Biotech in Germany

  • Author:
  • Published: 01 April 2014
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA
  • Source / Publisher: analytica pro 2014
  • Associated Societies: Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh), Germany
thumbnail image: Biotech in Germany

The German biotech industry is developing only slowly. In 2012, the number of companies grew by only 2.3%, their workforce by 6.9 %, and their revenues by 10.7%.

The ten top-selling drugs worldwide include five biopharmaceuticals. Medical biotech companies in Germany have so far not developed any blockbuster drug, and in 2012 they did not gain approval to market a new drug. However, a growing trend of the pharmaceutical industry is to outsource their research, which leads to increased cooperation between the pharmaceutical industry and biotech companies.

Industrial biotech companies are benefiting from changes in politics and society. As part of the Bioeconomy Initiative, the Federal Government encourages unusual alliances between biotech companies and other industries. For example, microorganisms should in the future be used to convert CO2 emissions of the steel industry into basic chemicals and other high-value products. Also, the use of renewable resources instead of fossil resources and the public awareness of bio-based products are growing. Due to this, chemical and consumer industry companies, such as BASF and DSM, cooperate more and more with biotech companies.

The lack of venture capital is still the main problem for the biotech industry in Germany. The total sum of venture capital was about 190.000.000 EUR (approx. $262.000.000) in 2013. This is equivalent to the average of the years 2008 to 2012.

As a conclusion, biotech companies should not position themselves as developers of a single active compound, but as a provider of a technology platform. Large chemical and pharmaceutical companies are desperately looking for new ideas for future-oriented products.

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