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.
Biopharmaceuticals turnover up to more than EUR 14 billion
Germany’s biopharmaceuticals turnover (pharmacy and hospital market) grew to EUR 14.6 billion in 2020 – equivalent to a 14 percent year-on-year increase – according to the new Biotech Report compiled by the Boston Consulting Group for vfa bio. The report, the only one of its kind recording all medical biotechnology activity in Germany, records growth in nearly all fields of medical application and sees the sector increases its share of the total pharmaceuticals market to more than 30 percent.
Biopharmaceuticals to combat infection increase by 30 percent
The number of all biopharmaceuticals in clinical development increased by 2.7 percent, with 84 percent of the products in phase three being new biologics and the rest being biosimilars. Biopharmaceutical pipeline agents developed to combat infections increased by 30 percent in number in 2020, with one third of all agents being used specifically to counter the coronavirus. Twenty-seven new biopharmaceutical drugs (including biosimilars) were approved in 2020 – the second highest number recorded in Germany to date.
German companies a leading force in the battle against Covid-19
German biotech companies have established themselves as international leaders in mRNA technologies, having secured a number of important firsts in the battle against the coronavirus including the first coronavirus test developed worldwide and the first Covid-19 vaccination approved by the European Medicines Agency. The number of companies grew by more than four percent in 2020, with the number of employees in the biopharmaceutical sector also up by more than five percent.
Recombinant antibody therapies double in five year
The number of recombinant antibody therapies – for diseases not previously or insufficiently treatable – have also significantly increased in number. By the end of 2020, some 82 molecules of this class of active substances had been approved for use in Germany – twice as many as was the case just five years ago. Antibodies account for 32 percent of all approved biopharmaceuticals and, as such, represent the most important group. Innovations in recombinant DNA technology are allowing new antibody formats to be realized in the form of antibody derivatives that improve functionality, have a longer half-life and allow the binding of more than one antigen.