European Biotech Struggles to Thrive - Pharmaceutical Executive

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European Biotech Struggles to Thrive
The outlook of the European biotech sector may not be as bleak as apparently believed despite the current economic climate.




Outlook in Europe

The European Commission has recognised that the biotech sector is vital to the regional economy and environment for innovation. It has committed to creating conditions that will allow biotech companies to prosper and be competitive (16). Part of the Commission’s role is to coordinate with member states to fulfil these objectives. However, in the current economic environment, some national governments, such as France, appear to be wavering in their support for the sector. European biotech companies also need external support from investors, which has been proven difficult to achieve.

While regional analyses paint a depressing picture of the biotech sector, many argue that this view does not represent the whole story for Europe. For example, despite many companies struggling because of the tough economic environment, the UK is believed to have a positive outlook. The UK government has publicly stated its support for the biotech sector and companies are attracting direct interest and funding from major pharmaceutical companies. If a new generation of UK biotech firms can mature in the current operating environment, it will give hope to other ambitious companies in the European sector.

References

1. J.W. Scannell et al., . 11 (3) 191-200 (2012).

2. PJ Online website, “Innovation decline is a myth, new research suggests,” www.pjonline.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

3. R. Zwahlen R, 9 (11) 867-882 (2010).

4. FierceBiotech website, “Biotech venture rounds dwindle in Europe, tracking U.S. trend,” www.fiercebiotech.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

5. Ernst & Young website, “Beyond Borders. Global biotechnology report 2012,” www.ey.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

6. Ernst & Young website, “What Europe has to offer biotechnology companies,” www.ey.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

7. European Biotechnology News, “Why biotech needs Europe – and Europe needs biotech,” Press Release, 11 Dec. 2012.

8. FierceBiotech website, “France Biotech presents the results of its tenth annual “Life Science Panorama 2011” survey, conducted in partnership with Ernst & Young,” www.fiercebiotech.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

9. BIA website, “Our Sector,” www.bioindustry.org, accessed 27 Feb. 2013. Business Weekly, “Pfizer ramps up Cambridge collaborations,” Press Release, 26 Mar. 2012.

10. PharmaTimes website, “Pfizer UK and Ziarco announce tie-up,” www.pharmatimes.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

11. The Telegraph, “GlaxoSmithKline backs 170m science park project that would create up to 3,000 jobs,” Press Release, 13 Oct. 2009.

12. AlderleyEdge website, “AstraZeneca secures 5m grant for potential BioScience park,” www.alderleyedge.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

13. GSK website, “Innovation and investment,” www.gsk.com, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

14. Pharmaceutical Field website, “GSK and J&J invest in biotech fund,” www.pharmafield.co.uk, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.

15. European Commission website, “Enterprise and Industry: EU Biotechnology Policies,” www.ec.europa.eu, accessed 27 Feb. 2013.


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