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels� 2� Informing, prospecting for, and advising potentialThey have three main tasks that they each fulfill in foreign investorstheir own way: 3� Promoting the region abroad nanotechnology sectors can provide US companies with specific information on biotechnology in Flanders� There are great advantages in having an attaché who is fully informed about the sector, who can build a professional network, and has the contact details of people from across the sector� MoreFIT provides professional advice to all foreign companies that generally, FIT helps companies wishing to invest in Flanderswant to start or expand operations in Flanders� To make things to find the best location, acquire the correct information andeven easier, FIT has a network of more than 90 offices abroad make the right contacts� It also offers assistance in applyingthat can give advice� Their presence on the ground means that for grants and other aid, and in understanding Flemish andthey know better than anyone what foreign investors need� national regulations, etcThere are five of these regional offices in the United States - in www�flanderstrade�comNew York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta� www�investinflanders�comIn the New York office an attaché for the biotechnology and AWEX is responsible for all commer- AWEX also has a presence abroad, with 107 economic and cial activities that take place either commercial attachés all over the world� In the US, they are in in or from Wallonia� It incorporates Atlanta, Chicago, New York (with specific sectoral responsibility the Office for Foreign Investors (OFI), for biotechnology), San Francisco, Washington and Houston� which has a similar role to FIT with Here again, the attaché in New York has specialised knowledge respect to foreign investors: helping of the biotechnology industry� to find suitable sites, explaining sup- port measures and tax rules, and www�awex�beproviding information on recruitment and staff training, project www�investinwallonia�befunding, etc� Brussels Invest & Export promotes in Brussels is carried out by Invest in Brussels, which gives foreign trade, assists Brussels compa- advice, and prospects in foreign markets� In particular, Invest nies, and attracts foreign investors to in Brussels offers companies the opportunity to test Brussels Brussels� It has built a database where as a business location for three months, providing them with foreign investors with a specific project free office space, secretarial services, facilities and profes- in mind can find business partners in sional advice offered by experts on suitable locations, support Brussels� Brussels Invest & Export has facilities, sector related issues, legislation at Brussels and some 88 economic and trade attachés national level, etc�in a network abroad� Some are shared with FIT or AWEX�In the US, Brussels Invest & Export has a presence in New www�brussels-export�beYork, Houston (AWEX), Washington (AWEX), Atlanta (FIT) and www�investinbrussels�comLos Angeles (FIT)� Additional promotion of foreign investment 8
  8. 8. 2. SUPRaREgIONaL INDUStRy fEDERatIONS 1. Presentation of the sectorThree organizations represent the biotechnology EuropaBio is active at the level of the Europeansector in Belgium� Essenscia, and particularly institutions�Bio�be, are the national organizations, while Where chemistry meets life Essenscia wields significant lobbying power, and it was sciences highly influential in the development of Belgiums favorable legislative framework for biotechnology� Essenscia Brussels, essenscia Flanders and essenscia Wallonia, the three Essenscia is the multisectoral orga- component organizations, are the business partners of the nization representing the chemical authorities in Brussels, Flanders and Wallonia for regional and life sciences industries� It has and community-level questions� nearly 800 members, accounting for more than 95% of the sectors total turnover (€45�2 bil- lion in 2009) and 91,700 jobs� Essenscia is organized in 17 www�essenscia�be sectors, with Bio�be responsible for biotechnology� Belgian Biotechnology biotechnology sector� Bio�be has 84 members, generating Industry Organisation some 10,000 jobs and a turnover of nearly €3 billion� Bio� be is a member of EuropaBio� Bio�be is the biotechnology division of essenscia� In particular, it repre- www�bio�be sents the players in research, devel- opment, testing, production and marketing of biotechnology applications, as well as companies offering services in the the European association as biovalleys� Through close cooperation with its national for Bioindustries member organizations, EuropaBio represents approximately 1,800 European biotechnology companies� EuropaBio is the European organi- zation for biotechnology� Based in www�europabio�be Brussels, it promotes the interests of the European biotechnology industry with the European authorities, and also beyond the EUs borders� EuropaBio members include companies (58 across Europe) and national biotechnology associations (18), as well 9
  9. 9. 3. REgIONaL INDUStRy fEDERatIONSBelgium has three regions: the Flemish Region in the north, the Walloon Region in the south,and the Brussels-Capital Region in the center� Each has certain responsibilities in economicand science policy, and each has organizations devoted to biotechnology� Building biotech bridges government� It also organizes numerous networking activities and conferences� Since 2005, it has organized Flanders Bio is the biotechnology the International "Knowledge for growth" Convention, industry organization in Flanders, attracting a growing number of actors from the life sci- located in the heart of the biotech ences (900 individual participants and 200 companies cluster of Ghent� The organiza- in 2010)� It is the largest regional biotechnology event tion is one of the most important in Europe� drivers of the sectors growth in www�flandersbio�be Flanders� Through lobbying, it seeks to defend the interests of business with the Flemish Biotechnology Wallonia research centers, universities and funding agencies), the Innovation cluster delivers activities including training, networking activities, and support for innovative projects� BioWin is the Health The BioWin Day, which aims to bring together all the Competitiveness Cluster of biotechnology actors in Wallonia and beyond to promote Wallonia� Its role is to bring the exchange of expertise, had its most recent success- together all Walloon stakehold- ful event in December 2010� ers engaged in innovative projects and / or teaching in biotechnology and health� With 260 members (companies, www�biowin�org Brussels Lifetech is an initiative of improving the bio and pharmaceutical platforms and the Brussels Enterprise Agency� increasing the international visibility of Brussels and its As an institution of the Brussels know-how in these sectors� Capital Region, its purpose is to foster the growth and develop- The organization has 55 active members in biotechnol- ment of industry in Brussels by ogy and the pharmaceutical industry� www�biotechinbrussels�be 10
  10. 10. A leading country for researchThe network of academic institutions and research centers in VIB and Welbio 1. Presentation of the sectorBelgium is not only dense, but features some internationallyrenowned institutions� Belgian universities are federated within institu- tions that bring together virtually all stakeholders in the sector. The two most important are VIBFour Belgian universities were recently included among the and Welbio.100 best European research institutions� Two of them, theUniversité Catholique de Louvain (UCL) and the Katholiek Combining four of the countrys five Dutch-Universiteit Leuven (KUL), were even included among the speaking universities and numerous incubators,20 top-performing universities in Europe� Our small country VIB is the main contact point for research inboasts three of Europes top 25 universities for life sciences Flanders. Nearly 1,170 researchers of more than(Academic Ranking of World Universities 2010)� Whether in 50 nationalities share the objective of achievingmedicine, biotechnology or engineering, Belgian universities exceptional research results and bringing theirare among the best� products to market. VIB receives nearly €75 mil- lion in annual funding.One look at the budget allocated to these universities and Welbio is a new initiative that demonstratesresearch centers points to a clear conclusion: in Belgium, the dynamism and the networking strengths ofresearchers perform better than elsewhere, and with Belgian universities. Combining the three Walloonfewer resources� How can these outstanding results be academies, the agencys mission is to supportexplained? the biotechnology sector in Wallonia by training scientists and by speeding effective launch of discoveries. €15 million was released to launchÀ a high concentration of quality universities and incubators: the initiative, and the first call for proposals was the 14 Belgian campuses (5 in Flanders, 5 in Wallonia and a great success. 4 in Brussels) are geographically close and organized into effective networks� There are also 22 research centers and a multitude of incubators, all easily accessible�À an effective clustering policy, promoting exchanges between universities and businesses: the clusters of Ghent, Leuven, Liège, Charleroi, Brussels, Namur and Gembloux help universities exchange knowl- edge and interact with companies�À Science and mathematics teaching of international quality: more than 50,000 students are enrolled in biosciences and in pharmacy schools in Belgium� In addition to meet- ing high academic standards, they enjoy a solid basic education, as evidenced by the above-OECD average Belgian results as measured in PISA�À Effective inter-university structures: VIB and Welbio are the two most important academic biotechnology networks in Belgium, and their international reputation is well established (see box)�À the support of federal and regional authorities: support for academic research can be relied on in each Belgian region� Politicians and the Belgian population are fully aware of the importance of biotechnology in the economic fabric of Belgium� 11
  11. 11. An industry with strengths right along the value chainProduct development in biotechnology is a lengthy process� Fortunately, Belgium provides ahighly conducive environment throughout the development cycle of biotech products�1. reserch anD DeveLoPeMent 2. DiscoveryÒ Nearly 10% of European investment in R & D in biotechnology is made in Belgium, athough the country Ò Eighth most innovative country in the accounts for only 2% of the EUs population� world in the pharmaceutical sector�Ò European number one in terms of intensity of research and Ò five of the WHOs list of 100 essential development (R & D / production) in the pharmaceutical drugs are of Belgian origin� sector� Ò Historic cradle of green biotechnology:Ò More than 20 academic research institutes, 25 incubators the technology used to alter the dedicated to biotechnology, and science parks across genes of plants is a Belgian discovery� the country� as a result of this technological breakthrough, the country became a market leader in the field� 4. Patents 3. cLinicaL triaLs Ò Belgium is significantly faster than its neighbours in delivering Ò Belgium has the highest number of Phase I clinical trials per national patents� the delay capita of any country in Europe� between patent filing and patent grant averages only 18 to 20 Ò Our country delivers authorisations for Phase I clinical trials faster months in Belgium� than any other European country (15 days), and is among the fastest for approvals across phases I to Iv (28 days)� Ò this is a lot faster than in the United Kingdom (3 to 4 years), Ò Supportive public opinion for biotechnology guarantees a france (3 years) or germany ready supply of volunteers for clinical trials� (24 to 30 months)� 5. Logistics 6. MarketingÒ a strategic location in the heart of Europe� Ò Easy access to Europes biggest economies�Ò antwerp: Europes main chemicals port, and Ò an internationally oriented sector accounting for the second port in Europe in terms of cargo 17% of total European biopharmaceutical industry volume� exports� the most globalized country in the world, according to the Swiss federal Institute ofÒ Since 2002, Belgium has ranked number one in technology in Zurich (KOf 2011)� the Cushman & Wakefield European Distribution Report� In 2009, 8 of the top 10 regions in Ò the most supportive public opinion in the world Europe in terms of logistics were Belgian� towards the biopharmaceutical industry�Ò an international biologistics centre around Ò the Belgian trade balance is positive, both for the airport of Liege� pharmaceuticals and for the economy as a whole� 12
  12. 12. The real challenge: financeThe high level of R&D spending in Belgium is the consequence Federal funding provides a valuable complement to regionalof the countrys numerous funding opportunities� Foreign programs� Business Angel + is one of the key elements to 1. Presentation of the sectorinvestors can be confident of a warm welcome from public facilitate contacts between business angels and innovativeauthorities, private companies and venture capital� companies� Belgium is well-provided with business angels: there are 280 in the country�Grants are provided by the federal government, the federalregions, and by Europe� SMEs are priorities among these According to Ernst and Young (2007) and Technopolis (2008),measures: access to venture capital is easy in Belgium: the country is the European leader in terms of venture capital in relation to theÀ In the north, SMEs benefit from programs such as number of biotechnology companies� This puts us ahead of the KMO-portfolio of Agentschap Ondernemen, the the major pharmaceutical countries such as France, the UK ParticipatieMaatschapijVlaanderen and subsidies from IWT or Germany� The European Unions Innovation Scoreboard for (Agency for Innovation through Science and Technology), 2010 highlighted the rapid growth of venture capital in Belgium� providing support from the start-up phase through to 28% of venture capital invested in Belgium is directed towards patent filing on an invention� The Flanders Biotech Fund life sciences, and the average venture capital investment in specifically focuses on biotech companies in the north Belgium is the largest anywhere in the European Union� of the country� In addition to subsidies, Belgium also offers businesses aÀ In the south, companies can obtain investment and very attractive tax environment, enabling investors to realize research subsidies of up to 32% and 80% respectively of significant cost savings and to gain an advantage over their the amount invested� Biowin also offers 100% grants to competitors� To learn more about these tax measures, we university laboratories, 70% for SMEs and up to 50% for refer you to the next section� large companies� By judicious combinations of aid, firms can obtain up to 80% of funding for their projects�À In Brussels, innovative companies can obtain financial By effectively combining and fiscal support for investing, training, and recruitment, and the Brussels institutions also provide help in relation the possibilities of aid, firms to consultancy, exports and innovation� can obtain up to 80% of funding for their projects To get the complete list the ParticipatieMaatschapijVla the Walloon Union of of institutions that can nderen Enterprises help you financially, visit: the Agentschap Ondernemen Brussels Invest & Export the websites of Flanders Investment and Trade AWEX the Brussels Enterprise Agency 13
  13. 13. A fiscal environment designed for foreigninvestorsa competitive nominal tax rate Notional interest deductionAll companies in Belgium are subject to corporate tax� The The notional interest deduction is a unique and innovative taxnominal rate is 33�99%� For SMEs with a taxable income of benefit in Belgium� This is a tax deduction for risk capital whichup to €322,500, the tax rate drops to 24�98%� decreases the unequal treatment between debt financing and equity financing� It is automatically applied to all Belgian companies and all companies established in Belgium� The system allows companies to make deductions from their taxable base against a purely notional interest charge� The notional interest corresponds to a specific percentage of each companys adjusted equity capital� In the year 2011 the rate for SMEs is 3�925%� This can bring the final tax rate down below 26%� The tax deduction on patent income gives Belgium the lowest effective tax rate on revenues from patents� additional benefits for r&Dtax deduction on patent income Reduced employment charges for foreignTax deduction on patent income is a federal measure that researchersallows up to 80% of exemptions for income from certain The Belgian tax system also provides attractive conditions forpatents� This gives Belgium the lowest effective tax burden employers, including reduced employment costs for foreignon patent income (a maximum of 6�8%)� The measure applies executives and researchers� Expatriate employees posted toto all Belgian companies subject to corporate tax, but also Belgium generate additional costs for the employer� To easeto all Belgian branches of foreign companies that are subject these costs, significant relief is allowed to employers on upto corporate tax� to 75% of these payroll costs�The scheme covers patents resulting from a companysactivity: Higher investment incentives and taxÀ developed in a research center in Belgium or abroad; credits for research and developmentÀ obtained as a result of further development by a research Companies that invest in research and development of new center in Belgium or abroad; environmentally friendly products and advanced technologies can enjoy increased investment incentives or a tax credit,À obtained through a license if development is continued according to each companys choice� The selected benefits by a research center in Belgium or abroad� can be applied immediately or over an agreed period� 14
  14. 14. 1. Presentation of the sectoradvance tax rulings Exemption from withholding taxBelgian tax legislation recognizes the growing importance of on dividendslegal certainty for existing and potential investors� So it offers The exemption that investors enjoy from withholding tax oncompanies an advance ruling on tax matters� This ruling has certain dividends to investors is another widely-acclaimedlegal force, and is based on a determination by the competent provision� This new exemption applies to all countries withtax authority as to how the tax laws apply to a particular situation which Belgium has concluded a tax treaty, including the Unitedor transaction� This gives potential investors the legal certainty States� By choosing Belgium as the location for their holdingthey need over the tax implications of their projects� The tax when making investments in Europe, corporate investors fromauthorities are bound by these rulings for up to five years� treaty countries can repatriate unlimited European profits without paying withholding tax on dividends and profits� “ Belgium is a Monaco for patents ” Philippe Gabant, Director of Business Development and founder, Delphi Genetics 15
  15. 15. 16
  16. 16. 2 1. Presentation of the sector Biotechnologysuccess stories in Belgium 17
  17. 17. HealthDelphi GeneticsInterview withPhilippe gabant, DELPHIDirector of Business gENEtICSDevelopment and Ò SPIN-Off fROM tHEfounder, Delphi genetics UNIvERSItÉ LIBRE DE BRUXELLES (ULB) Ò CREatED IN NOvEMBER 2001 Ò 15 EMPLOyEES“We always have Ò tURNOvER: aBOUt €2 MILLION our alma Mater in mind�” Ò 80 % Of REvENUES aRE REINvEStED IN R&DThe story of Delphi Genetics began on the campus of theUniversité Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)� A group of scientists,including Philippe Gabant, now the Director of BusinessDevelopment, discovered the potential of poison-antidotegenes during their research into DNA assembly technology�In 1994, the university signed an exclusive licensing agree-ment with an American company, and this Belgian technologyeventually became the world standard in DNA assembly�But the researchers did not stop there� After building up aportfolio of patents around their technology, they launchedDelphi Genetics, a spin-off from ULB, in November 2001�The Delphi Genetics range has since grown wider, mainlythanks to its unique ‘Staby Express’ technology for produc-ing recombinant proteins in Escherichia coli without the useof antibiotics, and with substantially increased yields� Thispioneering technology has been licensed to Sanofi-Pasteurand GSK, the two companies that account for 60% of theworld’s vaccine market� The Delphi Genetics team has onceagain set an industry standard� “Belgium is the country where there is the most biomanufacturing per head of population in the world�” Philippe Gabant, Director Business Development and founder, Delphi Genetics 18
  18. 18. A site in the Gosselies airport park An American at heartULB and its campus in Wallonia were instrumental in develop- “The US is a dream for someone with a spin-off� These areing the business� In addition to providing access to top-flight the guys who invented the spin-off”� For Philippe Gabantscientists, the university possesses an infrastructure that the first license granted in the United States has shown howassures incubation, partnerships and high-quality scientific effective the take-up of discoveries is on the other side of the 2. HealtH • Delphi Geneticscooperation� The choice of a site in the Gosselies airport Atlantic� Plans for the US include a stand at the BIO exhibi-park was obvious for the company� And being on Belgian tion in Washington, to meet US officials, and to expand thesoil means that a company like Delphi Genetics is also able company’s presence in this market, where it does 60% ofto benefit from a rock-bottom tax rate on its income from its business: “When we present our technology abroad, twotechnology� out of three trips are to the United States�”Having strategic partners close by in vaccinology and pharma-ceutical production is one of the many factors that influencedthe company to choose Belgium: “It gives a great sense ofsecurity to have the university, clusters, and large companiesin the vicinity”� “It is important to haveNever alone during development partners who understand you (…) Sometimes people thinkDelphi Genetics was supported throughout its growth� Firstof all by the university, which enabled it to cross the “Valley that you start a companyof Death” without a hitch� Then the Walloon Region and on Monday, invest in it onBioWin offered assistance to develop research projects andto finance infrastructure, through programs such as FIRST tuesday, on thursday youSpin-off� European subsidies have also helped the company’s negotiate, and by fridayevolution� you’ve sold the company�”Given the ambitious challenge of producing proteins without Philippe Gabant, Director of Business Development andthe use of antibiotics, the state aid was a necessity for the founder, Delphi Geneticscompany: “Nobody is going to subsidize this kind of techno-logical adventure except a state or region”� 19
  19. 19. HealthThromboGenics tHROMBOgENICS Ò fOUNDED IN 1991 Ò SPIN-Off fROM tHE KatHOLIEK UNIvERSItEIt vaN LEUvEN (KUL) Ò 80 EMPLOyEES IN 3 COUNtRIES Ò COOPERatION agREEMENt Interview with WItH ROCHE Patrik De Haes, CEO Ò tHR – EURONEXt thrombogenics BRUSSELSPromising pipeline PartnersThromboGenics is a biopharmaceutical company focused on Ocriplasmin is the companys principal product at present, butresearch and development of innovative drugs for eye disease, it is far from being the only one� It is developing therapeuticvascular disease and cancer� The company has developed antibodies in collaboration with BioInvent of Sweden� It hasa promising biotechnology-based pipeline, notably ocriplas- developed TB-402 (anti-Factor VIII) to combat heart disease:min� This medicine for symptomatic vitreomacular adhesion this innovative anticoagulant, designed for patients who have(sVMA) completed two successful Phase III studies in the undergone orthopedic surgery, is effective for up to six weeksUS and Europe in 2010� It is used in patients suffering visual after administration, and ThromboGenics is looking for a suit-impairment because of vitreous adhesions to the retina� It is able development partner to exploit its potential�also effective in closure of macular holes� Patients with thesedisorders can now opt for treatment with medication as an For the development of another antibody, TB-403 (anti-PIGF),alternative to expensive and complex eye surgery� ThromboGenics has already found a partner - the huge pharmaceutical firm Roche� TB-403 restrains the growth of“Developing a product like ocriplasmin is unique for a small tumors by preventing the formation of new blood vessels,company like ours,” says Patrik De Haes, the ThromboGenics helping in the treatment of liver cancer and brain tumors�CEO� “We are determined to build on this to expand our com- Roche is currently conducting Phase II studies to developpany� So we are looking for potential derivatives and other uses the drug further� This cooperation agreement was judged theof the product�” This is also the reason that ThromboGenics “licensing deal of the year” in the Scrip Awards� “Belgium is ahas decided to keep its entire marketing operation in-house� small country,” admits De Haes, “but in terms of biotechnol-There is huge confidence in ocriplasmin, and the first steps ogy, we are right at the top� This is true for major players too,have already been taken to marketing the product� so they are ready to invest in Belgium�” 20
  20. 20. FrameworkResearch requires significant resources� A company like The companys involvement in the Leuven Bio-Incubator bringsThromboGenics is dependent on investors during the period another advantage through the link to the biotech clusters in 2. HealtH • ThromboGenicsbefore a product can be marketed and revenues are generated� Flanders� This is where many biotechnology companies workIn addition to funding from its private investors, the company alongside each other, which encourages them continuallyhas also received subsidies from the Flemish Government to raise their game� The clusters also ensure that the bestAgency for Innovation through Science and Technology (IWT, researchers find their way into biotech companies� Anothersee before for details) and European Union programs� factor is the proximity of Belgian universities� According to De Haes: “There is remarkably good interaction within theBut Flanders is investing in biotechnology in other ways� clusters between university research units and the industrialThere are bio-incubators where both start-ups and estab- world� Their contribution is without any doubt a result of thelished companies can rent laboratories and office space� framework provided by the Flanders Interuniversity Institute forThromboGenics has made use of these opportunities, renting Biotechnology (VIB, see before for details)� VIB is a vital ele-space in the Bio-Incubator in Leuven� ment for Flemish biotech firms aiming to transform a research project into an application that can be taken to market�” “Belgium is a small country, but in terms of biotechnology, we are right at the top�” Patrik De Haes, CEO ThromboGenics 21
  21. 21. HealthPeptisynthaTotal command of the assemblyprocess for peptides“Peptisyntha is not only a portfolio of advanced chemicaltechnologies, it also has total command of the infrastructureand high-quality production process for peptides," according PEPtISyNtHato Johan Devenyns, business manager of Solvay Peptides� Thecompany has built an excellent reputation on its target markets Ò SPIN-Off fROM tHEof pharmaceutical active ingredients, partly due to its mastery UNIvERSItEIt vaN gHENtof all the aspects of solid-phase and liquid-phase assemblytechnology, to its track record in large-scale GMP-compliant Ò fOUNDED IN 1987production of dozens and even hundreds of kilos of peptides, Ò PRESENt IN tHE USand to its impeccable inspection record with authorities such (tORRaNCE, CaLIfORNIa)as the FDA and the AFMPS� But other crucial factors have SINCE 2001been Peptisynthas skills in managing client relations on eachproject, its support on regulatory affairs and its expertise inquality assurance – all of which have allowed the companyto progress rapidly into the top five in its sector�Together with Girindus, its sister company based in Cincinnati,Ohio, which is active in nucleotides, Peptisyntha can offer theentire range of nucleotide- and peptide-based pharmaceuti-cal active ingredients for medicines in clinical developmentand on the market� Brussels Capital Region� “Having sites in both Europe and the US gives access to leading-edge scientists and manag- ers specialized in our businesses� We have a permanentBelgian chemical excellence at the need for top-level chemical expertise, and we have fruitful collaborations with universities”�service of biotechnology “It was a combination of coincidences of history and rela-The production process for peptide chains requires the best tions between our founders that led to the choice of Brusselschemists� The company results from cooperation between a as our first site, and we’re not disappointed�” The RegionBelgian university and a large Belgian chemical group, and regularly provides support for the company’s R&D throughhas been located since its founding in 1987 as a subsidiary, IRSIB, the Institute for Promotion of Scientific Research andon the Solvay site in Neder-Over-Heembeek, located in the Innovation of Brussels� Peptisyntha continues to plan and execute development projects for its activities and its infrastructure at its Brussels site, in close collaboration with and in support of its activities “I’m happy with the way in the United States� An investment project for large-scale we have found partners, solid-phase peptide-production technology is being finalized, taking advantage of existing shared infrastructure� Other cooperation and practical investment projects are under consideration for 2013� support among the Belgian authorities�” With specific support from IRSIB, the company is also pre- paring to expand and complement its product offering with a Johan Devenyns, Managing Director of Peptisyntha new product line, "Advanced Peptide Biomaterials”, which are sophisticated nano-products based on the intrinsic molecular self-assembly properties of peptides� 22
  22. 22. Always with an eye on the States Solvay Research“The dynamism of pharmaceutical and biotechnological and technologycompanies in the US, together with easy access to venturecapital, means that much of our clientele and our market ison the other side of the Atlantic”� That is why the company Located within the Brussels-Capital Region, in Neder-has from the very first fixed its sights firmly on the US� With Over-Heembeek, the Solvay Research and Technologyits subsidiary Peptisyntha Inc� in Torrance, California, the Center is a multidisciplinary site created by the Solvay 2. HealtH • Peptisynthacompany plans to keep in close touch with its target publics group to support R&D in Brussels�of clients and venture capital investors� Peptisyntha is one of several companies on the site that benefit from shared services there, ranging from facility management to analytical chemistry� As part “the state-of-the-art facilities of the Solvay group, the company also has easy access to administrative support from Solvay experts of Peptisyntha cover all in human resources, finance, legal affairs and intel- possible scales of technologies lectual property protection� (SPPS, LPPS or SPPS-LPPS), Following the Horizon project – widely covered in including purification and the Belgian financial media – the Solvay group plans to move its administrative headquarters in Ixelles to lyophilisation�” Neder-over-Heembeek, which will become the groups Johan Devenyns, Managing Director, Peptisyntha sole site in Brussels� 23
  23. 23. HealthIBA Ion Beam Applications Interview with Damien Bertrand, Projec Manager, IBa IBa Ion BeamHadron therapy: a new hope in the applicationsfight against cancer? Ò SPIN-Off fROM tHE UNIvERSItÉ Of LOUvaIN-La-NEUvE (UCL)"The business model when we started IBA was to design, Ò fOUNDED IN 1986produce and sell one cyclotron a year, to produce radioiso-topes for medical purposes," says Damien Bertrand, Project Ò LIStED ON tHE StOCK MaRKEt SINCEManager at IBA� The company was a pioneer in the application 1998of cyclotrons in the industrial world back in 1986, when it was Ò 2,050 EMPLOyEES IN 2010,founded, and it was operating in a niche market� Now IBA WItH 30 % IN tHE UNItED StatESis an international leader in the production of proton therapyequipment and offers a wide range of particle accelerators Ò 2010 tURNOvER: €387 MILLIONfor research in both academia and industry� Ò 2010 PROfIt: €6�6 MILLIONThe group has four principal areas of activity: cancer therapythrough the use of charged beams (hadron therapy), dosimetry,molecular imaging, and industrial applications of cyclotrontechnology� But its basic mission is the fight against cancer�This is what lies behind its audacious decision to invest in anew therapy based on carbon ions� Advice and valuable assistance from the authorities� IBA receives several types of assistance from the Walloon “Proximity brings added Region under the Marshall Plan� value (…) We have a wide network of partners, in The company operates in two sectors that have been identified by the authorities in the south of the country as major competi- engineering, in electronics, tive assets: health biotechnology and hi-tech engineering� consultancy, design, etc�, right here, all around us�” It is especially its membership of BioWin, the health technology cluster, which has enabled IBA to implement its most recent Damien Bertrand, Project Manager, IBA major initiative with hadron, the Win-TPS project� 24
  24. 24. 2. HealtH • IBA Ion Beam ApplicationsWin-TPS, an example of cross- The logistical advantagefertilization in action in Belgium of BelgiumThrough its proton therapy technology, IBA has advanced The major equipment required for handling bulky and fragilethe science of cancer treatment� The next step is hadron products is available in Belgium on competitive terms, andtherapy, including treatments with carbon ions� The radiobio- nearby seaports allow the company to export throughoutlogical advantages of carbon ions make it possible to destroy the world efficiently and without high costs� Because of allcancer cells with three times the efficacy of conventional these advantages, Belgium is, and will for a long time remain,treatments� a choice location for the group� That’s why IBA has always maintained a large assembly line in Belgium�To develop the first cyclotron that could make a reality ofhadron therapy, IBA entered into a scientific and industrialpartnership project supported by BioWin and the WalloonRegion, aimed at developing the first treatment planningsoftware (TPS) adapted to hadron therapy� Dosimetry, in the most innovative aspectvivo radiation biology, the creation of certified software and of Win-tPS (…) is to seedigital optimization are the four major project areas withinWin-TPS� if methods developed in aeronautics can be exploitedCenaero, a research center with advanced expertise in digital in the fight against cancer�optimization for the aviation industry, will handle this part ofthe project� So a biotechnology project benefits from the Damien Bertrand, Project Manager, IBAexpertise of leading Belgian aeronautical engineers� Whetherit’s a matter of mechanical engineering or electronics, com-panies based in Belgium can take advantage of the country’sstrengths in many advanced industries� And with access tothe synergy and high quality of all these sectors, IBA is aimingto become a pioneer in the niche market of hadron therapy,and ultimately to become an industry leader� 25
  25. 25. HealthOvizioInterview with OvIZIOPhilip Mathuis, Ò SPIN-Off fROM tHECEO, Ovizio UNIvERSItÉ LIBRE DE BRUXELLES (ULB) Ò CREatED IN JaNUaRy 2009 Ò 6 Staff WItH a DEtERMINatION tO RECRUIt MORE Ò ONE Of tHE 5 “MOSt BEaUtIfUL StaRt-UPS”, aCCORDINg tO ESCP EUROPERevolutionizing imagingmicroscopyThe Brussels-based company Ovizio offers a technology that "What is important for us is Belgiums intense activity in R&Dis revolutionizing imaging microscopy� Its patented process of in pharmaceuticals, in-vitro diagnostics and cell therapy� Thatdigital holography permits accurate counting of cells in their is what our technology is designed for," says Philip Mathuis,environment, fast and at low cost� No more need for dyes or the CEO� Interaction with leading companies in these areasexpensive equipment: just place the mount, for example a allows Ovizio to ensure the quality of its product before mov-Petri dish, under the Ovizio microscope / flow cytometer, and ing into export markets� Thats true not only for Ovizio, butthe machine automatically calculates the number of dead and for every Belgian exporter; if they are exporting, it is becauseliving cells, distinguished by their optical properties� they have already succeeded on the highly competitive Belgian market�The technology makes it possible to capture a three-di-mensional image 100 times greater than through the use of Easy access to financingconventional microscopes, and in real time� When operatingin flow cytometry mode, Ovizios channel is 100 times larger The creation of the company was made possible by thethan in existing technologies, and significantly reduces margins involvement of two investment funds: Theodorus II, theof error in counting� research fund of ULB (the Université Libre de Bruxelles), and the Regional Investment Company of Brussels� Innoviris, the Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation, was also a key partner in the launch, particularly in assisting in the design of “Belgian engineers have prototypes� "We felt really strong support� For companies like ours, this is indispensable� Spin-offs in Belgium are a perfect a very high level of training, example of how authorities, universities, private funds and whether in technology, entrepreneurs are creating an ecosystem that makes it easier to start a business�" classical engineering or biotechnology� It is a real The company has had no major funding concerns, and is asset�” currently considering a second round of financing with opti- mism: "The feedback is positive, despite the impact of the Philip Mathuis, CEO, Ovizio crisis on the sector�" 26
  26. 26. Brussels-Capital: a natural choice Transatlantic targetsPhilip Mathuis makes no secret of his personal affection for The United States is the ultimate objective for Ovizio’s devel-Brussels when he speaks of the company’s choice of loca- opment: “Last year, when I attended BIO Chicago, severaltion� But this not the principal reason for the decision� “Here US pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies expressedwe are really central� We are members of Brussels Lifetech, immediate and genuine interest in our technology� In ourFlandersBio, Biowin��� We benefit from these associations, industry, the United States represents 60% of the world 2. HealtH • Ovizioall these actors right across the country� We are very well market�” Later this year or early next year, Ovizio plans tosupported� “The transport infrastructure is another of the open a subsidiary in the US, to respond to demand, andadvantages he appreciates in the Brussels-Capital region� to grant technology licenses for some of its applications to major American groups� “today, there’s a need for users to be experts trained on one machine� With our technology, that becomes very much simpler�” Philip Mathuis, CEO, Ovizio 27
  27. 27. HealthCardio3 BioSciences Interview with Christian Homsy, CEO, Cardio3 BioSciences CaRDIO3 BIOSCIENCESCardio3 BioSciences Ò fOUNDED IN 2007 Ò 50 EMPLOyEESThere is still no systemic solution for heart disease� The Ò €38 MILLION Of fINaNCINg tOresponse of Cardio3 BioSciences has been to launch itself DatEinto regenerative medicine, reconstructing the hearts of peoplesuffering from these diseases� Ò NEaRLy €15 MILLION IN SUBSIDIES ORIn a fruitful collaboration with the Mayo Clinic in the US, the RECOvERaBLE aDvaNCEScompany developed a technology permitting laboratory fROM REgIONaLreproduction of the natural development of embryonic cells aUtHORItIESinto heart tissue� This technology has since been transferredto adult stem cells from cardiac patients, which are also trans-formed into cardiac tissue cells� This advance has now beensuccessfully applied in a Phase II study� A Phase III study willstart later this year, principally in the United States�"There are many companies working in the field of cardiacregeneration, but we have the only technology based on “We will stay in Belgium”differentiation of naive cells into heart cells� We are also the “The Belgian tax system for patents is extremely advantageous,furthest ahead in product development," explains Christian and an important reason for us to be here,” said ChristianHomsy, CEO of Cardio3 BioSciences� The company has Homsy� Other factors are the geographic concentration ofderived other applications from its technology: allogenic and high-tech industry in the country, and - above all - the engage-a-cellular approaches based on proteins are being explored, ment of politicians� “We are delighted with the support wealong with a catheter to optimize the retention of products have received from the Walloon Region through investmentwhen they are injected� aids and recoverable advances”� Another advantage of Belgium is its social environment, “contrary to what is heard abroad,” according to Christian Homsy� The companys boss is equally happy with the quality “We have had offers to of Belgian researchers: “There are highly skilled technicians, move elsewhere, in fact we motivated and committed, and top-class managers� And when you need to find them elsewhere, it is easy to bring still get them, but we have them into Belgium�” the firm intention of staying in Belgium�” Christian Homsy, CEO, Cardio3 BioSciences 28
  28. 28. Clear policy decisions Future development 2. HealtH • Cardio3 BioSciences "We will soon create a subsidiary in the US to manage ourEvery country is in favor of supporting the biotechnology sec- Phase III study, and well probably have a production planttor, but in Belgium this decision is embedded in an effective there by the time we get closer to marketing�" For Cardio3administration: "Whenever we had a project that could qualify BioSciences, a US location would boost visibility and providefor state support, we secured the funding� The administration greater access to capital�was there for us from day one, and it is still there�"The aid was vital to the enterprise while capital was scarce:"Its helpful, even if it is not a substitute for the professionals inthe financing market�" Against this backdrop of financial difficul-ties and limited private financing, the Belgian public authoritiesprovide a vital lifeline� The presence of large pharmaceuticalcompanies is also an advantage when looking for financialpartnerships� “It’s easy to work here� I’ve worked in france, England, and elsewhere, and it’s always more complicated�” Christian Homsy, CEO, Cardio3 BioSciences 29
  29. 29. HealthArtelis aRtELIS Ò fOUNDED IN 2005 Ò 40 Staff Ò aCQUIRED IN NOvEMBER 2010 By atMI, a US COMPaNy WHICH HaSInterview with BEEN a PaRtNER SINCE 2006Hugues Bultot, Ò €600,000 IN StaRt-UP aID fROM INNOvIRISCEO, artelis Ò LOCatED IN tHE SOLvay INCUBatEUR IN BRUSSELS, SOLvay R&tBreakthrough technology Better togetherArtelis is the perfect example of a truly Belgian success story� In 2007, the company joined up with ATMI LifeSciences ofFounded in 2005 with the support of the Brussels-Capital the US, which invested €2 million in Artelis capital� FromRegion and Solvays Research and Technology Center, the then on, the US group increased its stake, and became thecompany quickly developed leading-edge expertise in services owner in November 2010�to the biotechnology industry, and especially in cell therapyand virus production� “This acquisition is the clear demonstration of our success, for everyone involved� ATMI LifeSciences has real businessArtelis became famous for its iCELLisTM disposable bioreac- and investment plans for the site here� It aims to turn it intotor� With this technology, it is now possible to obtain and its worldwide hub for its cell culture�” The choice is dictatedmaintain a high density of cells in macrocarriers, boosting by the advantages in logistics that the Brussels region offerscell culture productivity 20 to 100 times above that in con- - close to major highways and air routes - and by the avail-ventional reactors� ability of quality human resources� The strategic location is also a key factor, midway between the Walloon Region, with its particularly dynamic life sciences sector, and the Flemish Region, with its advanced mechanical engineering� Funding by major industry groups “It’s thanks to our location in Brussels, the loan from The company decided early on to finance itself through part- Solvay, and the assistance nerships with major industrial groups: “We set out straight away in search of corporate venturing and open innovation, from the Brussels Region that because that provides great security, even though it can limit we have been so successful�” independence,” says Hugues Bultot� Hugues Bultot, CEO, Artelis This is another of the advantages of Belgium: the presence of large international groups gives Belgian companies access to financing facilities with clear exit strategies� 30
  30. 30. Artelis and the United States Innoviris, innovation at theThe acquisition of Artelis by ATMI opens a new chapter in heart of Europethe US for Hugues Bultot: “We are a company which was “Innoviris is the demonstration of a high degree ofborn global,” he says� And the BIO exhibition, which the proactivity and a deep understanding of the sector,”company has taken part in for the last five years, has played says Hugues Bultot� “It was particularly valuable toan important role in Artelis’ international strategy� us in the start-up phase, when it added €600,000 to 2. HealtH • Artelis the €200,000 we put together�” Innoviris is the Brussels Institute for Research and Innovation� It is the administrative body that supports technological innovation and promotion through funding companies and research organizations located in the “We have used the knowhow capital in their R&D and development of prototypes� of biopharmaceutical Under the 2007 support program for life sciences, companies in the Walloon Innoviris helps businesses, research centers and Region to increase our own universities to exploit their innovative potential� So companies benefit from support for technical feasibil- knowhow and to break into a ity studies, intellectual property rights protection and functioning market” experimental R&D projects� Companies in the Brussels Region can receive up to 80% of funding for their Hugues Bultot, CEO, Artelis projects through subsidies and advances� 31