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The Medical Biotechnology Industry in Germany

Germany’s biopharmaceuticals sector increased turnover by 14 percent last year, with the country’s biotech companies as important actors in the fight against Covid-19.

Medical biotech nation Germany

Germany is the world’s leading medical biotech nation behind the US. The industry’s strength comes from the presence of long-established and start-up companies alike. Industry, government, and the research sector are pulling in one direction to build on the thriving sector’s already strong market foundations. With the largest amount of biotech companies in Europe, world-class research infrastructure, and internationally renowned scientists, Germany has firmly established itself as an international medical biotechnology hub.

Innovation infrastructure

Science and industry need to work together closely in order for innovations to be commercialized successfully. German bioclusters are proving to be important new technology impulse givers in this respect.

Germany's bioregions

The BioRegions are regional initiatives for the advancement of modern biotechnology in Germany. Over the past three decades, these biotechnology clusters have developed to become Europe’s leading R&D hubs. Each region facilitates collaboration between universities, R&D institutes and private sector companies. Around 30 BioRegions are active members of AK Bioregio, whose goal is to advance the German biotechnology sector by coordinating and promoting local activities. AK BioRegio advances the exchange between regional initiatives and relays its expertise to political decision makers.

Investors benefit from easy access to networks and funding for research projects. The BioRegions also include technology parks tailored to the specific needs of biotechnology companies. Commonly known as BioParks, these centers offer an ideal infrastructure - including lab space and clean rooms - as well as a range of services for both start-up and well established companies.

Growth drivers: IVD & molecular diagnostics

In-vitro diagnostics (IVDs) are a crucial part of modern medicine: laboratory based tests performed on biological samples provide information that is key for the prevention, treatment and management of diseases. Today, around two third of all clinical diagnoses are made thanks to IVD´s. With more than EUR 2 bn in annual revenue, Germany represents the largest IVD market in Europe and second worldwide behind the USA.

Diagnostic Industry Revenue in EUR Million
Diagnostic Industry Revenue in EUR Million | © Medtech Europe IVD Market statistics: IVD market 2018

Molecular diagnostics (Dx) has emerged as one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the IVD industry. Molecular Dx already enjoys more than 10 percent share of the entire German diagnostics market and boasts a growth rate more than twice that of the entire IVD market as such.

Growth drivers: biopharmaceuticals market

Big pharmaceutical and smaller biotechnology companies alike are focusing on drug discovery and development of medicines produced by biotechnological processes.

Small molecules are moving to the background in medicine development as the result of a major paradigm shift to biopharmaceuticals. This is reflected by the increasing sales of biopharmaceutical products worldwide.

According to a report by Boston Consulting Group and the Association of Research-Based Pharmaceutical Companies (vfa), sales of biopharmaceuticals in Germany increased to EUR 10.2 billion in 2017 (growth of 10.3 percent compared to 2016). Growth was seen in nearly all fields of application, particularly in drugs treating immunological (e.g. rheumatic) diseases and cancer.

The number of biopharmaceuticals in clinical development increased from 604 in 2014 to 639 in 2017, reflecting continued high investment in the biopharmaceutical pipeline.

In 2017, a record-breaking 51percent of all new drug approvals were biopharmaceuticals. By the end of 2017, a total of 274 biopharmaceutical drugs were approved for the German market – more than ever before. Divided into pharmacological classes, vaccines and monoclonal antibodies are leading in numbers with 23percent each, followed by insulin with 14 percent.

Number of New Drug Approvals
Number of New Drug Approvals | © vfa/BCG: Medizinische Biotechnologie in Deutschland 2020
Biopharmaceuticals Value Growth Rate in Percent
Biopharmaceuticals Value Growth Rate in Percent | © BCG – Medizinische Biotechnologie in Deutschland 2020

Download our latest Industry Overview The Pharmaceutical Industry in Germany for more information.

Biopharma in Germany

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