09.07.2018 – Spanish biotechnology attracted more than 150 million Euros in 2017, a 17% increase compared to 2016

 In notas de prensa
  • The Spanish Bioindustry Association (ASEBIO) has presented its ASEBIO 2017 Report including the sector’s most important data, with the participation of the Secretary of State of Universities, Investigation, Development and Innovation, Ángeles Heras
  • ASEBIO has proposed measures to improve the R+D financing system, both by increasing the public budget dedicated to R+D in both its volume and quality as well as expanding the subsidies and non-refundable tranches as opposed to loans
  • The economic impact of the activity of biotech companies has reached 0.7% of the Spanish GDP

Madrid, 9 July 2018. Today, the Spanish Bioindustry Association (ASEBIO) has presented its 2017 ASEBIO Annual Report which includes the Spanish biotechnology sector’s most important data, in a ceremony featuring the participation of the Secretary of State of Universities, Investigation, Development and Innovation, Ángeles Heras.
This benchmark document for Spanish biotechnology includes the sector’s data related to 2017 and the macroeconomic data from the National Statistics Institute (INE) statistical study on Technological Innovation in Biotechnology Companies.

The financial transactions in the Spanish biotechnology sector registered during 2017 represent one of the most important details from the report, which have reached a total of 149 million Euros (without taking into account the value of the acquisitions by Biofabri and the purchase of Biópolis, which has not been made public). This figure represents a 17% growth with regards to the figures from 2016.
The highlights include 27 private capital expansions, valued at 93.7 million Euros (with MedLumics -34.4 million Euros- and Anaconda Biomed -15 million Euros- as the most important); six capital increases by issuing shares for 41 million Euros (Oryzon, Atrys Health, Sygnis, Reig Jofré and Inkemia); 31 complementary financing operations or participative loans for 10.8 million Euros and various operations in the field of crowdfunding.
Venture capital activity has been particularly significant, with 30 million Euros disbursed and 46 million Euros committed, principally by companies such as Ysios Capital Partners, Caixa Capital Risc, CRB, Inveready, Clave Mayor, IUCT Emprén, and so forth.

The report highlights the impact of companies fully dedicated to biotechnology on the economy in 2017, which have contributed 7.3 billion Euros in a direct, indirect and induced manner to the GDP, which signifies 0.7% of the GDP, generating more than 108,000 jobs, of which more than 2,000 are through direct employment. This activity contributes 2.6 billion Euros of revenues to public coffers, according to data extracted in collaboration with the Economic Forecasting Centre (CEPREDE). The total contribution of the biotechnology sector to the economy, both in a direct and induced form, has reached 7.8% of the Spanish GDP.
This year, international expansion has once again been listed as a priority for the companies polled by ASEBIO, with mergers and acquisitions of other companies as the least important action. For 87% of the companies, the need to expand internationally is essential. The preferred markets are the European Union and North America.

If we make an in-depth study of the biotechnology sector’s principal data in Spain collected by the 2016 Poll on Innovation in Companies by the INE, we can observe a certain stagnation in some indicators. In 2016, the poll registered 651 companies dedicated principally to dedicated, a slight contraction with regards to the 654 in 2015. The total number of companies from the biotechnology sector has decreased by more than 200 companies, going from 2,981 to 2,767 in 2016. By areas of activity, in biotech, 66.8% are dedicated to human health and 23.5% to food. The sector’s total investment in R+D was 617 million Euros, which represents a 6.6% increase, a figure that once again demonstrates the private sector’s commitment to research, development and innovation.
By autonomous communities, the ones with the greatest percentage of biotechnology companies are Catalonia, with 19.3%, Andalusia, with 13.5%, and Galicia, with 8.6%. With regards to the companies principally dedicated to biotechnology, 23.3% are in Catalonia, 18.7% in Madrid and 16% in Andalusia.

ASEBIO’s recommendations

ASEBIO considers that the recovery of the biotechnology sector presented ups and downs in 2017, the result of the weaknesses suffered by the Spanish R+D ecosystem and the deficient framework for grants and incentives. The strength of private operators, both the companies with their investment in R+D as well as the specialized investors, have been the principal elements which allow the sector to maintain a certain degree of dynamism, which would have been much greater if it had been mediated with a public commitment with R+D and a competitive incentives framework.

“We’re a special sector: due to our volatility, our levels of risk, due to the extension of our cycles. We’re also a sector which works in very socially sensitive areas: healthcare, the environment, sustainability… We sincerely believe that certain things and others make us worthy of special and specific attention. We do not want privileges. But we do believe that we can say, as is found in the conclusions in this report, that it is necessary for the Administration to pay attention to certain requests”, explained Jordi Martí, president of ASEBIO, during the presentation of the ASEBIO Report.

To do so, we here in ASEBIO make proposals that contribute to resolve the limitations present in the Spanish R+D+I system, of which the biotechnology sector is a key actor.
Among them, we can highlight:

  • Increasing the public budget dedicated to R+D both in terms of volume and quality.
  • Increasing the subsidies and non-reimbursable tranches as opposed to loans.
  • Improving how the public budgets dedicated to R+D are formalised.
  • Articulating retroactive structural measures which solve the problems caused by the policy of loan-based financial aids.
  • Providing continuity to the debt deferment mechanisms.
  • Simplifying and reducing the cost and time necessary to certify investment in R+D and obtaining the reasoned report.
  • Exploring ways to increase the use that companies are making of the cashback mechanism.
  • Enabling the simplest and most agile secondary markets possible in order to transact the deductions and negative Taxable Bases.
  • Continuing to advocate for non-banking financing from technology-based companies.

Other important data from the 2017 report:

  • In Spain 856 patents were published in the sector, which represents a 5% increase. Of these, 66% are requests, and the rest are concessions.
  • 177 scientific publications from 35 ASEBIO members (BTI Biotechnology, Pharmamar and Almirall in first, second and third place, respectively).
  • 135 partnerships, of which almost 46% were made with a public entity.
  • 100 product or service launches to the market.
  • 33 companies have been identified which started their activity in 2017, with Andalusia, together with the Basque Country and Catalonia as the autonomous communities with the most companies created.
  • We feature 37 companies present in 41 markets on five continents (46% in Europe and 26% in Latin America), with 133 subsidiaries abroad.

​The official sponsors of this report are Merck and Ferrer.

The hashtag for the report presentation is #InformeASEBIO2017

Caption: Jordi Martí, President of ASEBIO
For more information:
Lucía Cecilia
Communications Director of ASEBIO
Telephone: + 34 91 2109374/10
Mobile phone: + 34 663 117 293 e-mail: lcecilia@asebio.com
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