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The financing of biopharmaceutical product development in Europe
The Framework Contract of Sectoral Competitiveness Studies – ENTR/06/054
European Commission European Commission Enterprise and Industry Enterprise and Industry
This report was prepared with the help of funding from the European Commission's Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme (EIP) under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP).
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Study on the competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry – The financing of biopharmaceutical product development in Europe
The Framework Contract of Sectoral Competitiveness Studies – ENTR/06/054
Report prepared by Danish Technological Institute for the European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry
Copenhagen/Brussels, October 2009
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defining the different development stages 3.4 Impact of the financial crisis 5. Introduction 2.1.3 Representativeness of the interviewed enterprises 22.214.171.124.2.1 Development of biopharmaceutical products 4. The capital base available for the biopharmaceutical sector 5.4 R&D cost for developing drug candidates 4.4 Selection of case studies 126.96.36.199 Grouping the biopharmaceutical enterprises 6.2.1 Different sources of capital 5. The biopharmaceutical sector 4.1 Financing gaps in biopharmaceutical product development 5.3 Defining the biopharmaceutical industry 2.3 Comparing the capital supply for life sciences in the US and Europe 5.5 Conclusions 6. The framework and methodology 3. Executive summary 2.2.2 The biopharmaceutical sector – key figures 4.1 The pipeline of the biopharmaceutical sector 6.1 Establishing the inventory of biopharmaceutical enterprises for the survey 3.3 Conclusion 1 5 5 6 6 6 8 9 11 11 12 12 14 14 16 17 17 20 23 23 25 27 27 27 29 30 33 35 37 37 39 41 41 42 43 45 46 .2 Defining business activities 2.3 Drug development .2 Methodological approach 3.1 The overall conceptual framework 3.2 Capital supply in Europe 5.2 Implementation of the survey 3.1 Number of drug candidates in the pipeline 6.2 Challenges facing the European venture capital industry 5.1 Different forms of capital 5.1 From biotechnology sector to the biopharmaceutical sector 2.1 Background 2.3. Strategies for product development 6.2 Objective of the study 2.1.Table of Contents 1.2 Venture capital investment strategies 5.5 Conclusion 5.1.3 Business dynamics within the biotechnology sector 4.2 Strategies for bringing the drug candidates to the market 6.3.
2 Recommendations focusing on increasing the access to finance for biopharmaceutical companies 9.3 Weaknesses 9.1 Regulatory environment 57 8.2 International markets – barriers. Strategic outlook– conclusion and recommendations 9.1.3 Need for capital 7. Denmark BioArctic Neuroscience AB. France Oryzon Genomics.6 Conclusion and recommendations 9. Financing strategies 7. distortions and negotiations 64 9.2 Strengths 9. Sweden Apogenix.1 Recommendations addressing early stage drug development 9.6.1-8 .5. Germany MolMed.5 Threats 9.2 Access to capital 7. United Kingdom 67 67 68 69 71 71 73 74 75 77 79 87 88 89 95 101 107 113 119 125 129 2.7 Conclusions 47 47 48 51 52 52 53 54 54 56 8. Policy and regulation 57 8.1 SWOT analysis 9.6.1 Capital raised for drug development 7.1.3 Improving framework conditions for the biopharmaceutical sector and venture capital Bibliography Annex 1: List of interviewed expert Annex 2: Case studies Symphogen A/S.4 Opportunities 9. Italy Innate Pharma. Switzerland Cellzome.6.1 External barriers 7.5.7. Spain Arpida.6 Exit strategies of investors 7.5 Impact of capital shortage 7.2 Internal barriers 7.2 Regulatory measures related to product development and commercialisation 61 8.1 Public policy and regulation related to funding 57 8.4 Impact of financial crisis 7.
This also includes firms specialized in the development of research tools for this objective (“platform firms”). the biopharmaceutical sector is facing 1) a structural funding problem relating to the sector’s risk profile. Developing new biopharmaceutical products is very capital-intensive and it takes up to 10-15 years to bring a new product to the market. this biopharmaceutical sector has become one of the most research-intensive sectors with a great potential for delivering innovative human medicines in the future. and 3) a historical funding problem due to the financial crisis. As a result. and the European venture capital market is not sufficiently developed to support the biopharmaceutical sector. and enterprises involved in the production of biosimilars. new statistical data gathered through a survey of biopharmaceutical companies in Europe (carried out in May 2009 where 87 enterprises participated in the survey ). Executive summary A small and specialised sector of research-intensive SMEs in the biotechnology industry focuses on the discovery and development of innovative biopharmaceutical medicines for human healthcare. In addition. The biopharmaceutical sector is defined as enterprises focused on discovery and development of biopharmaceutical products for human healthcare.1. These characteristics make the biopharmaceutical sector less attractive to investors compared to other sectors. Moreover. Objectives of the study The European Commission has launched a study on the access to finance for biopharmaceutical companies in Europe to analyse these challenges and to formulate evidence-based policy recommendations that can support the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the European biopharmaceutical sector. eight in-depth case studies of European 1 . and improve public health by ensuring that new innovative medicines are developed. but excludes bio-manufacturing enterprises. biotechnology enterprises providing services to biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical enterprises. Within the last 10-15 years. based on tools and approaches from modern biotechnology. 2) a supply side problem due to the challenges facing the European venture capital industry. the financial crisis has limited the funding available to investments and made investors more risk-adverse. Consequently. a dedicated effort to support the biopharmaceutical sector in Europe can promote economic growth and employment in Europe. Investors are therefore focusing their investments on late-stage biopharmaceutical companies or investing in other sectors that are considered less risky than the biopharmaceutical sector. The study is based on desk research of reports and existing studies. there is a high risk of failure compared to other sectors. In turn. many biopharmaceutical companies – especially in the early stages of product development – are struggling to gain access to funding for their R&D activities. The challenge for Europe The European biopharmaceutical sector faces a huge challenge concerning access to finance. much more capital is invested in life sciences in the US than in Europe. In terms of capital supply.
late-stage companies are also struggling to gain access to capital at the moment. more than 40% of the biopharmaceutical enterprises will need to raise capital within the next year to maintain their current activity level. on the one hand. On the other hand. often have only limited resources. manufacturing and marketing (late stage) The survey of biopharmaceutical companies in Europe shows that the early-stage companies are finding it more difficult to gain access to funding. Among the surveyed enterprises. and only few (17%) biopharmaceutical companies in the survey indicate that they intend to bring products to the market on their own.biopharmaceutical companies (carried out in May and June 2009) and interviews with experts. The survey is representative of the European biopharmaceutical sector. but three major funding gaps relating to the different stages of product development can be identified: • First funding gap: obtaining funding for platform development and pre-clinical development (early stage) • Second funding gap: obtaining funding for clinical trials phases 1 and 2 (middle stage) • Third funding gap: obtaining funding for clinical trials phase 3. 75% of the biopharmaceutical enterprises in the survey indicate that the financial crisis has made access to capital more difficult. Product development strategies in Europe There is a symbiotic relationship between the biopharmaceutical sector and the pharmaceutical sector. Biopharmaceutical enterprises. This result is very much in line with the results of other studies. Approx. and .in a wider perspective – European innovation. and they may gain access to capital by selling/out-licensing drug candidates or establishing alliances with pharmaceutical companies. the product pipeline of many of the large pharmaceutical companies is drying out and the research projects in the biopharmaceutical sector thus constitute an opportunity for the pharmaceutical companies to ‘fill up’ their own pipelines with promising biotechnology-based drug candidates. economic growth and employment. The dominant product development strategy is aimed at either entering into alliances and/or outlicensing the drug candidates to reach the market. 2 . If the funding situation continues to be critical. However. In line with expectations. The need for better access to capital is evident in all phases of product development. but with a bias towards the smaller and younger enterprises as this has been a key sampling criterion for the European Commission. The financial crisis has especially limited the access to capital via an IPO or venture capital. The demand for capital The survey of biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe shows that they lack access to capital. This may eventually have a negative impact on drug development activities in Europe. the biopharmaceutical enterprises indicate that they will probably have to postpone new R&D activities or reduce the number of drug candidates. the survey shows that the financial crisis has had a negative impact on the access to capital for enterprises in the European biopharmaceutical sector. This symbiotic relationship is reflected in the survey of European biopharmaceutical enterprises.
Impact of the financial crisis The financial crisis has had a negative impact on investments in all industry sectors even though it difficult to estimate how much the total venture capital market has been reduced. while their share of early-stage investments has declined thus making early-stage funding a more serious challenge for new biopharmaceutical companies. capital-intensive. the government has launched a package of measures to help the Norwegian biotechnology industry through the financial crisis. sector such as the biopharmaceutical sector. Venture capital is the most important capital source for European biotech companies. Yet. and other initiatives are currently discussed in other European countries to ensure that the biopharmaceutical sector can survive the crisis. and the performance of the European biopharmaceutical drug developing companies depends on access to capital from venture capital funds or large pharmaceutical companies. One of the major changes is that venture capitalists have increased their share of late stage investment.The capital supply in Europe Comparing the investments in life sciences in the US and Europe. while the share of the EU Member States is 20%. This gives the US biopharmaceutical companies a comparative advantage over European biopharmaceutical companies. for instance. the European VC funds may even be too small to ensure sufficient capital for follow-on investments or develop the expertise needed to invest in the biopharmaceutical sector. the analysis shows that the US is the world leader in life sciences investments accounting for two thirds of the total venture capital investments in life sciences. The European venture capital industry The amount of capital invested in each biopharmaceutical company largely determines the company’s level of activity and the strategic options available to the company. The early stage is increasingly dominated by private investors such as business angels as well as public incubators and state-backed investors. A possible explanation for this under-funding of companies in Europe is that the European venture capital industry is more fragmented than the US VC industry and that there is less capital available to the funds in Europe than in the US. In Norway. 3 . The supply of capital in different development stages of biopharmaceutical product development is undergoing several changes. Studies indicate that Europe has 64% more VC funds than the US. Several European countries have launched new funding initiatives to ensure that the national biotechnology sectors are in a better position to deal with the financial crisis and the risk that their funding may dry out. the financial crisis constitutes a serious threat to the future development of the sector. Data on the average amount of capital invested in companies suggests that European venture capital funds support too many companies with insufficient funding. European funds manage 50% less capital in total. For a highrisk. Moreover.
In fact. New accelerating tech transfer models need to be explored by the biopharmaceutical sector. One solution is to support micro-funds and investments by business angels in early-stage biopharmaceutical companies through public co-investments and tax incentives. and policy makers should therefore consider expanding the current timeframe of the YIC scheme from eight to 15 years. Such sector-specific measures would constitute a new approach in European industrial policy (compared to the current horizontal approach) that could successfully support the future development.Recommendations Currently the biotechnology industry has insufficient access to finance. European and national policy makers will also need to consider the geographical reach of the existing funding mechanisms at European and national level to ensure that global funding opportunities are exploited. public authorities and the investor community. The fund should focus on investing in biopharmaceutical companies based on principles of economies of scale and specialisation to provide sufficient funds and act as highly qualified and professional fund within biopharmaceuticals. 4) The establishment of such a fund will increase the public co-investments in the European biopharmaceutical sector. 5) Finally. the effects of these different models have not yet been analysed. The fund should operate on market conditions to ensure that funding is allocated to biopharmaceutical companies with a substantial market potential. innovative capacity and competitiveness of the European biopharmaceutical sector. However. Consequently. Consequently. This could include speeding up the centralised procedure for marketing authorisation (EMEA) and adopting the successful Young Innovative Companies (YIC) scheme in European countries. high risk of failure) by considering sector-specific policy measures targeting the special needs of the biopharmaceutical sector. The effectiveness of biopharmaceutical R&D and commercialisation needs to be improved to ensure that the sector is competitive and able to attract private funding. policy makers need to support early-stage investments to ensure that innovative companies continue their development activities. we propose the following policy actions to make it easier for European pharmaceutical companies to gain access to capital: 1) Increasing public co-investments in venture funds focusing on biopharmaceutical companies is only part of the solution. However. the framework conditions for both biopharmaceutical companies and the venture capital industry in Europe should be improved to better support the development and competitiveness of these two industries. the scheme does not currently consider the structural characteristics of the biopharmaceutical sector. However. Based on the analysis. 3) Policy makers should consider increasing the availability of risk capital to biopharmaceutical companies by establishing a European Biopharmaceutical Innovation Fund. the European Commission should recognise the unique structural characteristics of the biopharmaceutical sector (capital-intensive. 2) The lack of capital is especially a challenge for biopharmaceutical companies in the early stages of product development. the European Commission should consider a mapping and an in-depth analysis of the effects of different models used within and outside Europe (good practice). long time to market. 4 . The analysis suggests that future financing regimes should ensure that the sector has better opportunities to access finance in the product development process.
and US enterprises are able to raise twice as much venture capital compared to European enterprises. European enterprises only have access to a fifth of the private equity finance that US enterprises have. In its 2007 Communication on the midterm review of the Strategy on Life Sciences and Biotechnology. biopharmaceuticals require large investments.2.europa.europarl. Other industrial sectors also use scientific discoveries in the biopharmaceutical sector to develop novel products and improve production methods. Source: Pro Inno Europe (2008): European Innovation Scoreboard 2007 4 Europeabio press release. JRC/IPTS. medicines deriving from biotech innovations (biopharmaceuticals) are estimated to account for approx. Danish Technological Institute (DTI) conducted the study in cooperation with the ECORYS SCS Consortium.1 The importance of the biopharmaceutical sector in relation to the pharmaceutical industry is growing. 20% of all marketed medicines and represent around 50% of all new medicines in the pipeline (Europabio (2009).htm European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises estimates that – on average – the process of developing and bringing a new drug to market takes between 10 to 15 years with an estimated average cost of more than €1.2 European biotech enterprises are unable to raise as much capital as US biotech enterprises.3 The substantial differences in the availability of and access to capital for biotech enterprises in Europe and the US have lead European stakeholders such as Europabio to conclude that the European biotech industry “shows signs of chronic underfunding”.eu/summits/lis1_en. Thus. According to the Europabio 2006 study.1 Background The European biopharmaceutical sector is an important platform for developing innovative products and services that may contribute to Europe’s competitiveness in the world market and ensure the health and well-being of citizens around the world. the Commission argued that the growth and economic sustainability of Europe's biotech enterprises are being held back by three main European Parliament website. 2. The time to market is relatively long and the risk of failure when developing new biopharmaceuticals is very high.This makes biotechnology vital in the context of realising the major European goal of becoming ‘the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion’. The lack of adequate access to funding may in turn have a very negative effect on the level of innovation in the European biotechnology sector and the sector’s global competitiveness. 30th May 2006 2 11 5 . Introduction This report is part of the framework contract on Sectoral Competitiveness Studies (ENTR/06/054).000 million. These characteristics of the biopharmaceutical sector affect the willingness of external investors to invest in the development of new biopharmaceuticals. http://www. However.4 The European Commission has addressed the funding problems facing the European biotech industry on several occasions. Bio4EU 2008). Source: European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (2008): Annual highlights 2007/2008 3 The 2007 European Innovation Scoreboard indicates that the EU is experiencing a declining gap with the US in earlystage venture capital. The potential scientific and socio-economic impacts of the sector are thus substantial (European Commission 2006.
5 This size criterion implies that we have excluded large enterprises from the study. national and European levels. venture capital funds. the study only includes small and medium sized biopharmaceutical enterprises. A key element in the study is the collection of new and unique data on the funding situation for European biopharmaceutical enterprises and its impact on strategies and performance. we analyse and describe the challenges that Europe faces regarding supply of risk and debt capital. to alter living or nonliving materials 5 EU website. Based on this data.constraints: Europe's fragmented patent system. These two dimensions define the target group of the study and will be discussed in further detail below. the Commission suggested that policy measures could improve framework conditions to make enterprises more attractive for earlyand late-stage investors and increase the overall availability of investment capital for European biotechnology enterprises.1 From biotechnology sector to the biopharmaceutical sector Modern biotechnology . etc. 2. Furthermore. products and models thereof. the financing problem was explicitly addressed and two likely causes for the inadequate access to finance in Europe were identified. The Communication was followed by an analysis of the overall competitive position of the European biotechnology sector in July 2007. insufficient supply of risk capital and shortcomings in the cooperation between science and business (European Commission 2007). small and medium sized enterprises are defined as independent enterprises with fewer than 250 employees.eu/scadplus/leg/en/lvb/n26026. However.2 Objective of the study The study aims at analysing the access to finance for European companies developing biopharmaceutical products.3. According to the official EU definition of SMEs.htm 6 . we analyse the ways that biopharmaceutical enterprises benefit from various funding sources and what strategies they have adopted to achieve growth and revenue generation. In this context. In this analysis. On this basis. http://europa. they are still relevant as partnering companies or as a source of funding together with banks. the biopharmaceutical industry is defined according to a definition of biopharmaceutical products as well as to business activities related to the development new biopharmaceutical drugs and medicine.3 Defining the biopharmaceutical industry The study's focus on “biopharmaceutical product development” means that it only deals with one subsector within the biotechnology industry. namely underdeveloped venture capital markets and the fragmentation of financial markets (European Commission 2007b). as well as parts. We also provide good practice examples that may provide inspiration to policy makers and stakeholders at the regional. 2. even though large enterprises have been excluded from the study. 2.defined as ‘the application of science and technology to living organisms. Furthermore.
1: The biotechnology sector – technologies and products Red biotech (biomedical) Biopharmaceuticals Medical devices Green biotech Diagnostics White biotech Red biotech can be further divided into three subsectors. This study of the financing of biopharmaceutical product development focuses exclusively on biotech-based therapies and preventives. increasing the efficiency of substances used in industrial production). Biotechnology used in the treatment of human beings is often referred to as ‘Red biotechnology’. cf. increasing the resistance of plants to specific diseases) or for industrial purposes (e. Exhibit 2. Exhibit 2. tissue engineering) • Stem cells • Gene therapy • Enzymes • Recombinant vaccines and therapeutic vaccines 7 . on the other hand.g. medical devices. and diagnostics using biotechnology as the main technological platform. IPTS 2007): • Recombinant insulins • Other recombinant hormones • Growth factors (including erythropoietin’s) • Recombinant blood factors • Recombinant thrombolytic • Interferon’s and interleukins • Monoclonal and engineered antibodies • Cell-based therapies (e. namely biopharmaceuticals for human healthcare including different biotechnology-based therapies and preventives..enables the development of new products and services in a wide range of economic sectors. refer to use of biotechnology in agriculture (e.. ‘Green’ and ‘White’ biotechnology.1.. industrial production and healthcare. including agricultural production. This includes diagnosis of health risks and the prevention and treatment of illnesses.g.for the production of knowledge.g. food processing. goods and services’ (OECD 2005) . The specific types of biopharmaceutical products that are relevant to this study include (Rader 2005.
2. 2006). As the study only focuses on biotech for human healthcare (´red biotech’). Exhibit 2.2. may result in the exclusion of enterprises that have left the drug discovery phase and are either carrying out clinical trials or applying for drug approval. The OECD distinguishes between biotechnology active enterprises defined as “a firm engaged in key biotechnology activities such as the application of at least one biotechnology technique to produce goods or services and/or the performance of biotechnology R&D” and dedicated biotechnology enterprises defined as “biotechnology active firm whose predominant activity involves the application of biotechnology techniques to produce goods or services and/or the performance of biotechnology R&D” (OECD 2005). 2008). These two OECD definitions are very broad and may include enterprises that do not carry out research and development of biopharmaceutical products. we can use the OECD definition of biotechnology enterprises as a starting point for defining a biopharmaceutical enterprise. Exhibit 2. There are many definitions of ‘biopharmaceuticals’ and this complicates the definition and identification of biopharmaceutical enterprises (Rader 2005). cf.2: Defining a ‘biopharmaceutical enterprise A narrower definition of biopharmaceutical enterprises can be found in a recent comparative analysis of Danish and Swedish drug discovery firms (Valentin et al. Focusing on research only.2 Defining business activities The study only focus on enterprises specialised in biopharmaceutical drug discovery and product development (referred to as ‘biopharmaceutical enterprises’ in the following).3. 8 . This definition of drug discovery firms (DDFs) refers to enterprises that “do very little else than biotech research” (Valentin et al. however.
clinical trials. John.3 Drug development . the target groups of this study are enterprises focused on discovery and development of biopharmaceutical products for human healthcare. we have excluded bio-manufacturing enterprises. The biopharmaceutical firms will typically develop new medicines based on a technology platform. This study focuses explicitly on the different development stages to better understand the challenges facing companies in the process of developing new drugs and to provide policy recommendations that Examples of specialised service companies are Clinical Research organisation (CRO) specialised i clinical trials and procedures for approval of new medicine as well as Contract Manufacturing Organisation (CMO) specialised in bringing or scaling test and research results into manufacturing 7 The value chain of development of new biopharmaceutical product consists typically of several business activities such as basic research. based on tools and approaches from modern biotechnology including firms specialized in the development of research tools for this objective (“platform firms”). Enterprises that have actually managed to introduce a product on the market may also be part of the target group if they are currently involved in biopharmaceutical R&D. The main challenge for many drug-discovering companies is to move from the early stage in the value chain to reach the market with new products. Rose (2004)) 6 9 . This technology platform represents scientific knowledge and tools for drug development. verification and validation. 2. Damian and Barnard. manufacturing and marketing (Kapeleris.testing in a larger group of people (100-300) Clinical trial phase 3 . Some of these firms will give up their ambition to develop their own new drug candidates and become pure service providers while other firms are hybrids operating both as a platform company and a drug discovery firm (Lanza 2009). However. Thus. we define the target group for this study in line with the OECD definition of a dedicated biotech enterprise. Such a continuous and stepwise development model typically consists of the following stages: • Development of a technological platform – identification of (the technological potential • • • • • for) new drug candidates Pre-clinical test involving in vitro (test tube) and in vivo (animal) experiments Clinical trial phase 1.Therefore. The target group thus constitutes an important part of the category defined by OECD as Dedicated Biotech Firms. biotechnology enterprises providing services to biopharmaceutical and pharmaceutical enterprises6 and enterprises involved in the production of biosimilars. some firms become specialized in the development of research tools and services based on their technology platform (platform firms) as a service to make the R&D process more efficient and predictable. applied research. development.testing in a small group of people (20-80) Clinical trial phase 2.test on large groups of people Later stages including authorization.7 However.defining the different development stages Drug development is very often understood as a ‘trial and error’ process from the initial research results to the final market introduction of the new product. prototype development. and companies will face different financial challenges in the respective stages of the development process.3. manufacturing and marketing The access to finance for biopharmaceutical companies largely depends on an assessment of the risks and uncertainties related to these different development stages. The challenge for the biopharmaceutical sector is to develop new medicine based on new scientific knowledge and research results. Hine.
take these differences into account. However. authorization. we group the stages into early-stage development (development of technological platform and pre-clinical test). manufacturing and marketing). mid-stage (clinical trials phases 1 and 2) and late-stage development (clinical trial phase 3. 10 .
3. The framework and methodology The aim of the conceptual framework is to define the key concepts and delimit the scope of the study.. regulation of biotech research and product development. We structure the analysis of the financing of biopharmaceutical enterprises according to the following analytical model: Exhibit 3. on the performance of enterprises. we will briefly describe key elements of the analytical approach that will guide the analyses. In addition. Such a mismatch may result in a change in strategy by biopharmaceutical enterprises – for instance by relocating from a region with limited access to capital to other regions with better access to capital – and may also affect enterprise performance.1: Conceptual framework Changes in the supply of capital (e. The study will distinguish between the supply of capital to biopharmaceutical enterprises (supply situation) and the impact of the supply situation on strategy and performance of biopharmaceutical enterprises. progress in the development of new drugs) may result in a mismatch between demand and supply of capital..3. Framework conditions include a wide range of factors that may affect the demand and supply of capital as well as enterprise strategies and performance such as regulation and structure of capital markets. in turn. The underlying logic is that the supply situation has an impact on the choice of strategy and thus.g.g. approval procedures as 11 .1 The overall conceptual framework The European Commission has requested an in-depth analysis of the demand for and supply of capital for biopharmaceutical enterprises – in a global perspective as well as focusing on developments in the EU’s internal market. decreased risk tolerance among investors) or in the demand for capital (e.
. attitudes towards entrepreneurs). industry representatives.g. risk attitude in society.1 Establishing the inventory of biopharmaceutical enterprises for the survey The ‘biopharmaceutical industry’ does not exist in official statistical industry classifications (i. The case studies are enclosed in Annex 2. Survey of 87 European biopharmaceutical enterprises carried out as telephone interviews. OECD 2008). strategic choices and perceptions in the industry. Eurostat. access of enterprises to international markets (Romain & Pottelsberghe 2004. Instead. and much of the basic statistical data on the sector is therefore not available (European Commission 2007b). 3.well as cultural aspects (e. A key challenge is to identify and select biopharmaceutical enterprises for the survey.2 Methodological approach Our methodological approach to examining and analysing the competitiveness of the European biopharmaceutical industry with a particular focus on the financing of biopharmaceutical product development in Europe is based on the following sources of data and information: • • • • Desk research (literature review) focusing on relevant European and foreign publications and the collection of statistical data (OECD. flexibility of labour markets.e. These interviews provide mainly information on key issues related to the financing of biopharmaceutical product development and help identify good practice examples. much of the existing data on the sector is based on surveys carried out among a selection of biopharmaceutical companies. 3. The survey and case studies constitute the main evidence base for this study. These case studies provide qualitative information on enterprise strategies and impacts of the capital supply situation on performance. EBE. Interviews with experts (venture capital funds. The enterprise were interviewed in May and June 2009 Case studies of eight biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe. The list of experts interviewed is enclosed in Annex 1. Moreover. In several cases they have been able to 12 . degree of public involvement in R&D.2. Biopharmaceutical clusters represent a high concentration of relevant enterprises as well as a concentration of potential capital suppliers such as venture capital funds and big pharmaceutical companies. The target group ‘biopharmaceutical enterprises’ was defined as small and medium sized enterprises focused on discovery and development of biopharmaceutical products for human healthcare. Europabio. there is no official Eurostat data on the sector and there is no public register of biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe. Below.. The survey provides mainly quantitative data on the financial situation. NACE codes). we describe our approach to preparing and carrying out the survey and case studies. In fact.). based on tools and approaches from modern biotechnology which also includes firms specialized in the development of research tools for this objective (“platform firms”). EFPIA etc. researchers and government officials). the contact information for the biopharmaceutical enterprises was collected via the regional and national cluster organisations in Europe. Unfortunately. the national and regional biotech organisations have ‘local’ knowledge about enterprises in their region or Member State.
South Baden and Northwest Switzerland Berlin Brandenburg Metropolitan Region Rhine‐Neckar‐region Kozep‐Magyarorszag (Budapest) Lombardy Milano Catalonia Stockholm and Uppsala England. we screened the homepage of each of the companies to ensure that the core activity of the companies was biopharmaceutical product development. some potential or pure platform firms could be included in the samples as they also represent the first stage of product development and/or hybrid forms between product development and service providers. Europe INNOVA and the European Commission.htm 8 13 . Switzerland and Germany Germany Germany Hungary Italy Spain Sweden UK Region Copenhagen and the Scania (Skåne) Region Marseille Alsace.europa. In this way. An appropriate geographical distribution in order to ensure that the study provides a representative picture of the state of affairs in Europe. 2. 3. Cambridge Our contact with the regional associations and cluster organisations enabled us to put together a list of biopharmaceutical enterprises.eu/enterprise/phabiocom/comp_biotech_clusters. However.2: Selected biopharmaceutical regions 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Country Denmark/Sweden France France. Finally.9 The clusters were then evaluated according to the following criteria: 1. In some cases the organisations have also been able to provide detailed contact information for local biopharmaceutical enterprises. This definition of biotechnology contains several industry classifications. the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR).clusterobservatory.eu 9 Competitiveness in Biotechnology: ec. As the focus of this study is limited to biopharmaceutical enterprises only a limited number of the clusters identified in the Observatory are relevant for this study. we identified a list of 429 biopharmaceutical enterprises (SMEs).2 below: Exhibit 3.identify enterprises that are relevant to the study. The ten selected biopharmaceutical regions are shown in Exhibit 3. EuropaBio. www. The list was based on information provided by the European Cluster Observatory8. We put together a list of biopharmaceutical/biotech regions and clusters in Europe. An innovative enterprise environment with focus on research and development activities and access to capital. A high concentration of small and medium sized enterprises involved in biopharmaceutical product development. The European Cluster Observatory has identified 36 biotechnology clusters (Identification of the used NACE codes has not been possible).
3 Representativeness of the interviewed enterprises It is difficult to assess the representativeness of the sample of enterprises identified through the regional associations and cluster organisations as there is no official data on biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe. estimated the number of biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe to be approx.3: Implementation of the survey The total sample Total number Vertical of enterprises percentage 1 2 30 12 27 51 12 20 25 88 41 33 46 385 8 3 7 13 3 5 6 23 11 9 12 100 The interviewed enterprises Number of enterprises 3 8 1 6 6 3 4 11 24 9 12 3 87 Vertical percentage 4 9 1 7 7 3 5 13 28 10 14 3 100 Response rate (percentage) 5=3/1 27 8 22 12 25 20 44 27 33 36 7 23 Denmark Belgium France Germany Hungary Italy Spain Sweden Switzerland The Netherlands UK Total A total of 87 interviews were carried out with either a CEO or a CFO. cf.2 Implementation of the survey The survey data was gathered via telephone interviews with CEOs or CFOs of biopharmaceutical companies. Studies carried out by business associations have. The interviews were carried out by English speaking interviewers. the contact information for some 50 enterprises was not up to date or incorrect.2. 14 . Whenever possible the interviews were carried out immediately or else an appointment for an interview was made. The survey was implemented in four steps: • Development of the questionnaire • Pilot test of the questionnaire by interviewing two biopharmaceutical enterprises and subsequent revision of the questionnaire • Sending out a letter of introduction concerning the survey to all enterprises in the survey • Contacting the enterprises by phone.3. however. This number of interviews corresponds to a response rate of 23 percent.2. Exhibit 3. Unfortunately. Exhibit 3. 3. This reduced the number of potential interview cases to 385 enterprises (cf. 800 (EuropaBio 2006.3).
Unfortunately. Exhibit 3. We do find that the number of respondents in the UK and to some extent also in Germany is very low. it is difficult to know whether the country distribution of enterprises is representative for the whole population of European biopharmaceutical enterprises. section 4. This bias does not erode the value of the survey. on the other hand. the survey largely represents the segment of young biopharmaceutical enterprises with significant growth potential rather than the segment of large and more established enterprises.3 15 . but with a bias towards small and young enterprises as this has been a key sampling criterion for the European Commission. In this study. cf. However. sections 4. In other words.2). we consider the sample to be representative of the European biopharmaceutical sector. This suggests that the identified sample of 385 enterprises represents more than half of the biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe. Exhibit 3. Sweden.Section 4. • ‘Young’ enterprises (71 % of the companies are established in year 2000 or later)10. • Research oriented (61% of the employees are researchers and 84% of all business activities are dedicated to product development).2 and 4.4: Number of employees in the interviewed enterprises (N= 87) In conclusion.3 for a general characteristic of the sector. but the reader should keep in mind that the survey only gives a partial picture of the biopharmaceutical sector.4). cf. 10 The same goes for the entire sector. we will refer to the survey as the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey or as the DTIbiopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises. this bias will not have significant impact on the analysis as the focus of the study is on the overall conditions for the biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe and not on differences between the Member States. Looking deeper into the characteristics of the enterprises that participated in the survey. cf. is overrepresented in the survey. we find that the interviewed enterprises are: • Small enterprises (66% of the enterprises have less than 20 employees.
4 Selection of case studies The regional/cluster approach was also used to identify and select enterprises for the case studies. Germany and the UK.3. The regional/cluster organisations were asked if they could recommend any local enterprises within the target group. Switzerland. Spain. The case studies are enclosed in Annex 2. We have carried out eight case studies of enterprises located in Sweden. Our aim has been to cover different types of enterprises in different regions. Italy. France. Denmark. The case studies are based on web research and on an interview with the CEO or CFO using a common semi-structured interview guide for all the case studies. 16 . Furthermore. The information provided by the organisations was validated before the companies were contacted. The case studies represent biopharmaceutical enterprises with drug candidates in different phases of product development and also enterprises with products on the market. the selection of enterprises in different regions has enabled us to examine the impact of differences in regional financing conditions and regulatory frameworks.2.
17 . e. Instead. the introduction of modern biotechnology brought a shift from tissue and cell biochemistry to a focus on molecular structures. The biopharmaceutical sector The aim of this chapter is to give a short presentation of the biopharmaceutical sector based on available statistical information as well as highlighting the characteristics of the sector. Unfortunately.than the defined target group for this study – enterprises focused on discovery and development of biopharmaceutical products for human healthcare. the biopharmaceutical enterprises are included in the statistics for the pharmaceutical sector. Exhibit 4. a range of scientific and technological breakthroughs in biotechnology and nanotechnology has had a tremendous impact on product development in the pharmaceutical sector. However. based on tools and approaches from modern biotechnology which also includes firms specialized in the development of research tools for this objective (“platform firms”). This trend also represents a movement towards an increasing complexity in the development of medicines. The implication is that the biopharmaceutical enterprises are not only facing increased challenges when turning fundamental research into drug development and new medicines.typically the entire biotechnology sector .1 Development of biopharmaceutical products The biopharmaceutical sector is a relatively young sector compared to the pharmaceutical sector which introduced Aspirin® to the market more than a century ago. cf. the sector does not have its own classification in the Eurostat database. they are also facing an increasing need for funding research and early drug development (Ernest & Young 2008). EuropaBio and The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations. recombinant human insulin was approved and soon after introduced to the market (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations 2008). 4. these data sources apply different definitions of biotechnology/biopharmaceutical enterprises and are subject to a range of methodological reservations that need to be taken into account when analysing the biotechnology sector.g. The first (modern) biopharmaceutical technologies were introduced about 40 years ago when the first DNA technology experiment was performed. The most reliable data sources for a quantitative overview of European biopharmaceutical enterprises are OECD’s biotechnology statistics and sector analyses carried out by. Since then. in 1982.4. As a result.. Some 10 years later. in most cases the statistical presentation will include other sectors . biopharmaceutical product development is carried out by pharmaceutical companies as well as by independent biopharmaceutical enterprises established on the basis of research carried out at universities or in pharmaceutical companies (spin-out). Overall. the chemical sector or simply as ‘research and development’. The initial focus on drug discovery and development based on biotechnology was later complemented by research focusing on a better understanding of the causes of diseases by mapping the human genome.1. Today.
However. the total number of “healthcare” patent applications in EU27 is assumed to be below the number of patent applications in the US (Eurostat 2007).2.Exhibit 4. From 1994 the number of biotechnology patents applications increased significantly in the EU27 countries from 1. 65% of US patent applications are within “healthcare” (red biotech). but in recent years a converging trend in the number of patents applications between EU27 and US has been observed.1: A chronology: Research and drug development focus within biopharmaceuticals Source: European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations 2008: The Pharmaceutical industry in figures. In the same period the number of patents application originating in US was significantly higher.200 to 2.. while Germany is the only EU Member State to follow the US.g. In other words.790 patents in 2000. The development and discoveries in biotechnology (e. cf.300 patents per year. Among all the US biotechnology patents. biopharmaceuticals) at the beginning of the 1990s resulted in a wave of patents.315 in 1994 to 2. by 2005 the number of new patents had dropped and seems to have stabilized at a level of 2. Exhibit 4. 18 .
This might indicate a change of focus in the (bio)pharmaceutical industry from developing new medicines to exploring the potential of existing medicines.2: Number of biotechnology patent applications to the European Patent Office by priority year. EU 27 and US. Source: Eurostat database 2009. Ernst & Young (2009) is applying a definition of “biotechnology” corresponding to the both red biotech. 350 were in clinical phase 1. Exhibit 4. analysing the pipeline of the biotechnology companies Ernst & Young (2009) is apparently applying a more narrow definition somewhat equal to the definition of biopharmaceutical companies. The number of applications for new medical products was rather stable from 1996 to 2005 when the number of positive evaluations increased dramatically. Exhibit 2. etc. more than 600 in phase 2 and about 160 drug candidates in clinical trials phase 3 (Ernst & Young 2009). The number of drug candidates in the pipeline (clinical trials phase 1-3) in the European biotechnology industry increased in the period 2006-2008. we observe (especially in 2006 and 2007) an increase in the number of application for new medicinal products.000 of which approx. 11 19 .3. hybrid products.Exhibit 4. Another interesting point is that Ernest & Young (2009) finds that the smaller European biotech companies have less success with regard to approvals. whereas in 2008 almost half of the applications were for generics.11 The development in the number of patents does not seem to have had any impact on the number of drug candidates in the pipeline yet. green biotech and white biotech (cf. the total number of drug candidates in the pipeline was estimated to exceed 1. cf.1) as well as larger companies is included. Looking at the initial evaluation applications by type of application. The European Medicines Agency assesses applications for marketing authorisation for new medicines (biopharmaceuticals as well as traditional pharmaceuticals) for human use. However. In 2008.
According to these studies. Studies covering dedicated biotechnology enterprises12 have identified 2. US companies have developed 54% of the products.163 biotechnology enterprises in Europe (excluding large pharmaceutical enterprises and enterprises in the supplying sectors).2 The biopharmaceutical sector – key figures The biopharmaceutical industry is not a large industrial sector in terms of number of enterprises or employees. 30 to 85 in 2005 in the EU. In contrast. The biopharmaceutical sector is (still) a relatively small industrial subsector compared to other sectors that are also characterised by a high international orientation (high export share) and A definition: biotechnology enterprises includes enterprises whose primary commercial activity depends on the application of biological organisms. EU currently holds a comparatively weak position in the development and marketing of biopharmaceuticals. Bio4EU 2008). systems or processes. Nevertheless. the EU market for biopharmaceuticals as a share of all pharmaceuticals increased from approx.2008 Source: Annual reports of the European Medicines Agency Since 1996. Swiss companies have developed 10% of the products on the world market (JRC/IPTS.3: Outcome of initial-evaluation applications for medicines for human use. In the same period. the sector is one of the fastest growing sectors and one of the world’s most wealth-creating industries. 4% to approx. spent about €7. the sector employed over 96.Exhibit 4. including 42. or on the provision of specialist services to facilitate the understanding thereof. 4. while only 15% of the products have been developed by EU companies. number of initial-evaluation applications1995 . Of all available products in the world market (154 products).6bn on R&D and generated a revenue in excess of €21.5bn in 2006 (EuropaBio 2006. European Commission 2006).500 people. Bio4EU 2008). 10% (JRC/IPTS.500 in R&D. the accumulated number of biopharmaceuticals on the market increased from approx. 12 20 .
The top three sectors were pharmaceuticals & biotechnology (19.0%) The pharmaceutical & biotechnology sector even exhibited double-digit R&D growth over the last three years.046. while US companies account for 49%.163 dedicated biotechnology enterprises identified in Europe (see above) can be divided into four sectors: biodiagnostics. not least the pharmaceutical industry. cf. Exhibit 4.3) and automobiles & parts (17. technology hardware & equipment (18. television and communication equipment” or “medical. service. Bio4EU 2008). agrobio and environment.3% of the total R&D.13 The R&D intensity of the biotechnology sector can be illustrated by the EU industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard (JRC/IPTS and DG Research 2008) in which an analysis of industrial research among the world’s top 1402 companies found that 15 sectors constitute 93.4: European biotechnology industry by subsectors Biodiagnostics 18% Agbio and environment 11% Human healthcare 37% Services 34% Source: EuropaBio 2006 13 Eurostat 21 . However. Exhibit 4. EU companies (including Switzerland) account for 28% of the investments in R&D. and new biopharmaceuticals are likely have a positive impact on the healthcare sectors and healthcare in general.intensity such as “radio. precision and optical instruments” with respectively 771.4. it is not possible to estimate the economic importance of the sector for other industries due to lack of data (JRC/IPTS. The 2.R&D. The biopharmaceutical sector is considered a driver of innovation in a range of industries. and human healthcare. Within pharmaceuticals & biotechnology.600 and 1.2%).800 employees.
The availability of capital in Europe is also limited compared to the US (EuropaBio 2006). Denmark. France. will probably increase further. drug delivery. Germany and France. 800 enterprises. Exhibit 4. cf. gene therapy or healthcare cell therapy. There are more biotechnology enterprises in Europe than in the US. but global competition is fierce. innovation and growth. For Europe. vaccines. the competitive pressure on the researchintensive sectors in Europe. Especially Denmark and the UK are characterised by relatively large enterprises. Many of the biotechnology enterprises in the new Member States are recently established and the biotechnology industry in the new Member States is mainly involved in manufacturing activities.5. red biotech 22 . the UK. drug discovery. With countries such as India and Singapore moving up the global value chain. European biotechnology enterprises produce fewer products and employ fewer people than their US counterparts. the main global competitor is currently the US biopharmaceutical sector. Exhibit 4. Many countries and regions strive to attract this rich source of taxable wealth and potential in job creation. The number of biotechnology enterprises in European countries differs significantly. This sector is the largest group comprising 37% of the total number of enterprises in the biotechnology sector corresponding to approx. the leading countries are the UK. such as the biopharmaceutical sector. whereas countries such as Sweden and the Netherlands are characterised by small enterprises.The business activities of the human healthcare sector14 largely represent the definition of the target group for this study. genomics. 14 Biomaterials. In the new EU Member States data on the biotechnology industry is still sparse and fragmented.5: Number of biotechnology enterprises in 2004 Source: EuropaBio 2006 Looking at the size of the enterprises in relation to number of employees. The majority of biotechnology enterprises are located in Germany. However.
25% of the biotechnology enterprises are less than 2 years old and they employ just over 5% of the employees in the sector.A. and between 2003 and 2004 the number of European biotechnology enterprises decreased by 2% (EuropaBio 2006). 10% of the enterprises in Europe were formed before 1989.4 R&D cost for developing drug candidates It is costly to discover and develop a new drugs/medicines due to expensive research processes. In Europe. The total cost of R&D increased significantly from the mid-1990s to 2007 from approx.4. €27bn reflecting an increase in R&D activities15 (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations 2008). A recent study estimates the average capitalized cost per approved biopharmaceutical in 2006 to be approx. costs associated with clinical trials. An additional point is that European R&D costs are higher than in other world regions due to the fragmented European patent system.G 2007). Furthermore. The size and the relatively young age of the European biotechnology enterprises may therefore be an important issue in relation to the competitiveness of the sector. the risk of failure in biopharmaceutical research and development is extremely high compared to other research-intensive sectors. This resulted in a slight decrease in the number of biotechnology enterprises in Europe. In the years after 2001 the industry was characterised by consolidation through mergers and acquisitions.(source: Eurostat) 15 23 . resource-intensive approval procedures and costs associated with manufacturing (if the trials are successful). The new enterprises were mostly small in relation to number of employees. China and South Korea thus constituting a financial burden on especially small biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe (van Pottelsberghe 2009).000 m.3 Business dynamics within the biotechnology sector During the mid 1990s the number of biotechnology enterprises doubled in Europe. and Gabowski H. the majority of the biotechnology enterprises are small and generate very limited revenues (EuropaBio 2006). The implications of a fragmented patent system in Europe include high uncertainty. €1. In contrast. Promising new substances often reach an advanced stage of research before the results of clinical tests demonstrate that they do not Current prices: Harmonized Indices of Consumer Prices (HICPs for EU 27. which have mostly occurred in Germany. €8bn to approx. The study observes that these costs as well as the time it takes to bring a new drug to the market have increased significantly the last 10 years (DiMasi and Grabowski 2007 and DiMasi J.(index 2005= 100) estimates the prices to have increased from index 79 in 1997 to 105 in 2005 indicating a significant increase in R&D cost in real terms equivalent to a 78% increase in real terms. which are at least four times higher than in the US. 4. quality drop and prohibitive costs. Scandinavia and the UK. This means that even though there is a strong entrepreneurial spirit and a rapid development of new enterprises in Europe. Restructuring activities instituted to gain critical mass have been the main reason for the mergers and acquisitions. The increase in R&D costs is resulting in an increased need for funding (European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations 2008). they employ almost 50% of the total number of employees and earn about four fifth of the total revenue.
Exhibit 4. the product pipeline of many of the large pharmaceutical companies is drying out and the research projects in the biopharmaceutical sector thus constitute an opportunity for the pharmaceutical companies to ‘fill up’ their own pipelines with promising biotechnology-based drug candidates. On the other hand. cf. Of every 500 product candidates entered into the approval process. Of those five product candidates. the time it takes for a drug to travel from the laboratories to marketing authorisation can take up to 10 to 13 years or even longer. 24 . only an average of five will progress into the human testing phase. Finally. only one will be approved (DiMasi et al 2003). On the one hand.perform as required to have any market value. the window for generating market revenue can be very short (5-7 years).6: Typical phases from research to the market for a drug candidate Source: European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations 2008 Most patents expire after 20 years. The relationship between the biopharmaceutical sector and the pharmaceutical sector is a symbiotic relationship. The cost of every successful drug includes the cost of all the failures. and considering the long time it takes to bring a biopharmaceutical product to the market.6. Exhibit 4. as biopharmaceutical enterprises tend to have limited resources and may gain access to capital by selling/out-licensing drug candidates or establishing alliances with pharmaceutical companies.
The number of biopharmaceuticals has almost tripled in 10 years and has reached a market share of all pharmaceuticals of approx. The number of biopharmaceuticals patents has increased significantly. but the last few years the number of patents seems to have stabilised at a level of 2. More research is carried out. • • • All in all. €1. Increasing the R&D investments in biopharmaceutical R&D will be one of the key success factors in realising the full potential of the sector. but it has also become costly to take new drug candidates through clinical trials.000 drug candidates in clinical trial phases 1-3.5 Conclusion In conclusion. but on average only 1% will process into human test and fewer will be approved. 25 .000 m. it should be noted that: • • Biopharmaceuticals is a dynamic research area where new scientific discoveries generate a technology platform for developing new drug candidates. R&D investment has almost doubled since the mid-1990s and reached a level of more than €27bn in 2007. 10%. the biopharmaceutical sector is still a minor industrial sector but with a significant growth potential.200 – 2. So has the average cost of gaining approval for the drug candidate. The number of the new drug candidates in the pipeline has increased to more than 1.300 patent application per year from European companies.4. The development in the number of patents does not seem to have had any impact on the number drug candidates in pipeline yet. A recent study estimates the average capitalized cost per approved biopharmaceutical in 2006 to be approx.
public funding is often used (grants.g.1. FP/CIP). loans) Business angels VC and CVC VC and CVC Note: CVC is an abbreviation for Corporate Venture Capital. The capital base available for the biopharmaceutical sector 5. In the later stages we find IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) and public equity are also important sources of funding. companies investing in biopharmaceutical companies.2 shows some of the key sources for funding in the early stages of product development (and business development). In a report by Ernst and Young (2007).. etc. In the very early stages of product development . 27 . Exhibit 5.g. venture capital is the most important capital source for European biotech companies.1: Key financial actors Low level of involvement High level of involvement Discovery Family and friends Government (e.1 Different forms of capital An overall assumption is that the potential investors in biopharmaceutical product development can be organised along two axes: The first axis is related to the process of product development (innovation) and the other axis to the degree of involvement by the investor in the enterprise. According to the report. more than two thirds of the European biotech companies participating in the survey also planned o raise capital through grants.g. 5. attracting venture capital. and bank loans.1 Different sources of capital The composition of capital sources for biopharmaceutical product development tends to vary with the development stage of a product... e.5.g.1. Exhibit 5. PIPEs (Private Investments in Public Equity). forming alliances with (bio)pharmaceutical companies. This is illustrated below in Exhibit 5. making grants the second most important source of funding for European biotech companies after venture capital. out-licensing drug candidates. Initial Public Offerings (IPO) and follow-on offerings. There are different ways of raising capital for drug development such as applying for public grants (national as well as European.). grants) Early development stage Government loans Late development stage Banks (e. e.often before the product ideas turn into a business idea .
Mezzanine financing is thus an opportunity for companies involved in high-risk R&D to raise capital without diluting existing shareholders’ rights.htm 28 . to the point where the company needs capital to expand commercial operations (EVCA 2009).) in small and medium sized companies to help with specific growth challenges such as entering a new market. The different types of private equity include venture capital.Exhibit 5. from the first concept to the point where the company has developed its first product. Mezzanine funding is a hybrid form of capital combining features of equity financing with classical debt features. i. http://www. Other types of private equity include growth or expansion capital. family. Mezzanine finance can be considered an alternative to banks who are often reluctant to lend money to high-risk projects as well as private equity investors who will often demand shares in exchange for capital. Finally. buyouts typically involve mature businesses and a change of control over the company. which usually covers the early development stages. business angles. This refers to investments (often minority stakes held by informal investors such as friends. for instance by buying out all or the majority of the shares in a company (EVCA 2009). a mezzanine finance provider will be compensated for the risk associated with lending money by getting a share of the upside when the borrowing company achieves its growth objectives.org/products/loans/special/rsff/financing-products/mezzanine-financing..16 16 EIB website.2: Sources of funding typically for early-stage product development Source: OECD (2008) Private equity is an important source of capital in biopharmaceutical product development. In contrast to traditional bank loans.e. etc. developing a new product or making strategic acquisitions.eib.
VC firms backed by banks and pension funds often invest firms in the late stage of enterprise activities. execute an IPO or complete a trade sale to a larger company (EVCA 2009). there are country specific variations. the investment strategy of corporate VC funds (e.5. One example is Switzerland which is characterised by a very close and long-standing relationship between the financial sector and the life sciences sector. bank-backed VC firms in Israel and the UK invest in late-stage activities compared to other funding sources. and they may use their experience and expertise to help them raise further early-stage capital. investment strategies within CVC funds may differ. The close relationship and the expertise of the Swiss financial sector in the life sciences domain could be one of the key elements in explaining the relative success of Switzerland in terms of providing access to capital for biotech companies (Ernst & Young 2008b). the CVC funds may pursue financial as well as strategic objectives in their investment strategies. while bank-backed VC firms in Germany and Japan do not differ from other VC funds (Mayer et al 2001). For instance. Specifically. Typically. However.2 Venture capital investment strategies Venture capital funds are not a homogenous group of investors. the investor could be interested in acquiring the technological platform under development in the portfolio company. One example is Novartis’s venture funds that include a ‘traditional’ venture fund focusing on financial returns and an option fund focusing on providing funding for innovative start-up companies during their 29 . start up). Tight link to operational capability of investor Loose link to operational capability of investor Source: Chesbrough 2002 Strategic investment objective Driving – advancing current business strategy Enabling – complementing current business strategy Financial investment objective Emergent – exploring potential new businesses Passive – financial returns only Adding to the complexity.1. VC firms relying on private investors favour early-stage activities. The differences in investment strategies may reflect differences between different countries with regard to financial systems and traditions. However.g. In contrast to VC funds that are guided by a financial investment objective..g.. large pharmaceutical enterprises) may differ from the strategies pursued by other types of VC funds. VC funds get involved in the management of their portfolio companies. differences in the structure and development of national technology sectors are probably also an important element in explaining national differences in investment strategies. However. According to a comparative analysis of VC funds in four countries.3: Exhibit: Different types of relationship between CVC and a portfolio company (e. The most dominant types of VC funds are: • Bank-backed VC firms • State-backed VC and incubators • Corporate venture capital (CVC) • Pension funds • Insurance companies • Individual investors such as Business Angels There is evidence that the type of VC fund affects its investment activities. Exhibit 5.
The main cause was a collapse of public-equity financing (IPO and follow-on and other offerings) from €4bn to less than €1bn. the field of capital providers in the very early product stage to increasingly consists of small private investors (e. 17 Novartis website. In the case of the option fund. business angels). NESTA 2008) A key issue concerning the current ‘blockbuster business model’ underlying many investment decisions is that biopharmaceutical research provides an opportunity to develop specialised medicines for small groups of patients (rare diseases.4: Private equity investments in Europe Source: EVCA 2009 According to Ernst & Young (2009). cf.com 30 . public incubators and state-backed investors (Vaekstfonden 2006.novartis-venturefunds. venture financing fell 19%). and investors may thus be less inclined to invest in them..4.earliest stages. biopharmaceutical enterprises will face even more difficulties in the future with regard to gaining access to funding. while venture financing ‘only’ experienced an minor backdrop of 15% compared to 2007 (in the US. and if investors continue to focus on the ‘old’ blockbuster business model.2 Capital supply in Europe Private equity investments in Europe have increased considerably in the last decade. Exhibit 5. http://www. Technological developments suggest that the next generation of innovative drugs are not ‘blockbusters’ but rather personalised medicines.17 Venture capital funds are increasingly moving up in the market and are less inclined to take on very early-stage companies. As a result. 5. European biotechnology financing dropped dramatically from 2007 to 2008 due to the financial crisis.g. This serves as early validation for the start-up company’s technology or programmes which may attract other investors and provides Novartis with an opportunity to gain access knowledge and technologies that may be of strategic interest to Novartis in the future (Ernst and Young 2008). the initial equity investment is coupled with an option to a specific therapeutic programme managed by the portfolio company. orphan diseases) or even personalised medicines. These types of drugs have a different expected return of investment (ROI) than traditional blockbuster medicines. Exhibit 5.
however. Exhibit 5. Exhibit 5. Exhibit 5. After 2000/2001. In terms of the distribution of investments by development stage. This performance gap mainly reflects regional industry differences rather than differences in the competencies of venture funds as US-based venture funds do not perform better in Europe than European venture funds (Hege et al 2008). the share of late-stage investments has increased in both the US and Europe.5: Private equity investments in European countries as% of GDP in 2007 Source: EVCA 2009 Overall.5. cf. cf. early-stage investments have gained more attention among European investors. venture capital investments in the US generate more value than investments in Europe.58% of GDP). the Netherlands. In other words. 31 .In terms of private equity investments as percent of GDP. US companies are better at generating value than European companies.6. and France were all above the average for Europe (0. Sweden. the UK.
The UK is currently experiencing a change in composition of types of investors engaging in early-stage companies. Israel and the UK the following differences were identified (British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association 2009): • In Israel. Pension funds are important players in the UK and US VC industries. but mainly in the form of coinvestments with private investors rather than free-standing investments (NESTA 2008). while the share of early-stage investments in the US and the UK ranges between 20-30%. According to NESTA. 18 The same trend has been identified in other countries 32 . while Israel is somewhere in between. In a recent benchmarking of the venture capital industries in the US. • Israel and the US invest more venture capital as a percentage of GDP than the UK • VC in Israel is almost entirely dedicated to early-stage capital (80-90% of all VC investments are early-stage. • The average amount of capital invested per early-stage company is significantly higher in the US than in the UK. more than 90% of the funds raised came from foreign funds. private funds are moving away from early-stage companies towards late-stage companies. These differences suggest that the UK – one of the largest venture capital markets in Europe – is not able to keep up with the US and Israel – not least with regard to the size of early-stage investments. This suggests that early-stage companies in the UK receive less VC than early-stage companies in the US and Israel. while 70% of the funds raised in the UK came from foreign sources. private investors. are becoming more important in early-stage investments. such as business angels and ‘angel syndicates’.6: Share of early-stage investments in total investments Source: Vaekstfonden 2006 Countries differ in terms of the composition and activities of venture capital. The public sector involvement is also increasing relative to private investors.18 Instead.Exhibit 5. but only play a marginal role in Israel.
.7: Total venture capital investments in the life sciences. pharmaceuticals.089%). Exhibit 5. early development. OECD data covering 25 OECD countries shows that the US accounted for 68. and medical devices and equipment). million PPP$. Exhibit 5. and expansion stages. Exhibit 5. start-up. while the EU members of the OECD accounted for 20. health services. The OECD country average was 0.5.3% of total venture capital investments in life sciences (biotechnology. Later stage venture capital investment in replacements and buy-outs are not included Sweden had the highest share of GDP in 2007 from venture capital investments in life sciences (0.3 Comparing the capital supply for life sciences in the US and Europe The capital base for biotech (life sciences) in the US outmatches the capital base in Europe. cf.8% (OECD 2009).7. followed by Denmark and Switzerland.8 33 . cf. 2007 Source: OECD (2009) Note: ‘Venture capital’ covers investments in seed.019%.
The OECD country average was 14. However.9%). In the US. when the tech bubble burst caused a substantial drop in total investment activity. Later stage venture capital investment in replacements and buy-outs are not included.7%. investment activity has increased in the US as well as in Europe. However.4 below). The case studies carried out as part of this study (see Annex 2) suggest that European biopharmaceutical companies most often do not intend to take products to the market on their own. the current financial crisis has put an end to this development for the time being (cf. early development.9%). section 5. Canada was second (30. total venture investments decreased to one fifth of the level before the bubble burst. and expansion stages. interviewees and several case studies (for instance Bioartic Neuroscience and Apogenix) also indicate that there is a difference in the culture and mindsets 34 . 2007 Source: OECD (2009) Note: ‘Venture capital’ covers investments in seed. The level of biotech investments in the US and Europe increased until 2001. Since 2004.8: Life sciences venture capital investments as a percentage of GDP. but rather seek to enter partnerships with other companies or sell off their products candidates. This may be a result of the limited availability of capital as these activities are very capital-intensive. start-up.7%) followed by the US (29. Sweden also had the highest life sciences share of total venture capital investments (36.Exhibit 5.
1 Financing gaps in biopharmaceutical product development European biotech enterprises currently do not have access to as much capital as US biotech enterprises. The NEOTEC mandate comprises a fund‐of‐funds and a co‐investment vehicle. life sciences and ICT.eu/invest-in-research/pdf/download_en/rsff_presentation. http://ec. Together with the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund. 19 The 2007 European Innovation Scoreboard indicates that the EU is experiencing a declining gap with the US in earlystage venture capital.are not well-positioned to obtain funding from the RSFF. only few biotech companies have benefited from the RSFF (examples include Zeltia in Spain and BIA Separations in Austria/Slovenia). Tourism and Commerce.20 By the end of 2008. where the researchers focus more on conducting research than developing their research into business opportunities.eu/invest-in-research/funding/funding02_en. This suggests that biotech companies – in particular SMEs .particularly technology-oriented SMEs in the early-stages of development – one example is the NEOTEC fund in Spain. the aim of the initiative is to complement existing programmes to create 110 new companies in 2008 and 130 in 2010.19 The substantial differences in the availability and access to capital for biotech enterprises in Europe and the US have made European stakeholders such as Europabio conclude that the European biotech industry “shows signs of chronic underfunding”. a total of €2.9: The NEOTEC fund in Spain The NEOTEC Fund was established in 2006 by the European Investment Fund and CDTI. the main sectors receiving funding via the facility are renewable energy technologies. According to the Europabio 2006 study. http://ec.europa. Source: Pro Inno Europe (2008): European Innovation Scoreboard 2007 20 European Commission website.5bn has already been allocated to projects located in 14 European countries and within a range of industry sectors.4bn had been authorised by the European Investment Bank under the RSFF. €1. One reason for this could be the low or moderate credit rating of many biotech companies because of their lack of income. cf. In 2007. an entity under the Spanish Ministry of Industry.9 below. Emphasis is placed on technology‐oriented funds.pdf 35 . engineering and automotive. So far. Exhibit 5. the European Investment Bank and the Commission launched a Risk Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) to boost investment in R&D projects in Europe that have a higher than average risk profile.21 To date. but generalist funds that invest in companies developing commercial applications of new technology or deploying technology supports are also included. The fund aims at increasing venture capital investment in Spain to boost the Spanish SME technology sector. Through the creation of an active network fostered by EIF and CDTI.of researchers in Europe. the programme will also seek to provide Spanish and foreign investors with a showcase of the best opportunities in Spanish technology. and US enterprises are able to raise twice as much venture capital compared to their European counterparts. the European Commission has launched several initiatives to ensure access to capital for biopharmaceutical companies. European enterprises have access to only a fifth of the private equity finance that US enterprises have.europa.3. Specifically. Exhibit 5. 5.htm 21 European Commission. The European Investment Fund invests in venture capital funds that support SMEs .
eif. and public equity (IPO). Typical funding sources include seed capital from grants. The total budget is estimated at around €200m.htm The funding of the EIF originating from the European Commission’s budget is allocated under the High Growth and Innovative SME Facility (GIF). http://www. • Third funding gap: the funding of clinical trials in phase III. Typical funding sources include venture capital funds. government-backed investment funds.de/downloads/071002_Biotech_Investment_Barometer_Reveals_Continued_Confidence. The typical funding sources include venture capital funds. 62% of the European respondents considered the European funding environment to be difficult (down from 74% in 2006). • Second funding gap: the funding of clinical trial phase I+II. including pre-clinical testing (often referred to as early-stage development). buy-outs. licensing. Nevertheless. authorisation and marketing. the limited availability of capital could make European biopharmaceutical decide to look for funding opportunities in the US or even relocate to the US. Overall. 30th May 2006 Global Lifescience Ventures. and business angels. founders. http://www. investing in venture capital investment vehicles. corporate venture capital. in parallel with previously selected private equity and venture capital funds. Source: EIF website. government-backed investment funds. In 2007. the companies that develop biopharmaceutical product face three funding gaps (Cooke et al 2006.23 22 23 Europeabio press release. The programme seeks to strengthen Spain's visibility amongst foreign venture capital funds by encouraging leading technology investors in other countries to include Spain on their investment map through attractive co‐investment opportunities. European Commission 2007): • First funding gap: the funding of technology transfer and concept development. The relatively limited availability of capital in Europe vis-à-vis the US may have a negative impact on the level of innovation and growth in European biopharmaceutical companies.The notion of a ‘funding gap’ in relation to biopharmaceutical companies is therefore a key issue for policy makers and the VC industry in Europe.eu/about/news/eif-and-cdti-launch-a-new-type-of-investmentmandate. Biotech Investment Barometer Reveals Continued confidence in Sector (press release). managed by skilled teams based in Spain. corporate venture capital.• • Fund of funds NEOTEC will act as fund of funds. licensing and collaborations.life-scienceventures. a survey of 200 European and US biotech executives and members of the investment community suggested that the early-stage funding environment in Europe had improved considerably. The co‐investment vehicle The co‐investment fund is for direct co‐investments into technological SMEs.europa.22 In addition. GIF is split into two parts. collaborations.-known-as-neotec.pdf 36 . By the end of 2008. start-up) and GIF2 covers expansion stage investments. GIF1 covers early-stage investments (seed. the EIF had made a total of 13 investments amounting to €144m (€108m under GIF1 and €36m under GIF2) targeting SMEs within various industry sectors. hybrid capital (mezzanine).
This constitutes a threat to high-risk sectors. it is very difficult to say whether the companies that are trying to raise capital actually ‘deserve’ more capital or if they are simply not able to present projects that are worth investing in.The identified funding gaps have been interpreted as a ‘market failure’. medical technology. A 2009 survey of venture capitalists showed that 51% of all respondents are reducing the number of companies in which they plan to invest and just 13% are increasing their investment activities (Deloitte/EVCA 2009).) suggests that they are unable to build up sufficient expertise in the different sectors. They are simply not able to support companies with sufficient funding for the entire development process (British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association 2009). European companies simply receive less capital than their US counterparts. This could increase the performance of the venture capital industry. biotechnology. 5. However. as investors may consider investing in less risky business sectors. This possible lack of expertise could make European VC funds more reluctant to invest in complex sectors such as the biopharmaceutical sector and/or result in a situation in which their investment decisions are not based on an informed assessment of the biopharmaceutical company and its prospects for success. A possible explanation for this under-funding of companies in Europe is that the European venture capital industry is more fragmented than the US VC industry and that less capital is available to the funds in Europe than in the US. thus increasing the risk of failure for the venture capital fund. Moreover. the relatively small size of European VC funds and the need for the funds to diversify their risks by investing in different sectors (e. 24 Grabenwarter (2006). the market is working to its perfection.3. In this perspective. the VC funds in Europe may be too small to ensure sufficient capital for follow-on investments. clean tech.4 Impact of the financial crisis Overall.24 5. Nesta (2008) 37 . the global financial crisis has made investors reconsider their investment strategies. According to Grabenwarter (2006) Europe has 64% more VC funds than the US. such as the biopharmaceutical sector. European venture capital funds are currently exploring new paths to achieving higher diversification and maximising their returns – for instance through fund-of-funds strategies where venture capital funds invest in other funds (and thereby de facto outsource the management of a share of their assets to another larger and/or specialised funds). Data on the average amount of capital invested in companies suggest that European venture capital funds in Europe support too many companies with too little funding.2 Challenges facing the European venture capital industry The amount of capital invested in each biopharmaceutical company largely determines the company’s level of activity and the strategic options available to the company.g.. Thus. yet European funds in aggregate manage 50% less capital. etc. but the pooling of resources in specialised life sciences VC funds will also benefit the European biopharmaceutical sector due to improved access to funding and support for business development. Moreover.
Contracts are to be focused on industry development in the health sector and internationalisation.no) Source: http://www.teknopol. cf. the country's main industrial development agency. cf. This testifies to the importance of government involvement in specific sectors for attracting private investments. (fund‐in‐fund) gets increased equity capital of €233m. Exhibit 5. and the only investor in Norway that is solely dedicated to investing in private equity funds. Argentum can now increase its investments in private VC funds focusing on life sciences in Norway and abroad (www. • Additional €8m for R&D contracts. Exhibit 5.oslo.49m. Exhibit 5. according to the survey. Funding increased from €37m to €111m. Exhibit 5.11: Norwegian crisis package for the biotechnology sector Key measures in the Norwegian crisis package: • Innovation loans operated by Innovation Norway.no/English/MainMenu/news2/Newsletters/Oslo-Bio/Arkiv/Oslo-BioUpdate-February-2009/Response-to-Crises-Government-Millions-to-Biotech/ 38 . The Norwegian government has launched a package of measures to help the Norwegian biotechnology industry through the financial crisis. the government‐owned investment company. These loans may be used as working capital for the biotech companies. The aim is to stimulate increased cooperation within the industry on research and development. • Tax breaks for individual SMEs: Companies may deduct €0. 48% of the respondents stated that they would not change their involvement in the biopharmaceutical sector over the next three years.However. • Argentum.10.10: Anticipated level of investment change in select sectors.68m in tax breaks ‐ this is an increase from €0.11.argentum. over the next three years Source: EVCA (2009) A possible explanation for the substantial increase in the interest in clean technologies (63% of the respondents stated that they would increase their investments over the next three years) could be the increase in government/political support for clean technologies in recent years. Several European countries have launched new funding initiatives to ensure that the national biotechnology sectors are in a better position to deal with the financial crisis and the risk that their funding may dry out.
This performance gap mainly reflects regional industry differences rather than differences in the competencies of venture funds as US-based venture funds do not perform better in Europe than European venture funds. 39 . the government intends to support R&D in high-tech companies by setting up a £750m investment fund focusing on emerging technologies and biotechnology. venture capitalists have increased their share of later-stage investment while their share of early-stage investments has declined thus making early-stage funding a more serious challenge for new biopharmaceutical companies. The very early stage is dominated by private investors such as business angels as well as public incubators and stat-backed investors. In recent years. However.Several other initiatives may be launched at national level to help the biotechnology industry through the crisis. In the UK. However.5 Conclusions Venture capital is the most important capital source for European biotech companies. The current financial crisis has had a negative impact on access to capital even though it difficult to estimate how much the total venture capital market has been reduced. Among the OECD countries the US accounts for two thirds of the total venture capital investments in life sciences while the share of the EU Member States is 20%. The study indicates that US companies are better at generating value than European companies. the French biotech industry organisation recommended that the "young innovative company" fiscal status be extended from 8 to 15 years. In France. but also address structural problems in order to improve access to funding for biopharmaceutical drug developing SME. private equity investments have increased in Europe. 5. and the performance of the European biopharmaceutical companies relies on the performance of the venture capital market and the access to capital for biopharmaceutical companies. The study of the financial markets suggests that policy makers should not only focus on bringing more capital into the market. successful collaboration between biopharmaceutical companies and the venture capital funds appears to be based on a very close and long-standing relationship between investors and the companies that allows the companies to benefit from the investors’ in-depth knowledge and expertise in the life sciences sector. Another success factor is the R&D efforts and the business competencies of the companies.
Exhibit 6. Biopharmaceutical enterprises typically start out with a technology platform from which several drug candidates can be explored and developed.1). a survey of biotechnology companies in Europe found that more than 1. Strategies for product development Biopharmaceutical enterprises that develop drug candidates can apply different product development strategies. The overall profile of the pipeline of DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises is very similar to the profile found for the European biotechnology industry as a whole.1) as well as larger companies is included. while another enterprise may decide to bring the product to the market by entering into partnerships or out-licensing the drug candidate to another enterprise. Exhibit 2.000 products were in the pipeline (clinical trial phase 1-3) of the European biotechnology industry (Ernst & Young 2009). the number of drug candidates is relatively low. In 2008. a higher share of the biopharmaceutical drug candidates are in the early development stages compared to Ernst & Young (2009) is applying a definition of “biotechnology” corresponding to the both red biotech. 25 41 . Only a limited number of drug candidates are expected successfully to enter the subsequent clinical trial stage. According to the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey. The surveyed enterprises are representative of the European drug discovering biopharmaceutical industry. However. but with a bias towards the small and young enterprises. based on tools and approaches from modern biotechnology including firms specialized in the development of research tools for this objective (“platform firms”).6. the largest number of drug candidates are (in line with expectations) found the in the pre-clinical phase and in the development of technology platforms. The survey includes 87 enterprises focused on discovery and development of biopharmaceutical products for human healthcare. In the subsequent phases.25 Taking into account the limited differences in the profile of the companies included in the two surveys. the choice of product development strategy will have an impact on the enterprise’s demand for capital and its overall business strategy. and the fact that the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises represent approximately 10% of the European biopharmaceutical enterprises. In any case. green biotech and white biotech (cf. 6.2). (cf. In this chapter the product development strategy of enterprises will be examined on the basis of the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey carried out in May 2009 (see Chapter 3. (cf.4). section 4. analysing the pipeline of the biotechnology companies Ernst & Young (2009) is apparently applying a more narrow definition somewhat equal to the definition of biopharmaceutical companies in this study. However. One enterprise may decide to bring drug candidates to the market on its own. the pipeline identified in the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey seems to correspond to the pipeline identified in the Ernst & Young study.1 The pipeline of the biopharmaceutical sector According to the biopharmaceutical enterprises in the DTI-survey there are currently a total of 458 drug candidates in the pipeline and 100 of these drug candidates are in clinical trial phase 13.
the majority of the biopharmaceutical enterprises have between of one to six drug candidates in the pipeline. Furthermore.2. A research-intensive sector such as the biopharmaceutical sector is expected to have a high number of drug candidates in the pre-clinical phase. N = 458 Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. This may have implication for the enterprises' ability to attract external financing and especially venture capital. The data on the pipeline suggests that the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises (the part of the biopharmaceutical sector characterised by the small and R&D oriented enterprises) will be focusing on research and development rather than business development and commercialisation for the time being. A possible explanation for these findings is that completing clinical trial 1 is relative quick. This can be explained by differences in the research orientation of the company samples (se section3. very few enterprises in the biopharmaceutical sector only have one drug candidate in the pipeline. Such a portfolio of drug candidates can be seen as an attempt to ensure a continuous flow of drug candidates so that the 42 . Exhibit 6.2.1. According to the data. the enterprises often have drug candidates in both early stages of product development and in the late stages. while the number of drug candidates increases in clinical trial 2. In fact. May June 2009 The survey data indicates a sharp decline in the number of drug candidates from pre-clinical to clinical trial 1.the drug candidates in the biotechnology pipeline identified by Ernst & Young (2008). Exhibit 6.1: Number of drug candidates in pipeline by phase of drug development. while completing clinical trial 2 is more difficult and takes more time (Ernst & Young 2008). 6. cf.3).1 Number of drug candidates in the pipeline One way to counter the high risk of failure associated with biopharmaceuticals – and increase the rate of success – is to have several drug candidates in the pipeline.
2 Grouping the biopharmaceutical enterprises In order to analyse the capital needs and strategies at a more detailed level.2: Number of drug candidates in pipeline. there is a limit to the number of drug candidates that companies can afford to have in the pipeline. This will provide us with a better understanding of the specific 43 .company has early-stage drug candidates that can form the basis for the survival of the company if later-stage candidates fail to reach the market. N = 87 Number of enterprises Number of drug candidates Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. the pipeline should not be too diverse (see case study of Apogenix in Appendix 2). Exhibit 6. the company can out-license or sell product candidates to raise money for the further development of its lead products. Moreover. the product candidates must be sufficiently developed to be of interest to other companies (see the case study of Arpida. However. in case of a capital shortage. Moreover. the drug candidates may be used as leverage in negotiations with potential investors and partners or be sold/out-licensed to raise capital. May June 2009 Nevertheless. Symphogen and Bioartic Neuroscience in Appendix 2). Moreover. companies have to match the need to build up a strong pipeline and the financial means available to the company. 6. Companies may thus benefit economically and strategically from out-licensing or selling compounds to other companies. we have grouped the biopharmaceutical enterprises according to the stage of development of the companies’ most advanced drug candidates.1. Consequently.
is a learning process that will strengthen the operational.3: Grouping the biopharmaceutical enterprises according to the stage of development of the companies’ most advanced drug candidates. 44 . financial and strategic management of an enterprise as well as build up its reputation in the investor community. The six groups are: 1.g. enterprises with products on the market often have drug candidates in the early development stages. May June 2009 Obviously. Enterprises that are still in process of developing their technological platform 2. The financial challenges for enterprises with products in the market are thus expected to differ significantly from the challenges facing enterprises with drug candidates in the early development stages. however. gaining access to capital) that biopharmaceutical enterprises face at different development stages. Enterprises that have drug candidates in the pre-clinical phase 3. Going through the different development stages. this grouping of enterprises is not perfect. Enterprises with drug candidates in the late stages 6. Enterprises with products on the market Exhibit 6. For instance. N= 87 Number of enterprises Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. Enterprises with drug candidates in clinical phase 2 5. as many of the companies will have drug candidates in different phases. Enterprises with drug candidates in clinical phase 1 4.challenges (e.
while developing other drug candidates with external partners. N = 87 We intend to bring one or several drug candidates to the market ourselves We intend to enter into an alliance (partnering. They require a set of business competencies that are often not available in small research-intensive enterprises – good researchers are not necessarily good managers.2 Strategies for bringing the drug candidates to the market Drug development and clinical trials require considerable investments. and 2) out-licensing the drug candidate to another company (83% of the respondents). collaboration) with another company We intend to out‐license the drug candidate to another company before the product(s) can be introduced to the market We intend to sell the drug candidate to another company before the product(s) can be introduced to the market Others Total Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. and biopharmaceutical SMEs often find it very difficult to attract competent and experienced managers (see case study of Apogenix and to some extent also Bioartic Neuroscience). Either because they are unable to raise sufficient capital or because they simply wish to remain a research-oriented 45 . sales and marketing are also very resource-intensive. Alliances or out-licensing will typically entail a milestone payment to the biopharmaceutical enterprise . The majority of DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises do not intend to bring drug candidates to the market on their own. For a while.6. biopharmaceutical enterprises may (as illustrated in several of the case studies in Annex 2) benefit from gaining access to the research.even before the drug candidate has been launched on the market. May June 2009 Note: Data is aggregated due to multiple answers Number of responses 15 73 72 53 1 214 Percent N = 87 17% 84% 83% 61% 1% ‐ The dominant product development strategies are 1) bringing some of their drug candidates to the market by entering into an alliance with another company (84% of the enterprises). but manufacturing. Enterprises may also decide not to take any of their drug candidates to the market.4: Product development strategies. cf. manufacturing and marketing competencies of the partner. This lack of business competencies and financial means may serve as a barrier to companies that are interested in bringing their own products to the market.both in terms of drug development as well as for successfully entering the market with other candidates in the pipeline. Exhibit 6. The enterprises mostly apply a mix of strategies such as taking some drug candidates to the market on their own. this will enable the enterprise to continue operations without raising capital from other investors or via grants. which can be an advantage for the enterprise in the future .4: Exhibit 6. By choosing to enter into an alliance.
6. Competencies and capital may determine which strategy the enterprises apply as well as the ambition of the entrepreneurs. According to the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises. The overall pipeline profile is characterised by many early-stage drug candidates while only 21% of the drug candidates are in the clinical trial phase 1 or later phases. 46 .licensing the drug candidates to reach the market.enterprise working as a supplier of innovative drug candidates to large (bio)pharmaceutical enterprises.3 Conclusion The majority of the DTI-biopharmaceutical enterprises have between one to six drug candidates in the pipeline. Most of the enterprises are developing their technology platform or have drug candidates in the pre-clinical trial stage. This observation indicates that limited access to capital (and lack of competencies) may force an increasing number of the drug developing enterprises to become platform enterprises or to leave business in the long run. a technology platform enterprise (Lanza 2009). the dominant product development strategy is aimed at either entering into alliances and/or out.e. the enterprises may be able to benefit from gaining access to research. manufacturing and marketing competencies as well as capital. Only 17% of the companies in the survey intend to take products to the market on their own. Through this strategy. i.. Only one out of ten enterprises has products on the market.
we examine how biopharmaceutical enterprises have financed their product development and how their financing strategies change from one stage of product development to another.5 Number of enterprises 6 33 8 20 8 12 87 Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe.9 6. cf.1: Average amount of capital raised for current pipeline (million Euros) by a group of biopharmaceutical enterprises. May June 2009 Note: The grouping is defined in section 6. The current financial crisis is adding to the challenge of gaining access to capital as funds dry out or investors become reluctant to invest in high-risk sectors such as the biopharmaceutical industry. €36m to finance their current pipelines26. The need for capital increases significantly after clinical phase 1. N = 87 Development of platform Pre‐clinical Clinical phase 1 Clinical phase 2 Late stages Products on market Total Average amount of capital raised (million Euro) 7.) constitutes the main source of capital for biopharmaceutical enterprises followed by grants and income from business activities.2: 26 Data does not include income generated from business activities 47 . etc.1.0 25.9 11.1) Exhibit 7. cf. Exhibit 7. In this chapter. the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises have been able to raise an average of approx.1. apply for grants and gain access to capital from the financial market. This can be explained by the capital-intensive tasks of carrying out clinical tests and – if successful – starting the manufacture and sales of new products (see Section 6.7.0 289.On average enterprises with drug candidates in the later stages have raised more capital than enterprises in the earlier stages. business angels.7 151.1 Capital raised for drug development To date. 7. Financing strategies Drug discovery and development is a long and costly process which exceeds the financial capacity of most (if not all) small and medium sized biopharmaceutical enterprises. Therefore biopharmaceutical enterprises need to attract investors.0 87.2 The respondents indicate that private equity (including venture capital. We will also assess their need for further capital as well as the impact of shortage of capital on the strategies of the biopharmaceutical companies. Exhibit 7.
the IPO window is currently shut down. May June 2009 A closer study of the data for each of the different groups of biopharmaceutical enterprises reveals some interesting differences. May June 2009 7. average share of total capital raised.3: Main sources of capital – average share for all respondents by group of biopharmaceutical enterprises. 27 Ernst & Young (2009): Global Biotechnology report 2009 48 .27 The respondents also indicated that it has become increasingly difficult to gain access to loans (except for government loans) and venture capital.g.4. N= 83 Grants Equity IPO Loans Income from business activities 12% Mean 17% 60% 4% 3% Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe.2: Main sources of capital. According to observers.2 Access to capital Overall. cf.3: • Grants constitute an important source of capital for platform enterprises and enterprises with product candidates in pre-clinical research • IPOs and follow-on offerings constitute an important source of capital for later-stage enterprises and enterprises with products on the market • Loans constitute an important source of capital for platform enterprises • Income from business activities (e.. cf. Exhibit 7. Exhibit 7. the respondents indicate that within the last year it has become increasingly difficult to gain access to funding via an IPO or through follow-on offerings. selling products or (research) services) constitutes an important source of capital for platform enterprises and enterprises with products on market Exhibit 7.Exhibit 7. N= 83 Grants 28% 22% 12% 13% 7% Equity 41% 63% 66% 75% 58% IPO 0% 0% 7% 2% 14% Loans 11% 2% 1% 2% 5% 3% Income from business activities 21% 9% 14% 3% 15% 30% Development of platform Pre‐clinical Clinical phase 1 Clinical phase 2 Later‐stages Products on market 13% 33% 13% Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe.
33 3.76 4. the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey suggests that later-stage enterprises and enterprises with products on the market do not find it as difficult to gain access to venture capital as companies in the earlier development stages. With regard to current financing. N = 87 Friends and family Business angels Venture capital facilitated by an incubator.65 4.43 4. a university or.39 3. 33% of the enterprises have been able to raise less than €1m. a relatively high share of these late-stage companies finds that gaining access to funding via alliances and partnerships has become more difficult. and approx. Most of the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises have been able to raise capital in the last 12 months. Exhibit 7.45 Although it has become more difficult to gain access to venture capital for the different groups of biopharmaceutical enterprises.21 4.75 4.Exhibit 7.4: Difficulties in obtaining funding compared to the situation 12 months ago (scale from 1 “easier” to 5 “harder”). a research centre Government‐backed venture capital (regional/national innovation funds) Venture capital Alliance/partnership with other company (project deals) IPO (Initial Public Offering and subsequent public offerings) Other Bank loans Industrial bond Loans guaranteed by the state/Government loans Other types of loans Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe.09 3. 49 .5.58 4. 31% of the enterprises have been able to raise between €1 – 5m within the last 12 months. Nevertheless.60 4. May June 2009 Mean 3. cf.54 4.
Exhibit 7. Platform Pre‐clinical Clinical phase 1 Clinical phase 2 Later‐stage Product(s) on market Total Between Between Less than Over 10 None/no 1 and 4. Number of enterprises Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. Exhibit 7. N= 87. May June 2009 50 . N = 87. Capital raised within the last 12 months the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises. while the relatively large amounts of capital (€5m+) were raised by later-stage enterprises and enterprises with products on the market. Capital raised within the last 12 months by type of enterprise.6 suggests that the relatively small amounts of capital (up to €5m) were primarily raised by early-stage enterprises.6:.5.9 5 and 10 1 million million capital million million EUR EUR EUR EUR Number of enterprises 0 4 1 1 0 1 1 2 0 2 6 16 1 5 2 1 29 13 3 6 1 3 27 1 2 3 1 3 11 1 0 3 4 3 11 Do not know/no answer 0 1 1 1 0 0 3 Total 6 33 8 20 8 12 87 Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. May June 2009 Exhibit 7.
7. approx. 51 . However. The companies. 7% of the enterprises are in immediate need of capital if they are to maintain their current activity level. and 18% of the enterprises are facing an immediate need for capital or will run out of capital within the next 6 months. Exhibit 7. later-stage companies and companies with products on market still have some time before the lack of capital could become critical. May June 2009 In particular. a survey by Ernst & Young (2009) suggested that the share of biotech companies in Europe with less than one year’s cash to hand is 37%. Moreover. the critical lack of capital is also evident among companies with drug candidates in clinical phases 1 and 2 (13% and 15% of the respondents respectively). The companies were not asked to indicate whether they could expect to get the needed capital (for instance from milestone payments or a new financing round) or not. platform companies (16%) and companies with drug candidates in pre-clinical research (approx.. Immediate need for capital Less than 6 months 6‐12 months 12‐24 months Next 2 years 3 – 5 years More than 5 years Total Frequency (N) 6 9 21 26 9 9 5 85 Percent 7% 11% 25% 31% 10% 10% 6% 100% Cumulative percent 7% 18% 43% 74% 84% 94% 100% Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. cannot be certain that they will get the needed funding from investors or partners. however. More than 40% of the biopharmaceutical enterprises will need to raise capital within the next year to maintain their current activity level.7: Assessment of the need for capital by the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises. According to the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey. 30%) need capital immediately or within the next 6 months. According to the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey. N = 85. The findings are similar to the findings from other recent surveys. Exhibit 7.e. the survey results should be treated with caution. cf. A survey carried out in February 2009 by European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises found that more than 20% of European biotech SMEs and start-ups faced potential bankruptcy before the end of 2009 (i.7.3 Need for capital One of the key issues to be addressed in the survey is the need for capital among the European biopharmaceutical enterprises. within the next 6 months). Consequently.
If the biopharmaceutical enterprises do not succeed in getting sufficient funding they might have to sell out of their assets at low prices or even sell the whole company to another enterprise. investors are becoming more reluctant to invest in biopharmaceutical companies. In fact.5 Impact of capital shortage The DTI-biopharmaceutical survey indicates that one of the main results of capital shortage in biopharmaceutical enterprises is the postponement of new R&D activities. As a result. Exhibit 7.4 Impact of financial crisis Approx. the biopharmaceutical sector is also facing difficulties with delivering the results that their investors have expected (cf. 52 .7. case study of Molmed and Symphogen). such as achievement of milestones. The existing pipeline will also be affected as enterprises may decide to reduce the number of drug candidates. case study of Arpida in Appendix 2). A relatively high share of the enterprises with candidates in clinical phases 1 or 2 does not think that the financial crisis has had an impact on their access to funding. while 24% of the respondents indicated that the financial crisis has had no effect on their access to funding. Gaining access to capital is not only determined by the financial crisis. cf.8: Impact of financial crisis on access to funding by type of enterprise Platform Pre‐clinical Clinical phase 1 Clinical phase 2 Later‐stage Product(s) on market Made it more difficult No effect Made it more difficult No effect Made it more difficult No effect Made it more difficult No effect Made it more difficult No effect Made it more difficult No effect Frequency (N) 6 ‐ 26 7 5 3 13 7 7 1 9 3 Percent 100% ‐ 79% 21% 63% 37% 65% 35% 88% 12% 75% 25% Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. The platform companies all indicate that the financial crisis has made it more difficult to gain access to capital. to ensure that they can get the capital they need (cf. cf. Exhibit 7. 75% of the respondents in the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey indicated that the current financial crisis has made it more difficult to gain access to funding.9.8. May June 2009 7. Biopharmaceutical enterprises are focusing their activities on demonstrating good results. Exhibit 7.
Exhibit 7. these different strategic responses may eventually lead to a restructuring of the companies with a subsequent negative impact on employment. The increasing shortage of capital is also mentioned as one of the key barriers to gaining sufficient funding (39% of the respondents). Furthermore. the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises especially identify the lack of willingness among investors to provide financing to high-risk and long-term projects.5. 7. cancellation of R&D activities may have a negative impact on the future level of innovation in the sector and thus the availability of innovative medicines for the public. cf. May June 2009Note: Data is aggregated due to multiple answers 53 . May June 2009Note: Data is aggregated due to multiple answers Overall.10: External barriers to getting funding by the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises. Exhibit 7.1 External barriers With regard to external barriers to gaining funding. Exhibit 7.9: Expected impacts of a capital shortage on the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises. N = 87 Total Percent (responses) (N = 87) New R&D activities will be postponed 66 76% Ongoing product development project(s) will be postponed 11 13% The number of drug candidates will be reduced 48 55% The company might be sold 42 48% The company might close 11 13% Other consequences 7 8% No consequences 3 3% Do not expect it to happen 2 2% Do not know/no answer 1 1% Total 191 ‐ Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. N = 87 Increasing shortage of capital Difficult to get an overview of financing market The investors are reluctant to finance long term drug development Investors have limited interest in high‐risk projects/businesses Investors lack knowledge about the biopharmaceutical sector in general Fragmented internal capital market in EU Barriers to national R&D‐schemes operating across national borders Other No external barriers Do not know/no answer Total Total (responses) Percent (N = 87) 34 39% 8 9% 48 55% 45 52% 16 18% 8 9% 6 7% 5 6% 10 11% 1 1% 181 ‐ Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe.10.
54 . cf.. 41% of the respondents indicated that they do not expect their investors to exit the company within the next 2 years. EVCA indicates that investors will.2 Internal barriers The DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises do not consider internal barriers important. In fact. This suggests some stability for the management of the company for the years to come. N= 87 Total Percent Present the idea (drug candidates) without disclosing the idea 7 8% Drug development process comes up with negative data findings 15 17% Conflict of interest between present owners and potential new owners 6 7% Reluctant to accept new owners in an active management role 9 10% Difficult to communicate with investors 11 13% Other 7 8% No internal barriers 45 52% Do not know/no answer 2 2% Total 102 Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe. The main barrier identified in the survey relates to the R&D activities carried out in the enterprises.g. ‘reluctant shareholders’. They may not always produce positive results or ‘proof of concept’ that can be used to as leverage when negotiating with existing and potential investors. The category ‘Other’ includes ‘lack of basic development knowledge’. on the one hand. cf. May June 2009 Note: Data is aggregated due to multiple answers.5.6 Exit strategies of investors Private equity investors typically have a long time horizon compared to other types of investors such as.11.11: Internal barriers to getting funding by the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises. 52% of the respondents do not think that there are any internal barriers to gaining access to capital. Responses concerning the expected time to exit of investors do not suggest that investors are currently fleeing from the biopharmaceutical industry. Exhibit 7. investors may consider focusing their funding on the best performing segment of their portfolio and exit the remaining portfolio companies. The respondents also mentioned the limited resources of small companies to engage in the identification of and negotiations with potential investors. Exhibit 7. 30% of the respondents even expect their investors to stay with the company the next 5 years. On the other hand. and ‘problem with intellectual property’. lack of interest from investor for early-stage drug development because of high risk investment. One of the respondents stated that it is very difficult to raise capital without ‘proof of concept’.13.7. e. hedge funds. will probably seek to help the company pull through the current crisis rather than cutting their losses by liquidating the company (EVCA 2009). Exhibit 7. Approx. 7.
Exhibit 7.12: Expectations concerning current investors’ time to exit. N = 87
Number of enterprises
Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe, May June 2009
The long time horizon for the involvement of private equity investors does not necessarily imply that they are willing to increase their financial commitment to their portfolio company if the company faces financial constraints. Rather, the investors may opt for a reconstruction of the company if it cannot raise additional funding. With regard to exit strategies, 51% of the respondents expect their investors to exit the company via trade sales28, cf. Exhibit 7.13.
Exhibit 7.13: Expectations concerning exit strategies of investors, N = 53
Total Percent Exit via stock market (IPO) 17 32% Trade sales 27 51% Buy out 18 34% Other 4 8% Do not know/no answer 2 4% Total 68 Source: DTI-biopharmaceutical survey in Europe, May June 2009 Note: Data is aggregated due the possibility of multiple answers. The category ‘Other’ includes ‘partnerships’, ‘selling the company’ and selling the shares to a big pharmaceutical company’.
With the IPO window closed, investors that are expected to exit via an IPO will need to pursue other exit strategies for the time being. Interviewees say that the limited exit options make the biopharmaceutical sector less attractive to potential investors.
Sale of one company to another company
Interestingly, the low number of DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises may also indicate that some companies are uncertain about their investors' exit plans. The choice of exit strategies may influence the activities of the portfolio company. According to the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises, the main impact of the investors' exit strategies is that the most uncertain projects or activities are postponed, cf. Exhibit 7.1. The findings from the survey indicate that buy-outs have less effect on the organisation and activities than other types of exit strategies: More than half of the enterprises that expect their investors to exit via a buy-out suggest that this does not affect the enterprise. Enterprises that expect an IPO or a trade sale indicate that most uncertain projects or activities will probably be postponed as a result of this strategy.
In line with the overall picture of financing biopharmaceutical companies, venture capital is the main source of funding biopharmaceutical drug developing enterprises. Grants and loans are only an important financial source in the early stages of drug development, while IPOs and other types of public funding are mostly relevant in the later stages and for product candidates close to the market. Among the DTI-biopharmaceutical surveyed enterprises, more than 40% of the biopharmaceutical enterprises will need to raise capital within the next year to maintain their current activity level. This result is in line with the results of other recent studies on the biopharmaceutical sector. In case the funding situation continues to be critical, the biopharmaceutical enterprises indicate that they will have to postpone new R&D activities or reduce the number of drug candidates. In the long run this might have a negative impact on drug development activities in Europe and - in a wider perspective – innovation, economic growth and employment in Europe. According to the DTI-biopharmaceutical survey, the financial crisis has had a negative impact on access to capital as 75% of all types of biopharmaceutical enterprises that have drug candidate in early stages as well as in later stages indicate that the current financial crisis has made access to capital more difficult. Furthermore, it has become more difficult to obtain funding from all types of capital, especially for IPO, but also for venture capital. It is important to stress that access to capital is not only determined by the financial crisis. If the biopharmaceutical enterprises face difficulties in delivering the results (R&D result, positive clinical trials or professional development of the company) that investors are expecting, the investors may be become more reluctant to invest. In conclusion, gaining access to capital has become very difficult for biopharmaceutical enterprise, but the solution is not only to increase the capital supply, but to also to ensure that the capital is directed towards competent investors and managers.
8. Policy and regulation
The overall aim of this chapter is to analyse the regulatory environment and other framework conditions. We focus on the issues identified by the European Commission. Two key themes are described and analysed. First, we analyse the impact of the regulatory environment (including public policy and regulation of capital markets) on the access to capital for biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe. Second, we analyse the extent to which trade barriers and/or distortions affect biopharmaceutical enterprises' ability to attract finance in an international setting. The latter also includes an analysis of the adequacy of the current international regulatory framework. One issue not included in the present analysis is the effect of socio-economic factors on biopharmaceutical companies' access to finance. For example, attitudes towards risk-taking may differ from country to country and depend on other social or economic factors. These factors are, however, excluded from the analysis on the grounds that access to capital for biopharmaceutical enterprises is heavily influenced by the types of framework conditions mentioned above rather than attitudes to risk-taking, etc. In addition, socio-economic factors are not easily affected by policy and an analysis would thus not result in any useful recommendations.
Public policy and regulation related to funding This section addresses three key aspects of access to finance in the biopharmaceutical sector: • Public policy towards biotechnology (biopharmaceutical) research, • Public co-funding of biotechnology (biopharmaceutical) research (including tax incentives), and • Framework conditions affecting the market for venture capital. It is important to note that public co-funding of biotechnology research may take several forms, each of which pose different challenges for biotechnology enterprise seeking access to finance. For example, the criteria for obtaining state loans and grants differ significantly from the criteria that private venture capital funds may use to make investment decisions. An analysis of framework conditions affecting access to finance in the biotechnology sector has to take account of this. Biotechnology research is a priority in most EU countries' national R&D and innovation policies. Thus, red biotech (biopharmaceutical) remains the most highly funded area within the biotech area (BioPolis 2007). Efforts to improve policy coordination and foster networks between the knowledge base and firms as well as networks between firms have increased. This includes focus on both schemes providing financial support in the form of grants, loans and equity to R&D as well as support for cluster initiatives. The latter is primarily based on increasing the role of regional governments in biotechnology policy-making. Examples of this include clusters in Cambridge (UK), Copenhagen (Denmark), Stockholm/Uppsala (Sweden) and, outside the EU, in Boston, Massachusetts (the US) (IRIS Group 2009).
the findings may still hold validity in the domain of private investment in biotech R&D. European Commission 2005a). the relative importance of biotech R&D funding in total government R&D funding has increased in most Member States. competitive research funding is not only flexible. might be small – perhaps because later-stage companies provide more attractive risk-return profiles (Vinnova 2008. In addition. expansions into new markets and launches of new products. An analysis of policy effectiveness (BioPolis 2007) shows that policies that include both generic and biotech-specific public support show higher performance levels than policies that do not. tax harmonisation remains a politically sensitive issue for many Member 58 . network establishment and technology transfer between research institutions and private companies. the study identifies limitations in the funding systems in many of the New Member States. Previous research suggests that a system where funds are allocated by research councils through a competitive. Policies designed to support enterprises may be divided into two main policies: state-backed venture capital funds for early-stage development and/or research activities of companies and various types of tax incentives (Europe Innova 2007). However.g. biotechnology companies increasingly need to be aware of the challenges and possibilities offered by significantly different tax regimes in different countries. By contrast. where a broad and up-to-date information base and the inclusion of different perspectives are important prerequisites. striking a balance is very important. particularly with regard to the complex nature of biotechnology innovation processes. Having only generic research stimulating instruments in place is less effective than biotech-specific instruments. the national schemes differ substantially in the different countries and this serves as a barrier for trans-European research collaboration (Ernst & Young 2007). the funding of research through the allocation of block grants gives autonomy to organisations over the research agenda. offered to companies or organisations conducting the research. However. To meet these challenges. A special issue relates to the fact that most biotechnology companies are far from making profits and taxable incomes and may not fully include taxation issues in their current decision-making. 2003). which is crucial for attracting venture capital in the later stages.The above has a significant effect on access to finance in the biopharmaceutical sector. Nevertheless. e. although this includes both financial support for biotechnology companies and support for. peer review process allows ex ante coordination. the Commission has moved forward to harmonising taxation measures. before the implementation of strategic decisions. but rather to the funding of research institutions. Moreover. One reason for this is that coordination of simultaneous policy actions apparently pays off. National support to private biotechnology research often takes form of tax incentives. Evidence from several countries suggest that companies' chances of obtaining early seed money. international sourcing of clinical trials and manufacturing operations. Although this does not directly relate to the funding of companies. especially regarding the provision of seed capital (often loans) to new biotech start-ups. In addition.. and coordination can only be carried out ex post. As the present biopharmaceutical environment is characterised by increasing cross-border alliances. it also appears to be a more effective method than direct control of funds by research institutions in achieving a strong international orientation and higher scientific performance (Reiss et al. Many Member States have developed new policy instruments to allow easier access to funding.
However. better regulatory framework conditions are assumed to contribute to lower operational costs and risk. ‘drip-feed’ firms and often slow down the growth of recipient firms. grants. they tend to be too risk averse. However. Furthermore. Funds that would otherwise expand their portfolio across borders are hindered due to operational and regulatory obstacles as outlined below. European venture capital funds tend to be relatively small because they rarely operate beyond national markets (European Commission 2005a). As a consequence. increased flow of venture capital and more efficient venture capital markets. public offerings. in small or emerging venture capital markets funds are finding it difficult to expand. This has a negative impact on returns and on the attractiveness of raising funds. sector funds are becoming more common. e. the capital base available to.g.. the catalytic role of statebacked venture capital is beneficial to market growth. Current national regimes differ substantially from each other. biotechnology companies is limited. seed money. In markets that are in the early stages of development. loans. usually to a small number of chosen private investors). The result is that funds only invest small amounts at a time. 2007). even though their business models are actually based on taking calculated risks. 2) Lack of private placement regime Another obstacle hindering cross-border business is the lack of a European private placement regime (a private placement or non-public offering is a funding round of securities that are sold without an initial public offering. In addition. This leads to higher organisational costs of raising money (in particular legal and advisory fees.g. grow. 2007d): 1) Restrictions on pension funds In some Member States. the European venture capital market is fragmented along national lines and the development and maturity of venture capital markets vary (Europe Innova 2006. higher returns. 2007d). Operating across borders is complex and costly and small venture capital funds tend to avoid investing outside their home jurisdictions (European Commission 2007c. In large Member States with more mature markets.States. Specifically. All in all. divergent national policies create significant market fragmentation. Facilitating cross-border private equity transactions between 59 . a possible source of capital is absent from or face restrictions in the venture capital market. specialise and reach a critical mass of deals (European Commission 2007c).) cannot be employed. Wherever this is the case. Venture capital poses an opportunity for biopharmaceutical companies to gain access to finance at critical stages of their product cycle (typically in the early stages of development. five key obstacles have been identified as having a negative impact on access to venture capital in the biotechnology sector (European Commission 2007c. This has an adverse effect on fundraising and investing within the EU. which are paid for by investors). where traditional means of obtaining finance (e. etc. Venture capital funds and their managers are authorised and regulated according to national requirements. pension funds are not permitted to invest in venture capital funds or face quantitative and geographic restrictions. and the challenges of differing taxation regimes can thus be expected to remain in the future (European Commission 2007c)..
without the necessary support structures (such as investment bankers and lawyers (European Commission 2005a. thus facilitating entry and exit for venture capitalists as new investment opportunities become readily available within the clusters. 4) Exit strategy A key aspect of any venture capital investment is the exit strategy – the point at which the venture capitalist can sell his shares and release funds for new opportunities. e. The Commission has taken steps to improve the situation. making funds established as limited partnerships tax transparent (as is the case in Finland). and structures.. increase their efficiency (e.fund managers.g.g. Currently. 5) Tax obstacles Tax issues are of paramount importance. the interaction of which can lead to unrelieved double taxation. The new guidelines also include a light assessment procedure with a number of elements such as a higher investment threshold of €1. However. improve returns. 3) Regulatory framework Removing administrative obstacles for cross-border investments would make it easier even for minor funds – and funds in small countries – to operate over a wide geographical area. Below this ceiling the Commission accepts that a market failure is assumed to exist (European Commission 2007c). complex fund structures with parallel vehicles should be set up to minimise the tax disadvantages resulting from investing across borders. by establishing a new framework for state aid for research and development and innovation. ensuring that no VAT is imposed on the fund's management company and abstaining from taxing foreign funds (Nordic Innovation Centre 2007). To ensure that cross-border venture capital investments are not impeded. Although venture capital is a local business in many ways. 60 .g. the conditions for the venture capital market can be improved by. The state aid promotes risk capital investments in young innovative enterprises in their first years of existence to help them overcome initial cash shortages. by specialising in certain sectors or industries such as biotech). funds can be established across the EU under a variety of legal forms. Venture capital thrives around clusters and universities that produce new ideas and entrepreneurs. in particular growth stock markets that provide liquidity as the fragmentation of European markets extends to the growth stock markets that are small and illiquid. intermediaries and investors could lower these costs. regimes.5m per SME over a 12month period. specialise and diversify their portfolios. e. relying on close connections between funds and entrepreneurs. fund structures should have features that can accommodate the individual legal and fiscal needs of investors. it is also a global business that competes for both funds and investment opportunities.. Therefore. The high transaction costs of setting up the structure and the on-going management coupled with the existing legal uncertainty also dissuade venture capital funds from making cross-border investments. reach economies of scale. The current European venture capital structures cannot accommodate all types of foreign investors from within and outside the EU. Thus.. 2005b). The European innovation policy pays special attention to supporting clusters and their cooperation that can also help the venture capital industry and its long-term sustainability by providing a deal flow. venture capital also needs more liquid exit markets in the EU.
It includes products that have been derived from human tissue and cells (when intended for use for humans). Because the Nordic countries are not large enough to support a substantial venture capital industry individually. measures regulating the commercialisation of the products. established in 1999. and quality and safety requirements for blood and blood components. Partly sponsored by national venture capital funds.Another initiative that is trying to overcome the shortcomings of the European market for venture capital is the establishment of a common Nordic venture capital market (Nordic Innovation Centre 2006). 3. 61 . and distribution conditions for blood and blood components. The Nordic Venture Forum was established to act as a reference group and an advisor for planned projects under the direction of the Nordic Innovation Centre (NICe) within the Nordic private equity market. a Nordic Investment Fund has been proposed in order to drive the development of an integrated Nordic venture capital market forward. Three main areas of European legislation apply to quality and safety standards for product development. private initiatives have been sparked in the region. the network focuses on strategic relationship building between the members and international financial and industrial players. Limitations are also imposed on 29 One example is the Nordic Venture Network. 2.2 Regulatory measures related to product development and commercialisation Three key regulatory measures affecting access to finance in the biotechnology sector can be identified: 1. storage. In addition to the above. The second area concerns human blood and blood components. Requirements in this area include information required to be given to donors and obtained from them. The first area is good laboratory practice. transport. but does not apply to tissue and cells for antilogous graft. and 3. Product development Access to capital is a key requisite of product development. which applies to laboratories involved in the non-clinical testing of all chemicals including pharmaceutical products. measures regulating the product development of pharmaceutical products. measures relating to the protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) of companies developing and marketing the products (European Commission 2006a). eligibility criteria for donors of whole blood and blood components.29 8. organs. which is a private network consisting of leading technology venture capital firms in the Nordic region. All three areas can affect biopharmaceutical companies' access to capital by raising the costs and risks associated with developing or improving pharmaceutical products: 1. The responsibility for verifying and endorsing compliance with good laboratory practice lies with the Member States. The third area concerns human tissue and cells. 2.1. the time horizon for finalisation of the product is long and the risk of failure (or non-commercialisation) is high. In addition. At this stage. or blood and blood components. scientific experimentation involving animals during product development is covered by EU legislation on animal welfare.
EMEA's opinion is forwarded to the Commission and Member States and then the Commission drafts a decision and forwards it to the Member States and the applicant. exist at Member State. These are generic pharmaceutical products which are essentially similar to. The directive also outlines the extent of the protection of biological material or processes for producing biological material. e. the US.g. European Commission 2006a). Certain regulatory measures relate to biosimilar (or "follow-on biological" in the US) pharmaceutical products. The WTO agreement on trade-related aspects of intellectual property rights (TRIPS) provides an important framework within which to settle such disputes (OECD 2007). With regards to use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in laboratories. and share properties with. In general. European and international level. which has been amended and supplemented by several subsequent directives and decisions (Council of the European Communities 1990. In addition.research and development of products using human tissue. The directive outlines which biotechnological inventions are eligible for patenting and which are not. ultimately. safety and efficacy of a generic product. including protection of biotechnological inventions. but unable to afford the relatively high prices of innovative drugs. Access to risk capital is therefore critical at this stage. the European patent system has been characterised as ‘fragmented’ resulting in high uncertainty. Authorisations are initially valid for five years and are generally renewable after five years for an indefinite period on re-evaluation by EMEA. a reference product that has already received Community marketing authorisation. If the application is refused the product is banned in all Member States. may result in the product not being allowed onto the market) is present and so is the risk of delays which can significantly diminish profits. A special piece of European legislation that specifically deals with biotechnology patents is Directive 98/44/EC on the legal protection of biotechnological inventions (European Parliament and the Council of the European Union 1998). EU legislation recognises that making appropriate comparisons with the reference product may go some way towards compliance with the requirement to establish the quality. If it is accepted it is valid in all Member States. This is underlined by the continuing conflict between the research-based biopharmaceutical industry and generics producers as well as the conflict between the companies holding intellectual property rights and the developing countries afflicted with major diseases. Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) The large investments that are often required to develop innovative biotechnological products and processes combined with the relatively long time horizon mean that the ability to protect intellectual property is a key issue for access to finance. the protection extends to material derived from the patented material which possesses 62 . the main legislation of relevance is Framework Directive 90/219/EEC. This is a costly process. the risk of failure (which. Systems of patent protection. quality drop and prohibitive costs compared to. For example. China and South Korea (van Pottelsberghe 2009). Commercialisation The commercialisation of a pharmaceutical product often involves large-scale tests and clinical trials including extensive documentation.. Applications for market authorisation for pharmaceutical products in the EU are submitted to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA). To some extent. However. industrial inventions can be protected by patent rights if certain basic conditions are met.
and it gives a maximum of fifteen years of market protection from the time of authorisation. which may stretch beyond the period of patent protection.. A major threat to companies developing innovative biotechnological products and processes is the reduction of profits resulting from marketing of biosimilar (‘follow-on biological’) products. To minimise the effect of this.the same. there are provisions for compulsory licensing and the need to deposit biological material for patent applications. Furthermore. Biosimilar copies of off-patent products that have not undergone bioequivalence testing are sometimes also called copy products (USAID 2006). Copy products are common in countries that have not adopted or do not enforce patent-protection laws. executive decisions and sales. Restrictions on parallel trade in pharmaceutical drugs are typically enforced though regulatory barriers.. This not only includes the (sometimes heavy) cost of lawyers.. where a patent holder's intellectual property rights to a certain product are infringed as well as the legal manufacture of biosimilar products not covered by a patent (or where a patent has expired). pharmaceutical products benefit from data exclusivity for eight years after having received marketing authorisation (with additional market exclusivity for another two years. Another factor that can reduce the profitability of biopharmaceutical companies is their pricing systems. The possible consequence for businesses that are dependent on external financing is that the risks and expense of litigation may dissuade lenders or investors. Thus. Prices are often set differently in different countries because of varying approaches to subsidising medicines. In addition to patent rights. i. For example. and a possible one-year extension for new formulations).e. but rather on health and safety regulations issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) (Love 2001). in some cases governments restrict attempts at parallel trading and thus protect biopharmaceutical companies' profits. Copy products are typically developed by illegally obtaining scientific dossiers from research and development (R&D) companies or through reverse engineering. A spin-off cost of the attempts made by biotechnology companies to protect their intellectual property rights is the cost of litigation inflicted on both the petitioner and the defendant (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News 2006). products that are essentially similar to the originally authorised product and where new preclinical and clinical studies are therefore not required. the delays from the point when a patent is awarded until a product hits the market is therefore a critical issue that may reduce profits and thus ultimately make the biopharmaceutical company a less attractive investment object. in the US. marketing. Copy products are defined as goods that were developed while the innovator product was still protected by patents. 63 . 30 A distinction is made between biosimilar products and copy products. the barriers to cross border (parallel) trade in biopharmaceuticals are not based on rules regarding intellectual property rights. i. expert witnesses. while no formal recourse exists for the latter.30 The former can of course be remedied (at least to some extent) via judicial means. Pharmaceutical products can also be granted commercial protection (supplementary protection certificate). specific characteristics. This threat can come from illegal manufacturing and marketing. It applies when there has been a gap between the patent and the marketing authorisation being granted (which usually happens with pharmaceuticals). but also the possibility of disclosure of confidential information such as information on technical product development.e. etc.
However. This makes it difficult for biopharmaceutical companies to operate internationally. where numerous copy products are being manufactured depleting the profits of biopharmaceutical developers (American Chamber of Commerce 2005). Lack of enforcement of intellectual property rights Intellectual property is increasingly vulnerable in an international context where trade barriers are shrinking and no judicial institutions exist to secure their enforcement. steps have been taken to ensure fast market access to innovative products without reducing the level of protection of patients. whose recommendations is also embodied in the EU regulatory system. However. public policy and legislation related to funding and regulatory measures related to product development and commercialisation can differ enormously from one country to another.2 International markets – barriers. The US is a key market for European companies with regard to both aspects. Also. such as the US. the US and Japan have formed the International Conference on Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (ICH 2000). distortions and negotiations Access to international markets is a key aspect of both marketing and commercialisation of biotechnology products and of the possibility for biotechnology companies to raise capital globally. Thus. the costs and risks associated with commercialisation (e. financial costs from extra trials. Differing policies towards to use of GMOs Although most restrictions put on the use of GMOs are related to agricultural biotechnology. the debate over IPR protection has become a significant global trade issue pitting the developed countries. Asia and Africa (Goldsmith et al. This way. EU and Japan. pharmaceutical regulators and researchbased industries in Europe. legislation applying to quality and safety standards for research may be different. delays and the possible risk of rejection of the application) increase. approval practices and criteria often differ. some may be relevant to biopharmaceutical companies as well because genetic engineering in health has been the main focus for modern biotechnology for a 64 . 2001). An obvious example is China. against the developing countries in areas such as Latin America. 2. 8.Thus. making it difficult to spread the early stages of product development over several countries.g. parallel trading and litigation costs associated with operating in a sector where companies actively seek to protect and enforce their intellectual property rights can reduce the attractiveness of biotechnology companies as investment objects. attempts are made to create an international regulatory framework that can regulate the international challenges biopharmaceutical companies face. with legislation forcing companies to obtain individual approvals for marketing and commercialisation in each country. A European company wishing to market its products in the US thus has to file an application with the FDA. For instance. the challenges posed by copy products. and very importantly.. Thus. thus making it harder for biopharmaceutical companies to gain access to finance for their products. To this end. Other important factors that can affect biopharmaceutical companies' access to finance in a global context are: 1. even when the products have already been approved for marketing in the EU.
Above all. important aspects of the international funding and regulatory context can affect biopharmaceutical companies' access to finance. Thus. lack of enforcement of intellectual property rights and differing policies towards the use of GMOs can make it difficult for biopharmaceutical companies to attract investment. In addition. 65 . different regulatory measures pose a challenge as companies often have to apply several times for approval of the same product.long time (United Nations 2002). This includes early products such as insulin as well as more recent developments such as the Human Genome Project and gene therapy.
1 SWOT analysis We present an overview of the four dimensions of the SWOT analysis in Exhibit 9. 67 . Weaknesses. These proposed responses are aimed at improving the sector’s future competitiveness and should thus be taken into account in future policy-making. 9. Opportunities. They do not propose measures for specific countries or regions/clusters. The first part of the chapter features a SWOT analysis (Strengths. and Threats) of the biopharmaceutical sector focusing on small and medium sized biopharmaceutical companies' access to finance which is largely influenced by the structural characteristics of the sector. Strategic outlook– conclusion and recommendations The following strategic outlook concerning access to finance for European biopharmaceutical companies is based on the analyses in the preceding chapters and on interviews with company managers and sector experts.9. Based on the SWOT analysis. the second part of the chapter presents a list of potential strategic responses for policy makers and stakeholders at European sector level. Member State level and EU level. The SWOT analysis lists sector challenges and provides guidance for targets and priorities for policies.1 and discuss each topic in the following sections. It should be noted that the policy recommendations relevant to access to finance for companies in the biopharmaceutical sector focus on generic solutions to improve their access to capital. The purpose of the study is to identify and analyse challenges concerning European biopharmaceutical companies' access to finance to ensure that the sector remains competitive and innovative in the years to come. The SWOT will therefore also address structural issues that may influence the supply of capital for the biopharmaceutical sector.
This indicates that Europe is catching up with its main competitor in biopharmaceuticals. It has resulted in the development of a strategic research agenda (SRA) for Europe concerning the development of biopharmaceuticals and other biomedical products.europa. the specific data on biotech also shows that Europe is trailing behind the US in the discovery of biotech drugs. a recent analysis challenges the common view that US companies are ahead of European companies in pharmaceutical innovation (Light 2009). Unfortunately.2 Strengths Strong research base in Europe Although R&D-investments and the number of biotech patent applications is currently higher in the US than in Europe. In fact. the data is from 1982-2003 and further analyses are needed to analyse the current position of European biotech research vis-a-vis the US and other competitors. the US. Furthermore. i.32 The 31 32 ‘Global’ refers to new chemical entities introduced in four or more of the G7 countries Strategic research agenda. European initiatives aiming at strengthening biopharmaceutical product development The Innovative Medicines Initiative was launched in 2007 by EFPIA and the European Commission. the number of patent applications in the US and Europe appear to be converging.eu/sra_en.html 68 .e. However.1: SWOT analysis of the European biopharmaceutical sector STRENGTHS WEAKNESSES o o o o Strong research base in Europe European initiatives aimed at strengthening biopharmaceutical product development Strong biopharmaceutical clusters in Europe Increased number of drug candidates in the pipeline o o o o o o A risky and resource‐intensive innovation process Very few European companies intend to bring products to the market on their own Lack of access to capital Poor performance of the biopharmaceutical sector Biopharmaceutical companies lack business skills European venture capital industry is not performing well OPPORTUNITIES THREATS o o o Lack of funding leading to consolidation European VC industry is exploring new paths to increase performance Pipelines of large pharmaceutical companies are drying out o o o o o o Financial crisis turning into innovation crisis Risk of negative impact on long‐term health and healthcare provisions Lack of exit options Regulatory barriers Flow of investors Capital going to the US 9. Europe dominates the discovery of new chemical entities in general and global new chemical entities31 in particular. http://imi. The analysis suggests that European research is actually performing well compared to both the US and Japan with regard of drug discovery.Exhibit 9.
Very few European companies intend to bring products to the market on their own Very few biopharmaceutical companies in the survey indicate that they intend to bring products to the market on their own (only 17% of the companies). An increasing number of drug candidates in the pipeline A strong pipeline is a precondition for attracting investors to the biopharmaceutical industry. On the one hand. the lack of interest in bringing products to the market could reflect a strategic choice by the companies to focus on their research activities. the process of developing biopharmaceutical products is very expensive and very risky compared to other sectors. for instance. A potential problem with leaving drug development decisions completely to the market is that innovative products that. there is no comparable data on the US biotech pipeline. Furthermore. Clustering and the establishment of formal cluster organisations may also help to attract potential investors to regions that are not currently in focus in investor communities.strategy is intended to strengthen the competitiveness of biopharmaceutical research and product development in Europe by reducing or removing bottlenecks in the product development process.33 9. Strong biopharmaceutical clusters in Europe There are strong biopharmaceutical clusters in Europe – these include Cambridge in the UK.3 Weaknesses A risky and resource demanding innovation process The development of biopharmaceutical products takes a lot of time. In such cases. would mainly help small groups of patients with rare diseases may not be developed due to their limited market potential. These sector characteristics may keep many potential investors from investing in biopharmaceutical companies. policy makers would need to consider financing the development and manufacture of the drugs through public funding. and the time for developing new drugs seems to be increasing. This implies that the political ambition of creating a strong European biopharmaceutical industry in its own right may not Unfortunately. Reducing the time to market and the costs of product development may make it easier for biopharmaceutical companies to attract investors. Medicon Valley in Denmark/Sweden and Biovalley in France/Germany/Switzerland. 2007 and 2008) the number of European drug candidates in the pipeline (clinical trials phase 1-3) has increased for several years. The clustering of companies promotes innovation and economic growth. but a 2008 survey carried out by The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) found that a total of 633 biotechnology medicines were in development (human clinical trials or under review by the Food and Drug Administration). Thus. the dominant strategy of the companies is to enter into an alliance and/or out-license its drug candidates to another (bio)pharmaceutical company. in 2008 there were more than 1. attracts innovative companies from other European or non-European countries and increases the visibility and credibility of the biopharmaceutical companies located in these clusters. According to data from Ernst & Young (2006. Thus. 33 69 .000 product candidates in the pipeline (clinical trials phase 1-3).
The survey and the case studies indicate that many new biopharmaceutical companies are trapped by high R&D costs or academic ambition and hesitate to accumulate managerial or business skills. the strategy could also be the result of lack of business competencies or financial resources to carry out capital-intensive activities such as later-stage clinical trials. manufacturing. 70 . Biopharmaceutical companies lack business skills Good researchers are not necessarily good managers. the European biopharmaceutical enterprises will mainly contribute to the development of the pharmaceutical industry by filling up the pipelines of leading US or European pharmaceutical companies with biopharmaceutical product candidates. Instead. Lack of access to capital Recent studies and the DTI survey of European biopharmaceutical companies suggest that the biopharmaceutical companies find it very difficult to gain access to sufficient funding. In the long term. Poor performance of European venture capital industry The European venture capital industry has not been able to provide the expected returns and investors are becoming more reluctant to invest in the European venture capital industry. the DTI survey of European biopharmaceutical companies shows that the financial crisis has made it increasingly difficult to gain access to funding. the average size of VC investments in Europe is lower than in the US suggesting that too little capital is invested in too many companies. Companies must also have a managerial reputation and credibility to be able to attract investors. they are moving towards the less risky late stages or investing in other less risky sectors (medical devices. Consequently. the survey indicates that the main result of the lack of access to capital is postponement of new R&D activities and a reduction in the number of drug candidates in the pipeline. In addition. It is vital for biopharmaceutical innovation as well as economic growth and public health in Europe to address this lack of access to capital. the financial crisis has reduced the financial basis of many venture capital funds. clean tech. distribution and marketing. In line with expectations. As a result. companies may be forced to restructure and reduce the number of employees. Research on the sector's access to funding has identified three major funding gaps faced by biopharmaceutical companies in the process of developing new products. Venture capital industry in Europe is not able to keep up with the US OECD data indicates that the US is a global leader with regard to the amount of capital invested in life sciences (OECD 2009). the capital base of the European venture capital industry is eroding and the venture capital industry's lack of market credibility makes it difficult for the funds to attract additional capital from investors. Furthermore. This has made it more difficult for biopharmaceutical companies to raise capital.materialise. Moreover. etc. The biopharmaceutical sector is not performing well Investors and venture capital funds have been disappointed with the results of the clinical trials achieved by biopharmaceutical companies.). On the other hand. companies do not pay sufficient attention to business development and establishing networks or business relations with (potential) investors or other (bio)pharmaceutical companies. sales. Consequently.
.g. Pipelines of big pharmaceutical companies are drying out The pipelines of many leading pharmaceutical companies are drying out. which could result in a reduced number of biopharmaceutical enterprises in Europe. pharmaceutical companies are increasingly moving into earlier phases of the development process to buy up compounds or engage in a strategic partnership with biopharmaceutical companies before their compounds become too expensive. the European venture capital funds are not as specialised and competent in relation to biopharmaceuticals as their US counterparts are. e.The performance problem of the European venture capital industry can be attributed to several factors.5 Threats Financial crisis turning into innovation crisis The financial crisis has made investors more risk-adverse and many investors are therefore focusing on biopharmaceutical companies in late-stages of product development or even abandoning the biopharmaceutical sector to the benefit of sectors perceived to be less risky (e. pension funds be forced . including the relatively small size of the funds and limited specialised knowledge of high-tech sectors such as the biopharmaceutical sector.to reduce the number of biopharmaceutical companies in their portfolios or even exit the sector completely. this is good news as there will be a downward pressure on the price of compounds and companies. From the perspective of potential buyers. consolidation could also create larger and stronger European biopharmaceutical companies that could perform better than small companies and be more attractive to investors. clean tech).. As a result. the European venture capital funds may not be able to assess the biopharmaceutical companies or support their development to the same extent as specialised US venture capital funds. However. VC industry in Europe is exploring new paths to increase performance European venture capital funds are exploring new paths to achieving higher diversification and maximising their returns – for instance. As the price of biopharmaceutical compounds tends to increase with their stage of development and with competition among potential buyers intensifying in later stages. This could increase the performance of the venture capital industry.g. The lack of access to capital could force biopharmaceutical companies to postpone or even abandon risky R&D projects in favour of less 71 . 9. through funds-of-funds strategies where venture capital funds invest in other funds.4 Opportunities Lack of funding leading to consolidation The financial crisis is putting a lot of financial pressure on many investors and they may decide – or due to regulation of. biopharmaceutical companies are struggling to gain access to funding and their bargaining power vis-a-vis potential buyers of compounds or the company itself may be limited. we expect to see more M&A activities and strategic partnerships in the near future. according to interviewees. medical technology. As a result. In fact. As a result. and pharmaceutical companies are – according to industry – desperate to get new compounds into their own pipelines. 9. However. the pooling of resources in specialised life sciences VC funds will also benefit the European biopharmaceutical sector due to improved access to funding and support for business development.
Flow of investors The current financial model that finances biopharmaceutical companies in rounds causes a lot of uncertainty about investors. This could have a negative effect on the level of innovation in the sector and therefore economic growth in Europe. in the early phases of the company’s development as well as the continuous financial commitment of Novo Nordisk to the company. One of the success factors for the company Innate Pharma (cf. Policy makers at national and European level thus need to consider improving the regulatory framework to reduce the time to market for biopharmaceutical products. pharmaceutical companies that are capable of raising sufficient money to negotiate and complete transactions. In the early stages. IPOs are more difficult in Europe than in the US. the case study in Appendix 2) has been the collaboration with Novo Nordisk. a leading pharmaceutical company. it is very difficult to exit the biopharmaceutical sector. public healthcare provision under considerable financial pressure. The lack of access to capital could mean that biopharmaceutical companies will be unable to develop new innovative medicines to conquer diseases and emerging threats to public health such as pandemics and bioterrorism.. One way to help biopharmaceutical companies to gain access to capital and investors is to strengthen their investor networks and improve the coordination between early-stage investors and late-stage investors. To address this threat to biopharmaceutical innovation. US ownership of European assets may not pose a problem for individual companies. Such coordination could also provide an exit opportunity for earlystage investors. in particular. In general. Regulatory barriers making the sector less attractive to investors Regulation and approval procedures increase the time to market for biopharmaceutical products. capital flow and privileges. Many of the large pharmaceutical companies are currently located in the US and European drug developing companies may therefore end up becoming US owned.e. investors are often unable to raise the capital needed in later stages. Therefore. and the financial crisis has shut the IPO window in the foreseeable future. Biopharmaceutical products may also help policy makers in their efforts to deal with socioeconomic challenges such as the ageing European population. 72 . policy makers will need to provide incentives for investors to provide capital to the biopharmaceutical sector or set up public funding mechanisms in accordance with European regulation on state aid. Negative impact on long-term public health and healthcare provision The lack of access to capital not only constitutes a threat to biopharmaceutical innovation and economic growth – it is also a threat to public health. which will make early-stage investments more attractive to the investor community. additional investors with financial pull are needed to provide sufficient capital to the company throughout the different development stages. which will place the public sector and. trade sales and buy-outs need buyers. This is making the sector less attractive to investors. i. but it may have a negative effect on economic growth and employment in Europe. Moreover. Lack of exit options For the time being.risky projects.
2 below. The structural problems relate to the performance of the companies (R&D and management skills and capacity).market) as well as the relationship between the company and the provider of capital illustrated by mutual trust. The EU and the Member States have launched a long list of different initiatives and measures in this connection . 9. However. In line with the SWOT analysis. the capital market (VC. economic growth and employment in Europe. cf. they may become increasingly attracted to the advantages of the US market and this may lead them to deemphasize their local engagement. 73 .Our ambition is to address the financial challenges identified in this study by providing recommendations on how to improve access to finance for biopharmaceutical companies. The policy recommendations target the different challenges in the specific stages of the biopharmaceutical product development process as well as the overall framework conditions affecting the sector’s development. our recommendations will focus on the impact of the financial crisis and the structural problems facing biopharmaceutical companies.6 Conclusion and recommendations The European biopharmaceutical sector faces considerable challenges in connection with gaining access to funding. The long-term consequences could be that biopharmaceutical companies will be forced to give up their drug development activities with a subsequent negative impact on innovation. Financing biopharmaceutical drug development is a complex matter that goes beyond having access to sufficient funding. The financial challenges have been accentuated by the current financial crisis. Many biopharmaceutical companies have performed poorly and policy makers should be careful to invest in companies that the financial market has abandoned. sharing information. In recent years. Exhibit 9. we conclude that an increased capital supply could meet some of the immediate funding problems in the biopharmaceutical sector.Capital going to the US As VC in the few relatively successful European clusters grows more experienced and specialised. etc. the access to risk capital for high-tech entrepreneurs such as biopharmaceutical companies has been on the European political agenda. In the following. there is also an element of ‘creative destruction’ that needs to be considered when deciding to support an industry on the ‘other side of the biotech hype’. and this would drain the financial market for capital for other and more promising drug candidates. Some observers even claim that having too much capital in the market for funding drug development could very easily become a “waste of money” because too many drug candidates with insufficient market potential would be funded. understanding the business logic of the opposite part.
9. the cases studies also suggest that there is a weak link between research and the early stage of drug and business development because researchers hesitate to move from research to business development. However. a prominent model is for university-based researchers to spin out from universities and form their own companies expecting one day to become a large manufacturing biopharmaceutical company.2: Intervention areas and related policy recommendations Early stage – first funding gap • Accelerating tech transfer models and commercialisation strategies Supporting micro funds and business angels • Mid and late stage – second and third funding gap Increasing the volume of venture capital investments in Europe – The European Biopharmaceutical Innovation Fund • Framework conditions Attracting venture capital to Europe Improve framework conditions for biopharmaceutical sector and venture cap ital industry in Europe • • Our analysis of access to finance shows that it is necessary to focus more on the challenges that biopharmaceutical companies are facing in the product development process.6. long time to market.1 Recommendations addressing early stage drug development Exploring the effectiveness of accelerating tech transfer models and commercialization strategies – good practice Reducing the time to market and the cost of development are essential for companies in the biopharmaceutical sector if they wish to increase their attractiveness in investor communities. Such sector specific measures would constitute a new approach in European industrial policy (compared to the current horizontal approach) that could successfully support the future development. In fact. innovative capacity and competitiveness of the European biopharmaceutical sector. There are many different approaches to developing biopharmaceutical products. have established partnerships with other (bio)pharmaceutical companies. In Europe.Exhibit 9. Solutions may include tech transfer and engaging in new ways to commercialise products. case studies in Annex 2). There appears to be a need for speeding up and encouraging 74 . Some of the case companies (cf. high risk of failure) by considering sector-specific policy measures that target the special needs of the biopharmaceutical sector. These partnerships give the biopharmaceutical companies access to R&D resources and business-relevant skills and provide revenue. the European Commission should recognise the unique structural characteristics of the biopharmaceutical sector (capital-intensive.
2 Recommendations focusing on increasing the access to finance for biopharmaceutical companies Making investments in early-stage biopharmaceutical companies more attractive for micro-funds and business angels Interviewees suggest that venture capital funds may not be the most appropriate source of funding for early-stage companies. venture capital and committed technical.g.org/attachments/venture/resources/TTA_FinalReport__Sept-Oct2005. Recommendation Analyse and promote good practice accelerating tech transfer models. http://www. commercialisation strategies or business incubator approaches has not been investigated systematically. Accelerating tech transfer models extend the traditional scope of tech transfer activities that focus on licensing also to include business support. the Leuwen tech transfer and the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. e. the effectiveness of the different accelerating tech transfer models.pdf 35 NESTA (2009) defines micro-funds as ‘small venture capital funds worth £30 million in total or less. 34 75 .the presence of business skills in the early stages of drug and business development. analysis and dissemination of good practice for accelerating tech transfer models. an early commercial assessment of research will ensure that the research activities and early drug development are based on a viable business/commercial platform.6. Instead. commercialisation strategies and business incubator approaches in the biopharmaceutical sector to ensure the adoption of good practice in Europe. have adopted this model.. and business incubator approaches in the biopharmaceutical sector. clinical and market expertise.bio. Thus. conditions for micro-funds35 and involvement of business angels could be improved to increase their involvement in early-stage companies in the biopharmaceutical sector. and the returns of investment for investors in early stage are considered low.eif.34 The case studies of Bioartic Neuroscience and MolMed also illustrate the importance of business incubators for the development of biopharmaceutical companies. commercialisation strategies. The analysis should focus on documenting the effects of the various models.pdf and report on the US bioscience industry and recent bioscience initiatives published by the Biotechnology Industry Organisation in 2008. Recommendation Provide incentives to micro-funds and business angels to invest in early-stage biopharmaceutical companies See also EIF report from 2005 on Technology Transfer Accelerator. strategies and approaches (European Commission) 9. http://www. Means • Identification. For instance. Yet. Various university institutions and cluster organisations in Europe. the close collaboration between universities and big pharmaceutical companies is considered vital for the successful commercialisation of (biopharmaceutical) research in the US.org/local/battelle2008/State_Bioscience_Initiatives_2008. investing less than £2m in total (including follow-up investments) in each of their portfolio companies.
the DTI survey of biopharmaceutical enterprises indicates that the companies find it more difficult to gain access to funding in the early development stages than companies in other stages of product development. In addition. geared their initial capital and supported the establishment of specialised private life-science funds. The fund should be guided by the following principles: o Economic size will allow the fund to provide sufficient means to support biopharmaceutical product development in portfolio companies from the earliest research to the late stages of drug development. e. There is a significant risk that these developments will lead to a reduction in R&D activities in the biopharmaceutical sector with negative consequences for innovation and economic growth. The later development stages are more capital-intensive and require large amounts of capital that micro-funds and business angels often cannot raise on their own. This will allow the fund managers to carry out qualified assessments of business projects and support the management of the portfolio companies in their decision-making processes. It could be set up as a fund that invest directly in biopharmaceutical companies or as a fund-of-funds that invest in other venture funds. the financial crisis has put many biopharmaceutical companies in Europe under financial pressure and reduced exit opportunities via public markets for investors . economic size and expertise will attract additional private investors so that the total funds under management will increase. the study stresses that it is important to maintain the momentum of the product development process in the European biopharmaceutical sector.Means • Reform tax systems (e.. but investors and companies still face the challenge of finding the capital needed for the companies to grow. 76 . The Norwegian government-owned investment company “Argentum” and the Danish state-backed VC fund “Vækstfonden” (cf. This has made the biopharmaceutical sector less attractive to the investor community.g. o Finally. Increasing the volume of venture capital investments in the European biopharmaceutical sector The analysis suggests that biopharmaceutical enterprises face several funding gaps when developing new products.g.. o Economic size will also allow the fund (or the venture capital funds supported by the fund) to build up world class expertise and a high level of specialisation in biopharmaceuticals. Some European countries have already launched strategic initiatives focused on boosting investments in national life sciences sectors (including biopharmaceuticals). All in all. case study of Symphogen) have. tax concessions) to favour investments in biopharmaceutical companies by business angels and micro-funds (Member States) • Public co-investments in micro-funds (Member States and European Commission) These initiatives may increase the availability of capital for biopharmaceutical companies. Furthermore. Recommendation Increase the availability of venture capital to biopharmaceutical companies Means • Establish a European biopharmaceutical innovation fund to invest in biopharmaceutical product development.
Finally. Policy makers should consider the merits of mezzanine funds with regard to high-risk investments and consider providing capital to the biopharmaceutical sector via such funds (Member States and European Commission). Alternatively. Will the fund only invest in biopharmaceuticals or should it spread the risks and invest in the biopharmaceutical sector as well as other sectors? The proposed fund should be fully integrated with the existing institutional framework consisting of the EIF and EIB to ensure that their activities are coordinated and synergies are exploited. To ensure the fund’s credibility in the venture capital market. traditional bank loans are ill suited for biopharmaceutical companies due to the high risks involved in biopharmaceutical product development and the limited revenues in the sector. However.g. Moreover.3 Improving framework conditions for the biopharmaceutical sector and venture capital Attracting venture capital to Europe The European venture capital industry has not performed well and investors are becoming increasingly reluctant to invest in venture capital funds.A range of issues must be considered before setting up a fund or a fund-of-funds. This means keeping interference with the fund to a minimum and letting professional fund managers make investments decisions. the instruments often focus on European investors located.. and this may pose a problem in the biopharmaceutical sector because many potential private investors in life sciences (e. The EIF is co-investing together with private investors in VC funds that focus on underfinanced sectors such as the life sciences to attract other private investors. the diversification strategy of the fund should be discussed. the European Commission could decide to establish a fund-of-funds to avoid policy interference with investment decisions. Means • Reform of existing European and national financial instruments to ensure global focus of activities (national and European policy makers) • Remove regulatory barriers to cross-border operations of venture capital funds (national and European policy makers) 77 . European policy makers will need to provide a formal guarantee for the independence of the fund. One key issue is that private investors may be concerned about the risk of political interference in the investment decisions of the fund. debt financing is also a potential source of financing of innovation. Such a fund-of-funds could support the current venture capital funds in investing in biopharmaceuticals without interfering with investment decisions.6. Recommendation Extend the geographical reach of national and European financial instruments to ensure full exploitation of global financing opportunities. Mezzanine funding provides an interesting alternative to bank loans and venture capital. However. large pharmaceutical companies) are located in the US. 9.
Improving the framework conditions for biopharmaceutical companies and private equity
According to industry representatives, the regulation of biopharmaceutical companies as well as the European venture capital industry could be improved to better support the development and competitiveness of the two industries. The biopharmaceutical sector is subject to extensive sector-specific regulation due to the potential risks to human health and the environment as well as ethical concerns. Among the key issues we find: ‐ Reduce the burden on biopharmaceutical companies ‐ Speed up the procedures for drug approval The European regulation of the venture capital industry is currently under scrutiny following the financial crisis. One of the key issues is increased transparency with regard to the operation of venture capital funds. Moreover, the regulation of private equity does not take the characteristics of different forms of capital into account. Recommendation Improve the framework conditions for European biopharmaceutical companies and venture capital industry. Means • Adopt the Young Innovative Enterprises scheme in all European countries (adjusted to the national contexts) (EU Member States) and extend the current 8-year limit in the EU State Aid rules to 15 years. • Speed up the centralised procedure for marketing authorisation (EMEA) o A 2007 study analysing approval times for the EMEA and FDA in 2000-2005 concluded that approval times were nearly identical (15.8 months for EMEA vs. 15.7 months for FDA). However, the FDA approved a larger number of products (47) faster than the EMEA.36 EMEA has taken steps to reduce the approval time, but there is a need to continue to explore other options in order to reduce the approval time further. o Good practice examples: The Swiss drug licensing authority, SwissMedic, has set up a task force to speed up the approval procedure. The aim is to ensure that by the end of 2010 drug registration will take just three months instead of the current eight months (Swiss Biotech Report 2009). • Operation of venture capital funds in Europe. Continue the policy dialogue between policy makers and the private equity industry to ensure that new legislation aimed at regulating and monitoring financial operations does not serve as a barrier to venture capital funds and other investors to operate in Europe and invest in innovation activities
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Milan Hungarian Biotech Association EVCA EIF Business Angel ASEBIO 87 . Denmark Novartis Venture Funds.Annex 1: List of interviewed expert Name and position Rolf Hauge Kjærgaard Florent Gros Daniela Bellomo Erno Duda Dr. Switzerland San Raffaele Science Park. Thomas Meyer Ulrich Grabenwater Alan Barrell Isabel Garcia Organisation Vækstfonden.
BioValley UK 88 . BioRN Italy France Spain.Annex 2: Case studies Overview of the case studies: Name of the company Symphogen BioArctic Neuroscience Apogenix MolMed Innate Pharma Oryzon Genomics Arpida CellZome Location Denmark. BioCat Switzerland. Medicon Valley Sweden Germany.
39 The third founder is a researcher with extensive international research experience within molecular immunology and biochemistry. i.has since 1999 established itself as an international venture capital partner in the life science area and has invested in over 50 companies in Denmark.Symphogen A/S. The company's main business strategy is to develop new drug candidates and bring the drug candidates to the market in partnership with leading biopharmaceutical companies. a new class of biopharmaceuticals for treatment of serious human diseases.e. allocation and dedication to R&D has a very high priority. USA 37 89 . Since 2000. such a dedicated focus can only be achieved if access to capital is plentiful and when the “capital” (the venture capitalist) is competent (profound insight and knowledge about the technological platform of the company). In its first year in business. However. the company may also become more active in initiating production (possibly by using subcontractors) as well as sale and marketing. but more a means than the solution The case is mainly based on an interview with the CEO Kirsten Drejer. Symphogen invested considerable amounts of money in R&D to develop its own antibody technology platform.dk) 40 The first invention recognising this technology platform originally was done at Boston University.owned by the Novo Nordisk Foundation . Denmark Company characteristics37 Symphogen A/S was founded in 2000 by the three co-founders Kirsten Drejer (CEO). Through their insight they will also become patient investors (have a long investment horizons). and two thirds of them work within drug discovery and pre-clinical tests. The number of employees peaked in 2008 with 87 employees but has been reduced while the company adapted to more focused activities. This is the backbone of the company in its efforts to become the leading company in its area of business. This platform has now been patented. www. Symphogen is based on the fundamental research idea40 that the human body produces antibodies to overcome many different diseases. The researchers will be able to develop drugs if they can copy and/or clone these antibodies. In other words. 70.. Overall.novonordisk. or master's degrees. the company claims to be the leading company in developing recombinant polyclonal antibodies (rbAb). prove (test) their effectiveness and develop production system for a wide range of different drugs. the number of employees has increased to approx. Europe and North America.(www.novo.symphogen. Today. the key to Symphogen's success will be the originality of its technological platform and a competent symbiosis between the executive management and board of directors (investors). 38 http://www. The CEO and the CFO have considerable industrial experience from the pharmaceutical industry and have worked with R&D and management of R&D in Novo Nordisk A/S (one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies within diabetes38) and as an investment manager in Novo A/S respectively. The key strategic challenges for Symphogen are primarily to keep very high scientific standards and present promising research and clinical results. 60% of them hold a Ph. However. d.com/ 39 Novo A/S .com and Symphogen (2009): The Annual Report 2008. John Haurum (CSO) and Thomas Feldthus (CFO). Capital is crucial.
Thus. the last few years the Danish State Investment Fund has faced increasing problems with finding sufficient capital to continue investing in the increasing number of biopharmaceutical companies with an ever increasing need for capital to bring drug candidates from research to a new medicine.dk/?sc_lang=en) 43 Sunstone Capital (http://www. a cluster organisation. which is a spin off from the Danish State Investment Fund. The biotech sector took off in the years 1999-2002 when 10 new biotech companies were established every year. Medico Valley Alliance. The Danish State Investment Fund has invested indirectly in some 60 companies. the capital market also seems to be well developed. Apart from the state-backed venture capital.mva. university hospitals and a number of very large and globally oriented (bio)pharmaceutical companies.sunstonecapital. Hopefully. This region is characterised by a huge health care sector with several universities. the average venture capital investment per inhabitant is very high in the region where many clinical studies are also carried out. In a European context.Regional and national financing conditions Symphogen is located in Copenhagen in the Danish-Swedish cross-border Øresund Region. Through its indirect investments. the Danish State Investment Fund invests in other venture capital funds (at present seven venture capital funds). The fund recently changed its investment strategy from direct investment (an actual portfolio of nine companies) to indirect investment. and the capital managed by venture capital funds increased from approx. the region also appears to be highly attractive to international investors. € 800 million (IRIS Group 2009) However. has been established to encourage collaboration and joint activities and profile (market) the region internationally.vaekstfonden. the regional venture market is also characterized by very competent cooperate venture capital funds as well as funds established by institutional investors with less knowledge about biopharmaceutical market. which is also called the “Medico Valley Region”.com/#/frontpage) 90 .41 Finally.org/) Vækstfonden (http://www. these venture capital funds will be able to attract further capital and invest in more companies. In addition to the above research and industrial platform. € 150 million to approx. The Danish State Investment Fund (Vækstfonden42) has played a significant role in financing biotech companies (different forms of loans as well as equity) for about 15 years by filling the financial gap between research funding and the traditional private venture capital. The institutional investors to some extent rely on the competence and expertise of the venture capital funds dedicated to the biopharmaceutical market. Several of the large pharmaceutical companies have been in business for decades and hold a significant position in the international market. Sunstone Capital43 is an example of a venture capital fund. The overall impression is that the region is characterised by high skills and competencies in the research and business sector as well as the venture capital are dedicated to the biopharmaceutical market. 41 42 Medico Valley Alliance (MVA) (http://www.
Since the initial funding. Competent investors have much more patience and do not panic if some of the research or test results turn out to negative as they have understand how to evaluate the results and consider a strategy to continue the drug development process. In 2002. This not only resulted in seed capital from Novo A/S. Symphogen expects to be financially sustainable in 5 years. the company will need an additional capital injection of € 130 million. Danske Bank (DK). Until it can break even. Generally. Symphogen had raised a total of €108 million in equity capital through its international investor syndicate over several funding rounds. but has relied on grants. Symphogen has been successful in raising capital. It has recommended Symphogen to potential investors. LD Pensions (DK). Symphogen stresses that venture capital is the only possible way of funding new drug discovery companies as the need for capital is huge and the investors' ability to handle the risk management requires profound insight and knowledge about biopharmaceuticals. technology. In the start-up phase. Symphogen has not generated any profit from its business activities. these partnerships generate an 44 Essex Woodlands Health Ventures (USA). 44 2009 has seen a new funding round where the company raised an additional equity investment of € 33 million. Novo A/S (DK). figure below) has also opened up for co-development and marketing partnerships with other biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.66 million loan from the Danish State Investment Fund and a start-up grant of € 0. In other word. Symphogen had the advantage of having close relations with Novo A/S.1 million. In 2000. the company has also played an important role in proposing potential venture capital funds. a € 0. Symphogen raised seed capital from Novo A/S (€ 0. the current pipeline of drug candidates (cf. Symphogen has carefully screened the venture capital market for competent venture capital funds and the management's personal networks have been dedicated to establishing personal relationships with potential investors. determined and persistent focus on: • High-quality research and a technology platform with great market potential • Establishing personal relationships with investors followed by a clear and open communication • Dedicated process to attract the most competent international venture capital The financing strategy of Symphogen is based on the philosophy of being dedicated to R&D in order to obtain the best research results as a way to attract the most competent international investors. This combination of capital and insight is difficult to find in other parts of the capital market . Personal relationships appear to be essential. The investors – mainly venture capitalist – have almost remained the same since 2000. The capital was spent on intensive research. In addition to equity. approval by the authorities and access to the market. Gilde Healthcare Partners (Netherlands). Its success is based on a. loans and capital raised in the private venture capital market. which has been essential for getting the opportunity to present Symphogen's business plan.86 million as equity). Tri-Takeda (Japan) and Genentech (USA) 91 . Sunstone Capital (DK). The advantage of having competent investors is that they understand the challenges in connection with developing new drugs with regard to research. Symphogen has addressed the most competent international investors.including the stock market. Until 2008.Financing situation of the company So far. about € 17 million in additional equity was raised from venture capital funds. Depending on the progress of the drug development. during several funding rounds.
a worldwide co-development and commercialization agreement signed in 2006. Symphogen considers these partnerships a necessary path to reaching the market for the mainstream products) as the partners contribute with competence and knowledge while Symphogen offers its technology and manufacturing platform. Symphogen received an upfront technology access fee.in 2008 Symphogen entered into a global strategic collaboration agreement with Genentech. Japan).6 million grant by the U.S. • Genentech . The main challenge is to establish a clear agreement that defines collaboration.. In addition. Ltd. Meiji will fund all discovery and development activities. Pipeline of Symphogen Symphogen currently has partnerships with Biovitrum. If successfully commercialized. Symphogen will receive royalties on net sales of the product. Symphogen was eligible to receive milestone payments upon the success of certain research and development milestones. and may receive milestone payments based on progress • Meiji Holding Co. funding and shared risk. 92 . in 2006 Symphogen was awarded a $4. Furthermore. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) for the full preclinical development of an anti-vaccine product for the adverse reactions associated with smallpox vaccination The total value of these agreements cannot be estimated. According to the agreement. Genentech would make an undisclosed upfront payment to Symphogen. Symphogen entered into a development and license agreement with Meji Holding Co. and would fund associated research and development costs. as well as an equity investment in Symphogen. and Symphogen is entitled to receive milestone payments upon successful product development achievements. Symphogen received an initial technology access fee from Biovitrum. but presumably they not only have an economic value but also marketing value.income to the company even before the drug candidates have reached the market. Ltd. The total value of the agreement had the potential to exceed $ 330 million and Genentech would obtain an exclusive worldwide license to candidates developed through this agreement. as well as royalties on any products developed and commercialized by Genentech as a result of the collaboration. Exhibit 1. Meiji Holding Co. (Tokyo.in 2006.. and Genentech: • Biovitrum . .
All the investors have accepted the need for further investments without letting other major investors enter the group of shareholders. The impression is that they have made a positive evaluation of the company's market potential. but the market has become more hesitant to invest. which eventually will give a good return on their investments.g. The general impression of the venture capital market is that there is still available capital. business eagles) with a short investment time horizon since early exit is a disadvantage for long-term drug development Policy priorities and recommendations Symphogen knows that sufficient access to venture capital is crucial for the biopharmaceutical industry in order to develop new drug candidates. The company tries to avoid investors (e. Except for business start-ups.. However. None of the investors seems to have any exit plans for the time being. Nevertheless. Challenges with exit strategies of investors The current group of investors have kept their investment in Symphogen for a long time. 93 . the changing market situation has not had any impact on Symphogen yet. This gives the company a good opportunity to focus on drug development without being forced to spend a lot of time on raising additional capital.or EU-backed venture capital should be to invest in projects/companies with the best qualifications. and they continue to refuse offers from potential investors. the company thinks that the main rule for the managers of state.Impact of the funding situation on strategy Symphogen has sufficient capital to continue its drug development programme until 2011. Symphogen is very satisfied with the current situation as the company's competent and patience investors enable the company to focus on R&D and drug development. loans and grants are not considered relevant instruments to meet the financial requirements of drug development candidates. The managers must have very profound knowledge about biopharmaceuticals and political agendas and complicated administrative legislation should be avoided.
the one of the founders. i. The CEO stresses that highly skilled researchers and promising research results is BioArctic's main success factor. At the time. The foundation of the company was based on two breakthrough discoveries. partnerships and out-licensing agreements with other companies. Thus. The two men met for the first time in the 1980s. The economic performance of the company has developed slowly.. BioArctic has had a dedicated focus on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease in order to develop immunotherapy for these two neurodegenerative diseases. In the 1990s. BioArctic Neuroscience AB was established in 2003 as a spin-off company from Uppsala University. Sweden Company characteristics45 BioArctic's overall business focus is to discover and develop new treatment opportunities and diagnostic tools for diseases of the central nervous system.. the company was located at the Uppsala University and at the founders' private residences. Regional and national financing conditions BioArctic is situated in the Stockholm/Uppsala biotech-region (IRIS Group 2009). but international mergers have gradually eroded their position in the region (and in 45 This case study is mainly based on an interview with CEO Pär Gellerförs and http://www. Lars Lannfelt still works as scientist doing research projects within the technological platform of BioArctic. originally started his career in 1980s as a researcher. Manufacturing is not a prioritized business activity because the investment to establish production facilities is considered to be too high. BioArctic has 17 employees of which the main part is graduates with PhD working with research and drug development. Prof. At the beginning of 2002.BioArctic Neuroscience AB. In 2006. CEO Pär Gellerfors. As a consequence. In recent years. This can be illustrated by the very long start-up period when it took several years before the company moved to its own premises and employed its own staff. Their first years in business were challenging because the main business activity was research without generating any commercial income.bioarctic. the company's development is largely contingent on the founders' individual financial resources. the two founders met again and decided to merge their scientific and industrial experiences to establish a drug discovery company based on Lars Lannfelt's research results. the region was dominated by a number of very large pharmaceutical companies (e. This scientific breakthrough could eventually enable treatment of these neurodegenerative diseases for which there have not been any treatment until now. Astra and Pharmacia). the Swedish mutation (discovered in 1992) and Arctic mutation (US patent application in 2000) that clarify the central role of protein misfolding in the Alzheimer's disease process.g. So far.se/ 95 . income has mainly been generated from research collaborations. Pär Gellerfors continued his career within the pharmaceutical industry in Denmark and Sweden.e. BioArctic moved to its own premises and staffs was employed. The other founder. In 2009. Until 2006. The overall ambition is to develop new drugs as well as doing sale and marketing (in some geographic markets). a key strategic challenge has been their ability to generate income. This growth strategy is a deliberate decision by the founders and it emphasises that they want to have full control of the company and will not let other investors gain a controlling position as shareholders. Professor Lars Lannfelt. had been doing neurodegenerative research for more than 10 years.
vinnova. Parallel to this change in the industrial structure of the biotech sector. the region is also characterised by a very good facilities for clinical trials. However. among others. loan and equity. the Stockholm/Uppsala region and the government took several initiatives to encourage the development of a biotech cluster.se/) offers grant.com/ http://www.000. Almi Fôretagspartner(government owned business and information centers . The point of departure for a revitalisation of the biotech-sector has been a large pool of qualified researchers. € 200. Furthermore. Since 2000. Today the region is a very strong and attractive region for biotech research. start-ups and offering capital for the first stages of business development. Karolinska Development AB49 and Uppsala Universitet Utveckling AB50 also act as minor venture capitalist by holding shares in new companies. Karolinska Innovation AB47 and Uppsala Innovation Center. the regional business start-ups also have access to government backed risk capital mainly financing the early-stages of development such as proof of concept.uppsalasciencepark.innovationsbron.karolinskainnovations.se/ 48 http://www.asp) offering equity and loans to companies with the potential to grow in an international market 96 .se/in_english/default.http://www. Valentin also stresses that many companies are established by researcher without sufficient business competence to persuade venture capitalist to see the commercial potential of 46 47 http://www.uic.Sweden). Besides these regional initiatives.com/ 50 http://www. Both units offer consulting and can finance proof of concepts and seed funding. Karolinska Innovation AB has signed 30 licence agreements and been involved in 40 spinoff companies while Uppsala Innovation Center has been involved in 14 spinoff life science companies.almi.se/Templates/Page. Different programmes were launched and cluster organisations were established. However.48 They are two tech-trans units that commercialise research within life science. There have also been policy initiatives aimed at commercialising research and encouraging business start-ups.karolinskadevelopment.http://www.se/ALMI-in-English/) offering business advise. Approximately 200 biotech companies are located in the region. business development (business plan).industrifonden. These regional initiatives include. This problem is related to lack of risk capital to take over from the early-stage funding from the regional and state programmes. which may cover a minor part of the cost of developing a new drug candidate. Innovationsbron (http://www.managers from the biotech industry. loan and equity. a strong research platform.aspx?id=1356 51 VINNOVA (national agency for innovation .se/In-English/About-VINNOVA/) offering grants for proof of concepts. commercialisation and business start-ups.se/ 49 http://www.46 Large and very competent universities and university hospitals are still a unique asset as huge investments in research are a source for starts-ups of in new research-based biotech companies.ki. Industrifonden (independent foundation founded by the Swedish state in 1979 http://www. and .51 Each of these initiatives can typically offer companies up to approx. the weakness of the region is that many companies have severe problems with raising sufficient capital to carry out a long and efficient drug discovery programmes as well as having several drug candidates in their portfolio (Valentin 2008). An example of such a cluster organisation is Uppsala Bio.uppsalabio.to some extent .
000) organized by VINNOVA52 • A loan from Teknikbrostiftelsen53 in Uppsala • A scholarship from Handelsbanken Some minor investments – but with a high branding value – were made by two regional venture funds. As mentioned above. the founders hold the majority of the shares while a number of students. become successful Swedish companies. Thus.se/InEnglish/Activities/Research-and-Innovation-in-Small-Companies/VINN-NU/ 53 Teknikbrostiftelsen: Encouraging technology transfer from university to business. Financing situation of the company BioArctic was based on considerable research efforts before the establishment of the company. but due to lack of capital they had to issue shares to be able to pay for the licence agreements and this way even some students become shareholders. 52 VINN NU is a competition for new companies that base their operations on R&D results. consisting of personally appointed individuals. CEO Pär Gellerfors also had to work as a lecturer at Uppsala University. which will force the drug development process and increase the risk of failure • Cannot contribute with knowledge about drugs and drug development • Will limit the possibilities of developing other new drug candidates or following interesting research results • Might squeeze the founders out the management of the company due to a conflict of interests since the ambition of the founders is to control and develop the company into becoming an attractive drug development company. However. The aim of VINN NU is to make it easier for new R&D-based companies to prepare and clarify commercially-interesting development projects at an early-stage so that they can progress.D. theses which helped develop the technological platform of the company.adconmac. http://www. at this stage of development it was crucial for BioArctic to obtain the intellectual property rights (IPR) for their research results.com/tbss/omtbssverige. The founders have made a strategic decision not to invite venture capitalists to invest in their company because the CEO finds that venture capital: • Has a too short investment horizon and is impatient to see results.htm 97 . and in 2004 Karolinska Innovation AB and in 2005 Uppsala Utveckling AB became shareholders. the founders are not enthusiastic about sharing the ownership of the company with others. in its first years in business. access to capital was a serious problem for BioArctic and as the company did not generate much income. In this pre-start-up period the university research activities were funded by R&D-programmes.their drug candidates. Karolinska Development AB and Uppsala Universitet Utveckling AB are aware of this weakness and encourage new companies to enlarge the management group with a manager with professional experience from the biotech industry. in the long term. find subsequent funding and. who the founders believe can contribute to the development of BioArctic by their experiences and knowledge. The funding resulted in Ph. Today. http://www. As a consequence of this attitude towards venture capitalist. Karolinska Innovation AB and Uppsala Utveckling AB hold a small number of shares. The first capital that the company was able to raise came from: • 2003 VINN NU award (SEK 300. This initiative has not proven its effect yet. the board of directors (and a scientific board).vinnova.
BioArctic is trying to increase its technological platform through new research in collaboration with universities and research institutes. and not as embedded research at the university. BioArctic was paid according to agreed milestones. as well as having other drug candidates in pipeline.g. (http://www. these activities have only generated a small additional income.. Eisai and BioArctic signed an “evaluation agreement” for the period 2004-2007 where BioArctic was paid to evaluate and develop their main drug candidates BAN2401. In 2007. gain control of the company. So far. BioArtic is developing a device which in combination with a growth factor. which has brought BioArctic into even closer collaboration with Eisai to develop the most advanced project in the BioArctic portfolio. In other words. e.additional cash flow. indicating that the basic research idea was a feasible technological platform for developing new drugs. venture capitalist. The consequence of this funding strategy is that BioArctic largely depends on the progress and success of its project partnership with Eisai. The main barrier to raising additional capital – equity – is internal as the founders want to keep control of the company and not let others.54 This is of a great commercial and strategic importance. 54 Eisai is Japanese based international oriented company among others with an interest of developing drugs addressing Alzheimer's disease. as well as by marketing other R&D reagents. the agreement with Eisai is so far the most important access to capital and the main road to reaching the market. BioArctic focuses at opportunities to generate income through research collaboration and partnerships. BioArctic and Eisai entered a long-lasting partnership agreement (including an exclusive licensing agreement with milestone payments linked to the progress of the project). etc. Impact of the funding situation on strategy Looking at BioArctic as a company. Eisai has developed the world leading drug (Aricept®) for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. BioArtic does not consider the venture capital market to be of any importance to the company. Sweden) • BioArctic has developed new proprietary transgenic mouse model for evaluation of Alzheimer drugs (The APPArcSwe) • In-licensed from Swenora Biotech AB. In order to generate some – and so far a small .eisai. The project is carried out by a mutual steering group. The major risk is that clinical trials fail.com/) 98 .Instead of venture capital.. BioArctic is also involved in some minor commercial activities such as: • Selling monoclonal antibodies and kits for the Alzheimer research market (AbetaN™) together with Mabtech (Stockholm. To minimize the risk of failure and its impact on the company. BioArctic has established close research collaboration with the Japanese company Eisai. that can promote spinal cord repair in a rodent animal model of severe spinal cord injury • BioArctic is collaborating with GE-healthcare to develop brain imaging markers ("tracers") to monitor disease progression and to follow treatment effects in Alzheimer’s disease with positron emission tomography (PET).
to becoming more oriented towards drug development. grant schemes (R&D programmes.) are mainly dedicated to R&D. 99 . On the other hand. The company has developed at a moderate speed. He also calls for special tax incentive schemes that would reduce the taxation of R&D companies. However.In accordance with the development strategy of BioArctic. etc. BioArctic has discovered that it is difficult to involve big biopharmaceutical companies in the early-stages of clinical trials. One the one hand. the major big challenge will be: • To establish partnerships with big biopharmaceutical companies • To move the company from even more scientific orientation into the clinical test area • To become a attractive drug development company Policy priorities and recommendations BioArctic has moved ahead from being very research oriented. BioArtic recognizes the financial gap which could be filled by venture capital. the CEO would welcome industrial development programmes with grants for clinical trials (early-stage drug development). keeping the funding strategy of BioArctic in mind. but seems to have established a promising partnership with Eisai.
Apogenix may opt to continue clinical development and commercialization of an orphan compound on its own.4 applications in 2001-2005 and biotech venture capital investments. Henning Walczak in 2000. Germany Company characteristics55 Apogenix GmbH is a biopharmaceutical company developing novel drugs for malignant and inflammatory diseases. Currently Apogenix has 26 employees. €253 million were invested in the period 2003-2007. Krammer and Prof. In 2005. Regional and national financing conditions Apogenix is located in the Heidelberg technology park BioRegion Rheine-Neckar (BioRN) in Germany. The company has not yet generated any capital surplus. USA. The product development strategy of Apogenix GmbH is to develop drug candidates up to proof-of-concept. Further shareholders are the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ).5 million in public grants. However. The region ranks second in Germany with regard to biotech patent applications with 71. 20 hold an academic degree and work exclusively with research and development of their drug candidates. technology parks. BioRN was nominated as one out of five most significant high-tech clusters in Germany in the Top Cluster This case study is mainly based on an interview with CEO Thomas Höger. and after that full or partial commercial rights to the respective drug candidates may be out-licensed to other companies. The most advanced product is about to enter clinical phase 2. Apogenix re-started as a limited liability company (GmbH). Canada. invested €15 million in the company. Apogenix has already filed patent applications in several important pharmaceutical markets (EU. BioRN covers eight cities and consists of several universities. Apogenix owns nine patent families protecting different drug candidates.apogenix. In 2008. and Japan) and has been granted numerous patents.Apogenix. Australia. as well as information available at their homepage www. in late 2004 the company became insolvent and had to close. 55 101 . At present Apogenix has three products in the pipeline. Apogenix was originally founded by Prof.org. who both have profound scientific and business experience within the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industries. Peter Krammer and Prof. Since its foundation in 2005 the company has raised € 43 million in two financing rounds and has been awarded € 5. Heidelberg as well as its scientific founders and its executive management. The company was a spin-off from the German Cancer Research Centre and was established as Apogenix Biotechnology AG. The main investor in Apogenix GmbH is the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. Walczak) still work as scientific advisors to the company. The company was rebuilt from scratch and the management was taken over by Thomas Höger and Harald Fricke. but relies fully on venture capital and grants.biorn. information available at www. Currently. Alternatively. biotech companies and service providers. one of the SAP founders and a known biotech investor in Heidelberg. This happened as Dietmar Hopp (Dietmar Hopp Foundation).com and an interview with managing director of Bioregion Rheine-Neckar Christian Tidona. The scientific founders of Apogenix (Prof.
Contest. The BioRN cluster received € 40 million out of the €200 million federal grants allocated to the five selected clusters. In charge of the development of the cluster is the BioRN cluster management, which is a publicprivate partnership between Rhine-Neckar BioRegion, Heidelberg Technology Park, the RhineNeckar Chamber of Commerce and the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The overall aim is to strengthen and brand the region to attract venture capital and large pharmaceutical companies. Large pharmaceutical companies such as Roche, Merck Serono and Abbott already participate in BioRN activities. With the help of grants, the aim of the BioRN Cluster is to develop 70 new drugs, diagnostic products and technology platforms, as well as about 20 innovative services in the field of cellbased and molecular medicine by the year 2013 in the Rhine-Neckar metropolitan region. Furthermore, the ambition of the BioRN cluster is to create 4,000 new jobs within the next ten years. To reach this goal the BioRN Cluster will: • educate highly qualified entrepreneurs and managers, i.e. by establishing a MBA education • attract venture capital • attract big pharmaceutical companies • extend R&D infrastructure To attract experienced management to SMEs, working with biopharmaceuticals, can be a great challenge, and the cluster management has therefore established a new MBA (Master of Business Administration) programme at the Troy University in Heidelberg. The aim is to attract competent students and people with a scientific and technological background to obtain knowledge for working in management positions. The cluster management also aims at creating increased networking and cooperation with biopharmaceutical companies based in the region. The aim is to share the burden of development and marketing costs and thus help to drive innovations in biotechnology towards industrial maturity. One main explanation for the leading position of BioRN is the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. Dietmar Hopp is a well-known biotech investor in the Heidelberg region. He supports biotech companies as a strategic investor, and his biotechnology portfolio is managed by Dievini Hopp BioTech holding GmbH & Co. Dietmar Hopp was one of the co-founders of the leading software company SAP, and he has allocated large sums to setting up foundations that benefit the society which enabled his success. The Rhine-Neckar region currently benefits considerably from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation, which is one of the largest private foundations in Europe. Over the last few years he has invested more than €300 million in German biotech companies, out of which €42.5 million has been invested in Apogenix GmbH.
Financing situation of the company
Apogenix was initially established as a spin-off from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and there is still considerable cooperation between the two. Due to lack of capital in the start-up phase of Apogenix the Research Center acquired equity stakes in the company in return for financing research and the IPR. Since the re-start of the company in 2005 as a limited liability company, Apogenix GmbH has undergone two financing rounds, an initial €15 million capital injection from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation in 2005 and additional €28 million capital injection was raised in 2008 consisting of €27.5 million from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation and € 0.5 million from the German Cancer Research Institute.
The research plan agreed with Dietmar Hopp was based on a milestone structure which meant, that Apogenix was guaranteed a second financing round if they reached the planned milestone results. The milestones were reached by the end of 2007, and April 2008 saw the second financing round of €27, 5 million from the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. With the existing capital the company expects to have financing until the end of 2010. The additional financing from the research centre was not so much a capital gain as sign of acknowledgement. It was an important sign to send that the research centre was prepared to participate in the project – not least for the main investor, i.e., the Dietmar Hopp Foundation. In addition, Apogenix GmbH has received public grants of about € 5.5 million, mainly from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Out of these € 2.6 million are grants from the 2008 Top Cluster Contest.
Product development strategy
Apogenix has three drugs in pipeline, of which one is in the discovery phase, one is in preclinical phase, and the last successfully completed its clinical phase one in May 2009. All of the products are supported by public grants from German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). A requirement for receiving public grants is that the company co-funds with working hours, see Exhibit 1 below.
Exhibit 1. Pipeline of Apogenix
Currently all employees in Apogenix participate in public programmes and it is therefore not possible for them to add further financing to the company with these types of grants. The programmes finish at the end of 2009, and at that time they will be able to initiate new partnerships. The strategy is to go into further collaborations with research institutions, ideally with joint applications for public grants. The core business of Apogenix is drug discovery and development. The first option for the company is therefore not to take the products all the way to the market, but to develop the drug candidates up to proof of concept and then fully or partly out-license commercial rights to the drug candidates to other companies to be able to finance the company. However, if they cannot find a company that is interested in licensing their products they may opt to continue clinical development and commercialization of an orphan compound on its own. However, Thomas
Höger, CEO of Apogenix, stresses that research and development are the main interests of the company, and they therefore prefer to focus on research and development of new and innovative drugs. If they should need to commercialize a product on their own, they would have to change the business model, hire new staff and move to another and larger location. Consequently, the business strategy of Apogenix relies to a great deal on the fact that they can enter into partnerships with other companies. Currently, the goal for Apogenix is (while they still have financing) to make a licensing deal with another company within the next 18 months. Thomas Höger describes this as an ambitious, though still realistic plan. If they do not succeed the strategy is to go ahead with one of the following possibilities: • a third financing round (Dietmar Hopp Foundation or other investors). • to merge or acquire, or • to sell the company Apogenix does not have financing to have too many products in pipeline. Therefore, they will need to out-license one or more of their products. However, at the same time it is not considered a reliable business strategy to have too many products, or a pipeline that is too diverse. The reason for out-licensing products is therefore not only of lack of money, it is also considered a strategic solution to out-license drug candidates without having to enter clinical phase I. Outlicensing drug candidates will give revenues, which will enable the company to continue development on the core drug candidate APG101. So far, Apogenix has no partnerships or license agreements with other biopharmaceutical companies. However, they collaborate with research divisions at the German Cancer Research Center to evaluate and broaden the therapeutic potential of their pipeline drug candidates. Moreover, they have a comprehensive licensing agreement with the German Cancer Research Center covering exclusive worldwide rights to develop and market APG101.56
Policy priorities and recommendations
So far Apogenix has shown good research results within a short period. The main reason for the success of Apogenix is estimated to be the combination of: • excellent basic research yielding promising drug candidates • experienced management replacing the research oriented founders and • access to capital with one majority stake-holder. However, it is emphasized that a solid business plan is essential for all of the above factors. The set-up of Apogenix with the founders participating in the company as scientific advisors and leaving the management to an experienced management board seems to have been a great advantage. The fact that the company had the Dietmar Hopp Foundation as its main investor made it attractive to people like Thomas Höger and Harald Fricke to take on the management of the company. As also stressed by the BioRN it is often difficult for biotech SMEs to attract competent and experienced management, which is an important precondition for a high-quality business development.
APG101 is a drug developed for prevention of graft versus host disease (GVHD), which is a common complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, in which functional immune cells in the transplanted marrow recognize the recipient as ‘foreign’, and mount an immunologic attack. The surgery is associated with high mortality and requires highly sophisticated equipment at the hospitals. For that reason only few hospitals perform these transplantations. The procedure is very costly, and a drug that can reduce the mortality is very attractive. Thus, the market for APG101 is limited, but highly cost-effective. The limited market makes it manageable to introduce the products on the market should it be necessary for Apogenix to launch it on their own.
and requirements are getting still higher. Especially EU grants and research programmes are unsuited for biotech SMEs because the application procedures are too complex and the grants are too low in relation to the workload to be delivered for a successful application and subsequent reporting.Moreover. but grants are an add-on to the core financing. there is a certain amount of bureaucracy and it is time consuming to apply for public grants. which is driven by milestones that have to be reached within a certain timeframe. In contrast to the large national and European programmes. it is emphasized that public grants are nice to have. Regional initiatives like BioRN are therefore very helpful for the biotech SMEs in the region. The complexity of the clinical phases is high and very costly. In general. there is not time or economy to participate in research programmes that are structured by academics who work within other and longer timeframes. Opportunities to achieve support for these stages would therefore be very encouraging. and the grants are targeted especially at the biotech SMEs so they have insight knowledge about the potentials and challenges that SMEs are facing. For a company like Apogenix. stresses that grants from the regional BioRN cluster are easier to access for small companies like Apogenix. but when the products reach the clinical phases there is no more support. Thomas Höger. CEO of Apogenix. In Germany public grants are available for research and preclinical studies. 105 . Thomas Höger emphasizes that increased possibilities for financial support for the clinical phases would be particularly helpful for companies like Apogenix as well as improved tax benefits for “young innovative companies”. The cluster BioRN administration is located close to the companies.
the quarterly report 2008. and the information from MolMed’s homepage. Science Park Raf and the Arain venture capital fund are the main investors in MolMed. Professor Claudio Bordignon58 led the spin-off and still heads the company as its chairman and chief executive officer. The listing was achieved through a global offer of 26.com. and is also in charge of the technology transfer activities. Italy Company characteristics57 MolMed is a biopharmaceutical company operating in the field of medical biotechnology.61 2008 was a landmark in MolMed’s history. Currently. It mainly focuses on research. MolMed took on 14 new employees in 2008. MolMed thus became one of only three worldwide IPOs of biotech companies in 2008. the body that will recommend strategic research investment guidelines to Europe in the next few years. MolMed’s GMP activities include: production of own cell-based therapeutics. They have an in-house GMP facility that meets both EMEA and FDA requirements for the production of clinical-grade bulk drug substances. The company is located in the San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park in Milan in the Lombardy region. In 2000. he was appointed one of the 22 members of the Scientific Council of the European Research Council (ERC). (http://findarticles. www. They studied the existing pipeline and the relevant market and bought the necessary intellectual property rights to be able to create the pipeline. 61 Since July 2003. the MolMed management decided to take the company a step further and develop a product development pipeline. Currently. at a price of €2. As a consequence of the increased activity following the IPO. In 1999. clinical-grade cell manipulation services.com/p/articles/mi_hb4250/is_199706/ai_n13242795/) 60 Science Park Raf is the management company of the San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park in Milan. 59 In 1996 Boehringer Mannheim was the second largest diagnostics company in the world. The gross financial resources raised amounted to € 56. MolMed was established in 1996 as a spin-off of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute.MolMed. to provide GMP services. 58 107 . It continued. MolMed went from being a biopharmaceutical service company to a biopharmaceutical research and development company. the equity shares of MolMed were sold to the venture capital fund EDCP (now named Airain). development & manufacturing services for investigational gene therapies for rare diseases. It was based on the knowledge of a group of scientists in the field of gene and cell therapy. Today MolMed has 91 employees.2 million. however.15 per share. MolMed has been formally authorised for the production and release of medicinal products for human use. The company was incorporated as a venture between Boehringer Mannheim59 and Science Park Raf60 to provide cell therapy services. In 1997 it was bought by Swiss drug maker Roche Holding Ltd. Claudio Bordignon was Scientific Director of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute until the end of 2006.molmed. when the Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche took over Boeheringer Mannheim. In 2005. bringing up $3 billion in 1996 sales. Thereby. development and clinical validation of innovative therapies for the treatment of cancer. The increase in staff was necessary to 57 The case is mainly based on an interview with Holger Neecke. representing 25% of post-IPO corporate capitalisation. and the first biopharmaceutical spin-off company from an academic research institute to be listed on the Italian stock exchange. On 5 March 2008 MolMed was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.952 shares with no nominal value. Director Business Development.116.
MolMed's proximity to the San Raffaele Hospital. the largest Italian scientific research institute. To be able to attract investors it is therefore of utmost importance for companies to have a strong network of scientist and within the financial sector which is easier to access when located in a science park. Lazio. MolMed enjoys preferential access to the technology and clinical resources of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute through a number of research and license agreements and. The strong and continuous relationship with the San Raffaele Scientific Institute represents a major resource for MolMed. More than 50% of the biotech SMEs are located in science park incubators established in the seven biotech regions. and they especially benefit from these hubs which constitute an important social capital of scientific. and clinical management expertise. Emilia and Sardinia. a clinical centre with status of Research Hospital of National Interest (Istituto di Ricovero e Cura a Carattere Scientifico. Friuli Venezia Giulia.strengthen the operating areas following the increase in development activities related to MolMed’s investigational new therapies and implement the necessary structural upgrade implied by becoming a public company. the largest private Italian hospital. The few specialised financial operators in the life science business area tend to be more interested in the later stages of product development than in the earlier more venture-like phases (Blossom and Company 2009). MolMed appreciates the advantages of being located in a science park. The importance of the Italian science parks can be connected to the limited number of private equity and venture capital funds in Italy. the science park has a professional tech-transfer team that manages international intellectual property rights. The Italian biotech sector is characterized by a strong geographical concentration with almost 80% of Italian biotech companies located in seven Italian regions62 and with a strong concentration in northern Italy. Piedmont. pharmaceutical. Regional and national financing conditions The Italian biotech industry is growing rapidly as in the rest of Europe. Scientific and technological parks are very active in the life science area. Furthermore. Tuscany. allows the company to carry out the clinical 62 The regions are Lombardy. technological and organizational skills (Biopolo 2009). Moreover. primarily. Out of the 91 employees. out of which 190 were exclusively concerned with the healthcare sector (Blossom and Company 2009). through an option to research projects conducted by the Institute in the field of molecular therapies for cancer and AIDS. 108 . In 2008. and a private university which helps companies gain access to qualified students in medicine and biotechnology. The focus on research and development is shown in the company's workforce combination. includes the San Raffaele Scientific Institute. MolMed’s management board consists of 11 persons representing academic.IRCCS). MolMed is one of three spin-offs from the scientific institute. The San Raffaele Biomedical Science Park. 80% hold a university degree and more than 40% hold a postgraduate degree. which runs 250 clinical trials per year. where MolMed is located. 260 companies invested in biotechnological R&D in Italy. The management of MolMed’s indicates that the experience and good reputation of the management board are very important for the reliability of the company and have improved the company's access to capital.
i.validation of its products at primary level in a very cost-effective way. the NGR peptide. MolMed intends to keep most of the development in-house. there is a significant unmet medical need and the price is potentially high. etc). As opposed to the TK cell therapy. This also allows the company to manage trial monitoring and permits close interaction with clinical investigators.e. small-cell lung carcinoma. as the number of high-risk leukaemia patients is limited. Product development strategy MolMed’s product development pipeline currently consists of two biotech therapeutics: TK and NGR-hTNF (ARENEGYR) in clinical trials III and II respectively. • Exhibit 1 below illustrates the two different development strategies: 109 . NGR-hTNF is a recombinant fusion protein: its targeting moiety. which are showing continuous progress. The Asian market will be approached through a partnership with the company's Japanese partner Takara Bio Inc. and not the tumour tissue itself. Apart from these two investigational therapies. the market potential for NGR-hTNF is therefore larger than TK. NGR-hTNF (ARENEGYR) is a vascular targeting agent (VTA) currently undergoing phase II clinical trials for colorectal carcinoma. The market for TK is small. liver cancer. In 2008. targets the newly formed tumour blood vessels feeding the tumour mass. from research to clinical development and partly marketing. the company decided to discontinue the development of a project for a cancer therapeutic vaccine that was in clinical stage I/II. This product is currently undergoing a phase III clinical trial for adult patients affected by high-risk leukaemia. Avecia will optimise the drug manufacturing process and scale-up and conduct cGMP manufacture of NGR-hTNF for the planned phase III clinical trials. its potential is not limited to one single tumour type. and thus represent two different development strategies: • TK is a cell therapy enabling haematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) also from partially compatible donors. and manufacturing. liver carcinoma. With respect to the NGR-hTNF product. In June 2008. MolMed is developing potential therapeutic products including other tumour VTAs. However. MolMed entered into the first drug development and manufacturing agreement for the production of the investigational drug NGR-hTNF with Avecia Biologics. one of the leading developers and cGMP manufacturers of microbial-based biopharmaceuticals. The current two investigational therapies are fundamentally different. but can have many different applications in oncology (lung cancer. therefore. MolMed’s strategy is to focus on TK and NGR-hTNF products. MolMed is seeking co-development or out-licensing partnerships to take NGR-hTNF through its full clinical programme to product commercialization. mesothelioma and ovarian cancer.
Moreover. The strategic outlook for MolMed with regard to TK is to expand phase III trials in Europe. and in 2003 the company signed an out-licensing and development agreement to conduct clinical studies and to market MolMed’s TK in Asia. Product development strategies of MolMed TK NGR- TaKaRa Bio I San Raffaele Scientific Institute Avecia Biologics (partnership covers pharmaceutical development and manufacturing of NGR hTNF) Potential new partner MolMed’s business strategy generally relies on establishing strategic alliances with major biotech and pharmaceutical companies to advance the development of its products through codevelopment.Exhibit 1. the company's most important markets are the European markets and then the Japanese market due to the partnership with Takara. the Japanese markets are very difficult to enter without a local partner. and then expansion of phase III trials in the US With regard to NGR-hTNF. It is therefore a great advantage that the collaboration with Takara Bio started as early as 2003. co-marketing or out-licensing partnerships. Moreover. MolMed signed a non-exclusive in-licensing agreement for Takara Bio’s RetroNectin for the EU and US. Presently. Due to the current financial situation. Due to very complicated regulatory processes. MolMed plans to make clinical trials in the US. Takara Bio has expertise in the field of gene and cell therapy and is the largest public Japanese biotech company (by market capitalisation) listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. the aim is that post-2010 110 . the goal is to keep achieving good phase II results. MolMed's key strategic challenge is to find the right partners for co-development or out-licensing partners. As early as 2001. it is still a challenge for MolMed to gain a successful foothold in the market. a potential future challenge is to obtain further capital for the company. and start phase III clinical tests in 2010. However. The agenda is to do clinical trials in the US to be able to go gain access to the US market. including 10-15 key clinical centres. However.
it has gone through several financing rounds.15 to €2.l. resulting in sales of shares for €56 million. MolMed now has €30. all the investors invested in the company before it was listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.63 Due to the IPO. BioWorld Today. or € 80 million if the investments from not-for-profit organisations for health care in general are included. which means that MolMed is financed until the end of 2010.l.for instance. In addition to Science Park Raf and the investment fund Airain. This generated a €20 million capital increase. Public grants and reliefs Biotech has not been a main priority for the Italian government.àr. Italy has the third highest number of project proposals in Europe in the EU’s 6th framework Programme (Biopolo 2009). Therefore. Jennifer (2008): MolMed’s Cell Therapy in Pivotal European Trial. the fact that other companies were withdrawing their share offers from the market is likely to have given MolMed an advantage (Boggs 2008).33% of the shares. MolMed managed to raise an IPO of 25% of shares.àr. € 40 million per year. 111. Moreover. the reputation of its investors. Other investors are Delfin S.66% of the shares. Apart from Arner Bank. and that they will not have to go back to the capital market.MolMed will be able to finance further research and development activities through partnerships. € 1500 million per year. US Study Next. 111 .75 per share range.14% and 21. and Delfin S. Moreover. In 2000.l. which owns 17. and the reason for deciding for an IPO was mostly lack of alternatives. No. in 2001 it was not unusual for biopharmaceutical companies to aim for an IPO. Special Reprint. The financing possibilities were limited.àr.12% of the shares in the company respectively. MolMed succeeded in becoming listed on the Milan Stock Exchange.5 million in cash (quarterly result May 2009). Additional financing rounds took place in 2006 and 2007 when the shareholders added a further capital increase of a total of €16 million and €10 million respectively. many companies are avoiding the IPO market due to the current unfavourable market conditions. Italian biotech companies have been very active in various EU programmes . Fininvest. but plans had to be postponed due to the burst of the ICT-bubble in the second half of 2001. Volume 19. Private biotech investment is estimated to approx. with 8..p. Financing of the company Since the company went from being a service company to a product development company. and the experience of its management and staff.19% of the shares. The main shareholders of MolMed are currently (2009) Science Park Raf and the private investment fund Airain Lda which hold 21. Thus. In 2008.àr. 63 Boggs. and public investment is approx. The aim of MolMed is to become self-financing by the end of 2010 to avoid having to make another financial round on the stock market. As opposed to today. The offer was priced at the low end of its anticipated €2.01%.A. H-Equity S. the MolMed management considered going for an IPO.l. MolMed gained support from three large Italian investors in 2004.. They are closely followed by Fininvest S. SICAR with 8. public support for biopharmaceutical companies has been very limited. namely H-Equity S. and Arner Bank with 2. The MolMed's success can be attributed to the promising data from its products and technology.
stock prices took a negative turn even though there was no bad news from MolMed and it was expected that prices would remain steady. Based on these assumptions Holger Neecke believes that the Italian biotech industry could take great advantage in particular from a prompt and steady implementation of three provisions: • Awarding the status of “young innovative enterprise” to companies devoted to R&D and established for less than 8 years. For example. they might have to sell out of their assets at low prices. the best way for Italy to preserve its biotech patrimony from being killed off by the short-term cash shortage determined by the global crisis is to put in place effective measures to adopt consolidated best practices in favour of innovation. in other words. and related calls should not be subject to uncertainty in terms of timelines and allocated resources. the financial situation still affects the company. € 1 million). representing an uncommonly strong pole of attraction for innovation-based bio-businesses.Grants played a significant role for Molmed in the start-up phase with about one third of its revenue coming from grants (approx. According to Holger Neecke. successfully implemented in EU Member States where the life science-based industry has grown stronger. Moreover. MolMed is currently waiting for final approval of funding that will involve a low-interest loan of 90% of admissible costs. and as the management is very aware that if many biopharmaceutical companies cannot find financing. This is putting pressure on the company's performance. The company benefits from tax credits related to the cost of research and development activities. Policy priorities and recommendations In Italy. where MolMed received non-refundable grants for two 3-year projects. in 2004 the Regional Authority of Lombardy awarded MolMed a non-refundable grant. This will create higher risk aversion and price pressure. Impact of the financial crisis Because of MolMed’s recent entry on the stock market. the most important common trait that should be shared by any specific measure is the fact of being constant and permanent. devoted to and reserved for real innovative areas like biotechnology. First of all. MolMed has also taken part in applications for funding from the Italian Ministry of Research under the National Research Programme (PNR). public support plays a major driving and aggregating role. Director Business Development. Therefore. • Consolidating the tax credit for R&D costs. 112 . However. Furthermore. MolMed has participated in projects under the EU Research and Development Framework Programme (FP-6). making it a permanent and automatic measure. Indirectly. they are currently not that vulnerable in connection with the financial crisis. the financial situation puts pressure on the company. development and innovation activities implying entrepreneurial and financial risks. it must be clearly perceived as a steady commitment by individuals and/or institutions willing to undertake research. the financial crisis affects MolMed in the way that it could become very difficult to go for a second round of financing should it become necessary. • Consolidating R&D grants: funding of R&D schemes should be made “structural”. any policy aimed at promoting innovation should be clearly expressed in order to be fruitful.
In 2001. Two other programs are out-licensed to Novo Nordisk A/S. It is based in Marseilles. the current Chairman of the Executive Board. and in 2002 the first clinical trial was launched. The products developed by Innate Pharma belong to two classes: immunomodulators targeting innate immunity receptors and cytotoxic antibodies targeting specific tumoral antigens. In 2008. inflammation or infectious diseases. a subsidiary of Innate Pharma located in the USA. The company has 89 employees (2008) of which 75% are involved in R&D. The therapeutic approaches could have an application in several therapeutic areas such as cancer. the company established Innate Pharma Inc. In the short term. and François Romagné. a large pharmaceutical company. France. primarily for cancer indications. This was followed by the launch of a Phase II clinical trial in 2006 (IPH 1101). Before joining Innate Pharma. including Hervé Brailly. Innate Pharma was listed on NYSE-Euronext Paris in 2006. 64 Based on interview with Stéphane Boissel. The company acquired assets from the US pharmaceutical group Schering-Plough Corporation in the TLR field in 2006 and in licensed Toll-like 7 receptor agonist compounds from Cancer Research Technology Limited (IPH 3201).Innate Pharma. the company developed its first drug candidate on the Tγδ platform. The company was founded 1999 by six immunologists. The founders have established the scientific basis for the research activities at Innate Pharma through licensing. Mr. the company acquired the rights to IPH 2101 from Novo Nordisk A/S through an asset transfer agreement. a member of the Executive Board and Chief Scientific Officer. the Company intends to sign partnerships with players in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry with the financial capacity and the expertise to run advanced clinical trials as well as a selling network and experience. Mr Boissel joined Innate Pharma in September 2002 as CFO. Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Innate Pharma.. research and collaboration agreements with academic institutions. In the long run. Innate Pharma intends to become an integrated player and thus keep some marketing rights on some of its products. In 2008. 113 . Boissel held several positions within the Lazard Group (1995-2002) in France and other countries (Singapore and Hong Kong) focusing on venture capital and mergers and acquisitions. of which two are tested in clinics. The company currently manages seven proprietary programs. France Company characteristics64 Innate Pharma is an immunology biopharmaceutical company aiming at developing first-inclass drugs.
Thus. they are exempt from social costs for all employees in R&D-related activities (approximately 25% of gross salary costs). YIC companies are also relieved from corporate income tax for the first three years and pay 50% of normal taxes for the 114 . scientific expertise and its intellectual property rights portfolio are considered by the company to be very important for its ability to attract investors and continue growing.Exhibit 1. For instance. several initiatives have been launched at national level to promote the development of small and research-intensive companies. Pipeline of Innate Pharma The company’s good track record. the potential market for the company’s product may be substantial. One example is CIR (Crédit d’impôt recherché). The Young Innovative Companies (Jeune Entreprises Innovantes) programme is a supplementary programme that was introduced in 2004. The company’s ambition is to become a major player in the emerging field of anti-cancer immunotherapy. To obtain YIC status. YIC embodies a range of measures targeting the creation and growth of young research intensive companies in France. Businesses that qualify for YIC status profit from a wide range of different support measures. It is also possible to envisage other indications for the company’s current drug candidates. according to the company. a tax credit focusing on stimulating business R&D. The CIR was launched in the 1980s and focuses on companies of any size and in any industry. companies must be maximum 8 years old and must be investing at least 15% of their expenditure in R&D. However. notably viral infections and chronic inflammation related to autoimmune pathologies. Regional and national financing conditions The region in which Innate Pharma is located is not at biotechnology-intensive region.
com/news/e/96425/ 68 Washington Post website.70 Financing situation of the company Innate Pharma has mainly received capital from venture funds and though collaboration and licensing agreements.yicstatus. http://www. • • • Finally. provided that the FCPI units are held for at least 5 years from the subscription date.com/english/FCPI-FIP.com/wpdyn/content/article/2006/07/15/AR2006071501010. France has experienced capital flight and brain drain due to relatively heavy taxation of high incomes.67 • • • Double OSEO Innovation's budget for 2009 and a tripling for 2010 (OSEO is a fund that provides financial assistance to small French companies).68 The French Government has therefore launched a reform of the French wealth tax to make it more attractive for people with high incomes to stay in France. Based on these figures. http://www. All in all.69 These funds are an opportunity for taxpayers (having their tax residence in France) to benefit from a reduction in their income tax equal to 25% of the cash subscriptions. and Extend the "young innovative company" fiscal status from 8 to 15 years Reform of the savings system in order to better channel life assurance and pension funds towards financing for young.000 EUR in support.66 The financial crisis has hit France's biotech companies hard. Investment in listed companies fell 98 percent to just €12 million. innovative companies.65 One concern related to the programme is that the programme does not take into account the longer business cycles in the biotech industry.com/2009/03/since-1997-fcpi-funds-have-profoundly-impacted-on-venture-funding-infrance-and-europe/ 70 Website. http://www.hsbcprivatebankfrance. Reform the research tax credit to distribute the credit more evenly between small and medium sized biotechnology companies and larger companies.aurgalys.asp#I0002f575 115 . The capital gains are also exempted from capital gains tax and are only subjected to social security contributions.html 69 Website. innovative companies. up to a maximum of 100.europabio. They can also be relieved from local taxes related to the value of properties and buildings.pdf EuropaBio website. http://www. a total of 85 M Euros have been raised since 1999 with grants 65 66 Website.be/articles/article_275_EN.pdf 67 Website.following two years. According to France Biotech. while venture capital investments fell 27 percent to €132 million in 2008.washingtonpost. This would suggest that biotech companies should be able to benefit from the programme for more than 8 years. Designate half of the government's Strategic Investment Fund to innovative French small and medium sized biotechnology companies so that they may acquire undervalued foreign companies and technologies Removal of the caps on tax-efficient investments in young. http://www. Moreover.bionity. life science funding fell by 79 percent in 2008 relative to 2007 (€143 million in 2008 versus €694 million in 2007). the French Government is making investments in small and innovative enterprises more attractive to individual investors with high incomes to invest their money in FCPI funds (Fonds Communs de Placement dans l'Innovation). http://www. France Biotech has put forward several recommendations on how to support the national biotech industry.com/Documents/Handbook_final.
the financial crisis could pose a threat to the company in the medium term. Impact of the financial crisis The companies that suffer most from the financial crisis are the companies with projects that are not ‘good’. the venture capital market in Europe/France is improving. • 2004: Third financing round (15 million euros) led by Novo Nordisk A/S. The collaboration with Novo Nordisk has ensured that the company both receives venture capital as well as capital for specific R&D projects. This. the French Government has made it attractive to private investors to invest in high tech (the FCPI funds). For instance. The financial situation of Innate Pharma is very good. however. Boisel this may be a result of the close collaboration with Novo Nordisk which has provided Innate Pharma with a high level of credibility among investors. In 2006 the company was listed on the NYSE-Euronext market in Paris which raised 33.and soft loans from the French government constituting only a small part of the total capital raised (ca. • 2003: First collaboration and licensing deal with the Danish biopharmaceutical group Novo Nordisk A/S for the development of an immuno-modulator targeting a NK cell receptor (IPH 2101). Furthermore. the collaboration agreement has enabled the company to benefit from the knowledge and networks of Novo Nordisk. The IPO was very successful and according to Mr. Some of the usual sources of capital are.7 million euros. makes is possible for the investors to understand the value of Innate Pharma’s approach and to contribute to the development of the company. the stock market is difficult at the moment as investors are avoiding high risk business areas such as biotech. • 2002: Second financing round (20 million euros) led by Alta Partners. according to Mr Boissel. As a result. However. There are substantial differences between the US and Europe with regard to the venture capital market and the bioindustry: There is a larger capital base in the US and the investors are more specialised in the biotech business. Furthermore. • 2006: Second collaboration and licensing agreement with Novo Nordisk A/S comprising all of the drug candidates in the NK platform and including a reserved capital increase (10 million euros). Overall. the venture capital market in the US is more attractive to the company than the European venture capital market.5 million euros) led by Sofinnova Partners. Also. European investors seem to be more risk adverse than their US counterparts. access to capital (and US investors) for the company is getting easier due to the NYSE-Euronext stock exchange. US biotech companies are also in a better position to attract capital as they are more mature and thus considered to be less risky to invest in. 3 M Euros). Boissel estimates that the company has raised enough capital to continue its activities for at least two years. For instance. According to Mr. and Mr. 116 . Boissel. The financial history of the company is as follows: • 2000: First financing round (4. One of the health care areas that a experiencing much interest from investors following the financial crisis is medical technology which is considered to be less risky and less time consuming than biotech. the companies with good projects will be able to find interested investors – even in time of crisis. not currently an option for the company.
Policy priorities and recommendations There are several initiatives that could support the future development of Innate Pharma. there are also many biotech companies interested in ‘selling’ and Innate Pharma is therefore competing with other biotech companies for the available funding. the company is trying to establish partnerships with other pharmaceutical or biotech companies. The transformation from a drug development company to a service provider is. however. The parties that could be interested in buying the company (and who have the financial strength to do so. however. Entering the services sector is often considered a strategic option for biopharmaceutical companies. In general. If the company does not succeed in getting the needed funding. However. Mr. Such incentives could channel more money into sector. the collaboration between the public health care sector and the sector could be strengthened. This would allow the industry to benefit from the expertise of public hospitals and hospitals could sell their clinical services to supplement the government’s funding of activities. Finally. Boissel suggests that a Center of Excellence for clinical trials in Europe could be established.Instead of focusing on the stock market. One example to extend the YIC initiative. the company will have to restructure its operations and slow down the development (or even sell) candidates. Boissel thinks that incentives to carry out research in Europe are needed – this would make it easier to attract talent and R&D activities of foreign companies and it would also make it less likely that European companies relocate to other world regions.. clinical research is faster in the US than in Europe. In the worst case scenario. This could be done by increasing the liquidity in the capital markets. In terms of capital supply. Investors are.. and according to Mr. Making exit more easy is also a strategic priority. not easy. The pharmaceutical sector is desperate to find new projects and have a strong interest in projects. Boissel this option is not really an option for Innate Pharma. mainly interested in making money and the current investors are always open towards selling the company. so that mature innovative companies such as Innate Pharma are also able to benefit from the support measures. 117 . Challenges with exit strategies of investors There is a very positive relationship between the members of the board – investors take active part in the business decisions. the biotechnology sector should be made more attractive to asset managers if investments in high tech investments were associated with substantial tax reductions. Exiting via the stock market is for the time being not possible and therefore the investors may consider selling the company to an interested pharmaceutical company. Innate Pharma has considered participating in European research programmes. Also. The company may also be sold to a pharmaceutical company in Europe or the US. there will be redundancies. Mr.) are mainly located in the US. However. the amount of paper work associated with participating in such programmes is too much considering the relatively limited amounts of money available.
over 65% are dedicated to red biotechnology. According to the European Cluster Observatory. Oryzon Genomics currently has close to 80 employees and is economically sound with net profits in five consecutive years. The rest of the companies. Dr. CataloniaBio). As part of this strategy. In Catalonia there are around 250 companies involved in biotechnological R&D . the number of biotechnology companies created in the cluster is higher than any other Spanish region. The BioCat cluster Orizon Genomics is part of a biotechnology cluster in the region of Catalonia. Of the 60 biotechnological companies in the cluster.72 71 72 The case study is based on desk research and an interviw with Dr. Carlos Buesa. The company is backed by Najeti SCR. The company is based in Barcelona. a biopharmaceutical company specialized in the development of new therapeutic molecules for treating cancer. Dr. In 2008. The founder of the company. and has an IPO oriented funding strategy.000). the company’s revenues were € 6. The further development of the company’s therapeutic programme will dominate the strategic agenda of the company in the time to come. are providing services to biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. Spain Company characteristics71 Oryzon Genomics is a biopharmaceutical company specialised in functional genomics. is CEO and chairman of the board. Buesa holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Barcelona and has been actively involved in several biotechnology organisations (ASEBIO (Associación Española de Bioempreses). Oryzon Genomics develops biomarkers in oncology and neurodegeneration. The company is currently focusing on extending its activities from diagnostics to therapy through biologics. especially to drugs’ development (70%) and to diagnosis (25%). the biotechnology cluster in Catalonia is the third largest biopharmaceutical cluster in Europe in terms of the number of employees (ca.approximately 60 of the companies are dedicated biotechnology companies and 60 of them are traditional pharmaceutical companies.Oryzon Genomics. the company has acquired Crystax. Spain and was established in 2001 as a spin-off from the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) and the University of Barcelona. The drug developing strategy for the company is to get involved in international partnerships (companies/academy) and to co-develop new targets oriented to product development or inlicense IP (targets in oncology / CNS / Technology). He is currently member of the board for Neurotech Pharma and Oncnosis Pharma. Furthermore. ASEBIO estimates that 27% of all new Spanish biotechnology companies created in 2007 was located in Catalonia. Carlos Buesa ASEBIO. a privately-owned investment company headquartered in France. Annual report 2007 119 . around 120. Spain.5 M. 25.
the Government has created a new scheme that offsets 40% of the labour and social charges of R&D workers (OECD 2008b). either as independent members of the Advisory Board. the use of soft loans as opposed to grants has steadily increased (UNU-MERIT 2006). cf.ingenio2010.000 to fund this program. the Spanish government is providing different financial support measures. universities. http://www./02_instrumentos/02_Caracteristicas/02_ CENIT 120 .php The initiative was launched in June 2009 by BIOCAT and the Ministry of Economy and Finance of the Government of Catalonia. an organisation established by the Government of Catalonia and the Barcelona City Council to promote and coordinate biotechnology and biomedicine in Catalonia. has been weak. public research organisations and centres. non-executive directors or strategic international advisors on the Board of Advisors. http://www.asp?menu1=3&menu2=0&menu3=&dir=.ingenio2010. In addition. All professionals must be hired on a temporary basis. Companies will be able to hire experts in the following areas: intellectual property. which has earmarked € 200. however. business development. Uptake. According to data from 2004. Talent for Competitiveness programme The ‘Talent for Competitiveness’ programme makes it possible for biotech SMEs to receive up to € 20. and the Spanish Government has therefore reduced the R&D tax credit by making the rate proportional to the general corporate tax level until it is phased out by 2011 (subject to government evaluation). The NEOTEC Fund was established in 2006 by the 73 BioCat website. science and technology parks and technological centres. In 2005.asp 75 Governmental website. The programme is intended to boost the long term competitiveness and internationalization of Catalan biotech companies. the Spanish Government launched INGENIO 2010 in response to the re-launch of the Lisbon Strategy.75 The CENIT programme also includes a venture capital fund of funds (NEOTEC) to create and consolidate technological businesses. http://www. http://www. CENIT projects are 50% co-funded by the public and private sectors. including soft loans to innovative start-ups.cat/talent/indexen.The activities in the cluster are planned and coordinated by BIOCAT.000 euros in aid to hire international experts for specific projects.es/contenido. management and research.74 This plan intends to increase the allocation of resources to R&D and innovation in general and also contains several strategic actions of which the CENIT Programme is of must interest for the biopharmaceutical sector. Furthermore. Spain has a generous R&D tax credit. A recent initiative in the region is the launch of the ‘Talent for Competitiveness’ programme. The CENIT Programme seeks to stimulate cooperation in R&D and innovation between the private sector.73 National financing conditions At the national level.biocat.biocat. Source: Biocat website.cat/butlleti/biotech-smes-to-receive-up-to-20000-euros-in-aid-to-hire-internationalexperts/en/ 74 Ingenio website. Exhibit 1 below: Exhibit 1.es/contenido.
com/index. Moreover. Under this business model.eu/about/news/eif-and-cdti-launch-a-new-type-of-investment-mandate.76 The venture capital market in Spain is considered to be under developed: Although venture capital investment in Spain has been rising for the past few years.eu/index.-known-asneotec.europa.htm 77 ProInno Europe website.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=32&Itemid=49 Since 2006. Oryzon Genomics has run an in-house programme that has dramatically expanded the company’s technological platform allowing it to carry out advanced product development.77 The NEOTEC initiative specifically addresses this challenge of increasing the venture capital available to Spanish technology-based companies. http://www. The technological platform and a strong financial position of the company have resulted in a 76 EIF website. Tourism and Commerce. The Fund aims at increasing venture capital investment in Spain in order to boost the Spanish SME technology sector.cfm?fuseaction=wiw. Business model Oryzon Genomics started out as a services company as this is less capital demanding than biopharmaceutical R&D.oryzon.eif. an entity of the Spanish Ministry of Industry. http://www. Exhibit 2. they are still almost half the European average.European Investment Fund and CDTI.proinno-europe. http://www. Pipeline of Oryzon Genomics Source: Oryzon Genomics website. This enabled the company to establish a good track record and demonstrate its financial viability to attract further funding. In 2003 the company started licensing out candidates and engaging in co-development projects in partnership with third parties.measures&page=detail&ID=6925 121 . almost 60 % of venture capital in Spain is invested in nontechnology enterprises. three collaboration agreements were signed in 2004 and 2005 with other companies (one agreement with Oncnosis Pharma received funding from the CENIT programme).
In 2008. The company has some experience with European Framework programmes for research. In 2003. Furthermore. but the long term sustainability of the company may be in question if the funding ‘dries out’ as a result of the financial crisis. IPOs are currently not an option when it comes to biotechnology 122 . as it slows down research activities while at the same time making the services of the company more expensive than CROs on the market. however. Policy priorities and recommendations The biggest problem for investors is that there are currently only limited exit options available to investors. Among the challenges for attracting capital is that Spain is not considered a ‘biotech country’ by international investors. Some companies have adopted a mixed business model in which they sell their services for a fee as a means to provide funding for the company’s research activities. if warranted by the market and the product. the research programmes in the US are more attractive than European research programmes as companies in the US do not need partners to receive grants. According to Dr. Financing situation of the company With regard to financing history. The ambition is to pursue projects at least up to the start of clinical stages and. However. fools and family” and a range of small loans. Benelux. Spain has experienced 14 years with non-stop economic growth and massive investments in innovation. the European research programmes are very bureaucratic and characterised by a long implementation of the projects: It takes 1 – 2 years before the work actually begins.decision to transform the company into a full blown biopharmaceutical company focusing on developing new therapies. The economic outlook. For example. Cluster initiatives such as the establishment of BIOCAT are a way of getting attention among international venture capital funds. the company could go public via an IPO when the company’s compounds are ready for phase 1 of the clinical trials. the company’s initial capital base consisted of contributions from “friends. One suggestion for European research programmes could be to let companies find their own partners among European/international research organisations as the companies would then be in a position to choose the research organisations that they considered to be the best to deliver the needed results. is not good and the government may reduce its support for innovation. Buesa. and the Nordic countries. according to Carlos Buesa. Another problem is that venture capital funds in Spain have only limited knowledge of biotech business. A total of 1 M € was raised in this first round. the company received 9 M € in venture capital and 11 M € in soft loans and grants. The economic situation of the company is currently good. the company received 1 M € in venture capital. This makes it difficult to assess the projects and it also reduces the capability of venture funds to provide strategic input to their portfolio companies. even up to regulatory approval. this strategy is not sound in the long term. venture capital funds are focusing on the UK. If possible. the impression is that many of the participating research organisations are mainly interested in the money to carry out their own research. Germany. However. Rather. including a soft loan from the a government fund dedicated to start-up companies in high-tech fields as well as loans from regional funds and other funds.
123 . Another possible policy action. Increasing the liquidity in the market could make it easier for venture capital funds to exit their portfolio companies. is to support investors who are interested in entering the biopharma sector – for instance through tax incentives to private investors for investing in this specific sector. Buesa.companies. according to Dr. This makes the biotechnology sector less attractive to investors.
Arpida reported the completion of the Phase III programme in complicated skin and skin structure infections. Welten has more than 19 years of international experience in finance. but holds no opt-in rights.swissinfo. The main focus of the company used to be on novel drugs that address the growing problem of microbial resistance. he was with ABB and DaimlerChrysler. he was a director at UBS Warburg in New York following various senior positions within the UBS Group. Apart from the antibiotic programmes. 79 Swissinfo website. The agreement with Roche gave Arpida all rights to the intellectual property. After a period of trying to sell of its other compounds and identifying potential companies for a ‘reverse merger’ (when a public company acquires a private company with a viable business creating an entirely new public entity). the company in September 2009 announced that it was planning to merge with Evolva. Switzerland Company characteristics78 Arpida is a biopharmaceutical company headquartered near Basel in Switzerland and with operations primarily in Switzerland. http://www. Arpida also received start-up financing from a venture capital fund sponsored by Roche. Prior to joining Arpida. He joined Arpida in August 2001 as Chief Financial Officer. Arpida has an antifungal therapy (TLT) which is in Phase III clinical trials in Europe. Evolva will also need to raise sufficient funds for the transaction. This cluster brings together Alsace in France.php?MenuID=0&UserID=1&ContentID=213 125 . Senior CP and CFO. a privately-held Swiss biosynthetic company developing small molecule drugs and other compounds. Roche is entitled to a share of royalties of between one and nine percent. In July 2007.81 The BioValley Cluster Arpida is located in the Swiss part of the BioValley cluster. In the beginning of 2009 the company was informed that the US FDA had not approved the application for iclaprim and that additional clinical data was required to demonstrate the product’s efficacy. South Baden in Germany and Northwest Switzerland. iclaprim. BioValley is one of the first European initiatives for the promotion and the development of life sciences.79 The Company went public in 2005 on the Swiss Stock Exchange. As a result.arpida.80 The merger is subject to definitive agreement and shareholder approval. Arpida also stopped further patient enrolment into the trial for its antifungal therapy due to financial constraints. The company was established in 1997 when Arpida’s founders bought the molecule behind the company’s key product candidate. http://www. from Roche. Before joining UBS. a large pharmaceutical company.evolva.html?siteSect=883&sid=5679104&ty=st 80 Evolva website.com/ 81 Arpida press release. Iclaprim is an antibiotic that targets severe infections requiring hospital treatment. and in 2008 the company submitted applications for approval to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and to the European Medicines Agency (EMEA).ch/index. http://www. Mr. and it is listed at the SIX Swiss Exchange Main Segment. but so far Evolva has received positive feedback from existing and new investors. the management and board of Arpida decided to close down all research activities and reduce the burn rate.ch/eng/archive.Arpida. and it one of the 78 Based on interview with Harry Welten.
This concentration of biotech companies means that Switzerland has the highest per capita biotech density in the world. The Swiss approach has left many start-ups in Switzerland 82 83 Biovalley website.pdf Actelion was founded in 1997 and now has a robust pipeline. a biopharmaceutical company that has moved from biotech start-up to becoming a global leader in the biopharmaceutical sector within a decade.largest biotech regions in Europe with approximately 600 life sciences and medtech companies.biovalley. Johnson & Johnson.swissbiotech. Actelion. including major global players (pharma and agro). http://www. and over 2. 84 Swiss Biotech website.biovalley. http://www. The Bio Valley Cluster Source: Biovalley website. 40 scientific institutions and 4 universities with about 280 research groups. http://www. Among the major biotech and pharma players located in the region are Novartis. the development of the biotech industry in Switzerland has been market driven rather than driven by government (one example of a government driven approach is Germany where the government has been heavily involved in the funding and development of the national biotech industry).com/files/brochures/brochureBV2007. three approved products.82 Exhibit 1.83 According to the Swiss Biotech Report 2009.84 According to observers. Roche. Syngenta and Pfizer.000 employees. which includes Actelion.org/php5/aa2/UserFiles/File/8498_Swissbiotech_Report_2008.pdf National financing conditions Switzerland is considered a ‘hot spot’ for private financings and it has a strong biotech industry.com/files/brochures/brochureBV2007. Lilly. commercial operations in more than 25 countries. Transgene.pdf 126 . the industry consists of 159 biotech companies and 70 biotech suppliers.
8 million as well as CHF 21. Arpida successfully completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO) in connection with its listing on the SWX Swiss Exchange and received gross proceeds of approximately CHF97.7 million shares out of the authorised share capital • In March 2008 Arpida strengthened its financial position by issuing 1. the Company has restructured it operations and shut down all research activities. The four venture capital companies that invested were Alta Berkeley (UK). 127 . Arpida managed to raise a further CHF 12. Transforming the company into a service company is not considered an option – the company neither has the competences needed nor a good reputation in the biotech industry due to the negative opinion from FDA. new investors were FTQ (Canada). Around 45% of the capital was raised before the IPO and around 55% following the IPO. Welten. however. HealthCap (Sweden). and investors are getting more reluctant to invest in the sector.3 million from international investors. A total of 309 M Swiss Francs (CHF) – ca. the sector is able to benefit from a strong financial ecosystem consisting of analysts. Arpida successfully raised an additional CHF 51. Along with all earlier investors.6 million in relation to the acquisition of the Danish biotechnology company Combio. Following the FDA opinion. as well as universities with strong traditions in science and chemistry producing a steady stream of new biotech companies (Carrin et al 2004).has been raised to date. • First financing round: In July 1998 the company raised CHF 15. the biotech industry in Switzerland is now facing big problems and thus needs to improve its performance to better attract investors.2 million before expenses.7 million (after expenses and taxes). 206 M Euro . CDC IXIS Innovation (France). there is a lot of knowhow and resources available to the companies. • Second financing round: The company raised CHF 40 million in September 2000. and investors specialised in biotechnology. The financing history of the company is as follows: • Seed funding was provided by New Medical Technologies (now: HBM BioVentures) in 1997.3 million. 3i Group plc (UK) and HBM BioVentures. • Third financing round: In May 2004. • In March 2007. In recent years. the Swiss biotech industry has not been able to demonstrate good results. banks. • On May 4th 2005. Also. the sector has benefited from the closeness of large pharmaceutical companies such as Roche and Novartis. In terms of access to funding. the company raised CHF51. Financing situation of the company The management of Arpida has been very successful in raising capital. Partners Group (Switzerland) and UBS.scrambling for money in the marketplace. As a result.6 million shares. The compounds in the pipeline are too far away from the market to enable the company to raise more money for continuing research. According to Mr. but it has also meant that only the companies with promising candidates in the pipeline are able to stay in business. Instead.9 million (before expenses) by issuing 1. There are many factors explaining the success of the Swiss biopharmaceutical sector. the management considers a reverse merger to be the best viable strategy. raising CHF 19. The same year.
Exhibit 2 below. Swiss Biotech Report 2009 Naturally. For instance. investors would still be reluctant to invest in Arpida even if the financial crisis had not materialised simply because the company currently has no market potential. 128 . the biopharmaceutical companies should focus more on increasing their performance to better be able to attract investors. In 2008. cf. Therefore. But according to Mr. Private and Public Swiss Biotech Companies Capital Investments Source: Ernst & Young. There was almost no seed financing taking place and the negotiation terms were clearly dictated by the investors Ernst & Young 2009b). many of the Swiss biotech companies are currently blaming the crisis for their inability to raise more capital.Impact of the financial crisis The financial crisis has made it more difficult for biopharmaceutical companies in Switzerland to raise money. Exhibit 2. Welten the financial problems are not always related to the crisis. but rather to the poor performance of the companies. the Swiss biotech industry was only able to collect capital in the amount of CHF 228 million. which is a decrease of approximately 75 % compared with the record year 2007.
In terms of business development strategy. Germany. The company employs about 90 people at its two laboratories in Cambridge. Mr. Pipeline of Cellzome National financial supply86 Cellzome UK is located in the Cambridge cluster. and therefore the actual number of high tech companies is probably higher. United Kingdom Company characteristics85 Cellzome is a privately-owned drug discovery and development company identifying a new generation of kinase targeted drugs to treat inflammatory diseases. UK and Heidelberg. the company intends to commercialize its technology and assets by building a small molecule pipeline in inflammation and by collaborating with large pharmaceutical companies. while most other programs are in early preclinical testing. 85 129 . Edwards is also appointed to the Board of the UK's BioIndustry Association. Based on interview with CEO Tim Edwards. and it is backed by experienced biotech investors such as Advent International. is located in the US. Its holding company. Cellzome’s most advanced program is anticipated to enter clinical trials in 2010. 86 Based on desk research and interview with Mr. Atlas Venture and Sofinnova Partners.Cellzome. Exhibit 1 below: Exhibit 1. Alan Barrell. a Cambridge Angel and a Sophia Business Angel 87 This definition does not cover all types of companies in the cluster. The cluster is host to 108 publicly disclosed active venture backed companies87 within different high-tech sectors – the Healthcare & Life Science sector is the largest sector (36% of the venture backed companies in the cluster) followed by Information Technology (24%) and Communications (16%). cf. however. The management team of Cellzome has a scientific and commercial background.
However. In fact. Information Technology and Communications sectors (Library House 2007). However. receive much larger funding rounds earlier and can then concentrate on expanding the business (Library House 2007). thus eliminating the need to shop around for new external investors at each funding round. the Cambridge Cluster attracted 18% of all venture capital investment in the UK. the companies do not need to attract further external investors and biotech entrepreneurs can concentrate fully on developing their businesses rather than spend their time raising funds (Library House 2007).In terms of investment. One of the important sources for capital for early stage biopharmaceutical companies in the UK are business angels. The importance of business 130 . even though the number of deals in the Healthcare & Life Sciences is higher than in other sectors. The Cambridge Cluster Report 2007 According to the cluster report. and according to Alan Barrell. Amount invested into the Cambridge Cluster by sector Source: Library House (2007). Their counterparts in the US. Cambridge is extremely important to the whole UK venture capital market. about 50% of private equity in the UK is now invested by business angels. If successful. Looking Inwards. the level of investments in the Healthcare & Life Sciences sector has declined in recent years (2005-2007). a business angel from Cambridge. cf. and clear majority of investment in the Cambridge Cluster is pumped into the Healthcare & Life Sciences. The decrease in deal size in the Healthcare & Life Sciences sector could reflect that Cambridge life science companies are having problems in raising funds. this development shows that companies in the Healthcare & Life Sciences sector are raising smaller amounts than usual in later rounds and a trend towards raising smaller multiple funding rounds. according to the report a common complaint of entrepreneurs in the UK is that they have to spend a lot of time and effort continually trying to raise funds to keep the company going. on the other hand. During the first half of 2007. Exhibit 2 below: Exhibit 2. Reaching Outwards. the cluster report also suggests that the reduction in deal size could reflect that a new model for investment has emerged: Companies are increasingly looking for syndicates that have the resources to provide capital to the company at every stage in its lifecycle.
Business angels are increasingly getting organised in networks.000. Source: Cambridge Angel’s website. http://www. The members invest in and mentor high quality start-up and early-stage companies in these sectors.angelgroups. the Cambridge Angels also offer startups the benefit of a wide range of expertise.angels for new and nascent businesses has grown over the last decade as venture capital investors are “not able to accommodate a large number of small deals with their attendant due diligence and oversight needs” (NESTA 2009b). a strong bargaining position vis-a-vis business angels. http://cambridgeangels. but several of the portfolio companies have in fact received more than £1m in funding from the member over several funding rounds. and the Cambridge Angels are among the prominent business angel networks in the UK (see Exhibit 3 below). Furthermore. venture capital has. says Alan Barrell. 88 EBAN website. seed funds and other entities involved in bridging the equity gap in Europe. mostly in the Cambridge area. Germany. In 2001. Exhibit 3. The involvement of venture capital. which means that business angels runs the risk of getting sidelined in the process and not getting a fair return on their investments. however.000 to £500. contacts and directly relevant experience in establishing and growing entrepreneurial businesses successfully.net/ Business angel groups are also becoming stronger and more organised at the European level. but also elsewhere in the south of England. Funding situation of the company Cellzome was established in 2000 as a spin out of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg. It is thus important to increase the bargaining power of the business angels and provide them with an opportunity to exit the companies with a profit.eban.88 One of the key challenges for business angels are the fiscal policies of the member states. the company bought GSK's CellMap Unit leading to the establishment of Cellzome UK. because these policies provide the tax incentives that encourage or discourage business angel investing within a country as well as across borders. Another challenge is that business angels most often can only afford to invest in the very early development stages which are less capital demanding than later stages. and they need additional funding (for instance via public coinvestments or venture capital) to continue their involvement and to be able to support the development of the company. EBAN was established by a group of pioneer business angel networks and the European Association of Development Agencies. may dilute the influence of business angels because venture capital wants influence on board decisions. EBAN is a non-profit association representing the interests of business angels.org/home/who-we-are.html 131 . Cambridge Angels The Cambridge Angels are a group of high-net worth investors who have been successful entrepreneurs in technology and biotechnology. Today EBAN represents more than 250 business angel networks in Europe. The typical funding requirements that the Cambridge Angels meet are in the range of £50. In 1999. In addition to providing funding for early-stage companies. business angels networks (BANs).
€ 3. says Mr.2m grant from the German Ministry of Research and Education for the discovery of novel treatments for disorders of the immune system. The company has a history of collaborating with large pharmaceutical companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Novartis. Impact of financial crisis The financial crisis has not had a significant impact on the financial situation of Cellzome. To date. and business angels get diluted out when venture capital or big pharmaceutical companies enter a biopharmaceutical company. Cellzome has only outsourced basic biotech operations.85m grant from Germany's High-Tech Initiative to Fund Top Regional Clusters. but India is a good candidate. and a second. So far Boston in the US has been considered. the company raised € 30 million. some operations may be moved outside Europe. In particular. Instead. biopharmaceutical companies should recognise that they are primarily suppliers of innovative drug candidates to the big pharmaceutical companies. According to Mr. and Switzerland and Belgium were also considered as location for the company Head office to get better access to stock markets. had bad experiences with biotech investments. Cellzome was awarded two grants. Edwards it now takes more time to get funding. Cellzome and Graffinity Pharmaceuticals were awarded a € 2. the ‘’old” biotech business model focusing on outlicensing drug candidates to raise money for in-house drug development is not credible. This has reduced the attractiveness of biopharmaceutical companies to early stage investors. China is currently not an option due the country’s specialisation in cheap rather than innovative goods. • In 2008. Cellzome is – unlike many other biotech companies following a strategy of getting funding via partnerships with large pharmaceutical companies rather than trying to approach potential investors or going for an IPO. Mr. one for Translational medicine from the MRC. the other biotech companies that are currently trying to get funding are creating a lot of ‘noise’ which is distracting the big pharmaceutical companies. Edwards considers India’s IPR laws to be very good. Edwards. and Cellzome is also part of a major strategic alliance with GlaxoSmithKline. and according to Mr. 132 . Impact of funding situation on the company’s strategies The company management has considered building up a presence in other countries to get better access to capital markets and new technologies. while core biotech operations a kept in the UK and Germany due to the risk of losing IPRs. moving the company to another country for strictly financial reasons feels a bit too artificial for the company management. Still. Edwards. Many investors have. • In 2005. However. the company raised € 34 million • In 2003.Cellzome has raised money from both private investors and public grants: • In 2001. Biopharmaceutical companies neither have the resources nor the competences for bringing products to the market on their own. However. so the company is keeping its activities in the UK and Germany for the time being.
The existing regulatory framework in Europe is focusing on protecting citizens. and European regulators need to develop a greater tolerance for risks so that citizens can decide for themselves if they want to run a risk in order to get better or prolong their lifetime. In terms of national framework conditions. but to some people ‘risky’ medicines are the only alternative to dying. Also. Edwards European regulators are too risk adverse. Another issue to be considered is that Governments in Europe could facilitate the testing of innovative medicines by allowing trials in their national public healthcare system. Edwards considers the tax credit for companies in the UK to be very beneficial for young biotech companies. The UK government has tried to implement this idea in the national healthcare system. academia in Germany is not allowed to get commercial funding. but so far haven’t had much success. Mr. and this promotes collaboration between academia and industry. In contrast. According to Mr. in the UK academia can get commercial funding for research and laboratories. These examples may be of interest to other countries when considering different approaches to supporting the biotech industry.Policy recommendations The regulatory approach to handling risks is very important for biopharmaceutical companies. 133 .
Final report .Study on the competitiveness of the European biotechnology industry The financing of biopharmaceutical product development in Europe The Framework Contract of Sectoral Competitiveness Studies – ENTR/06/054 .
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