This content is relevant for:Coronavirus / Medical Biotechnology
By playing a key role in the fight against Covid-19, the medical biotechnology industry attracted not only attention, but also investment at an unprecedented scale.
The German Bioindustry association BIO Deutschland reported that the overall investment in biotech companies 2020 exceeded EUR 3 billion – more than three times the previous year’s volume.
The main cause behind the staggering increase were initial public offerings (IPOs), which accounted for over EUR 2 billion. The two mRNA vaccine developers, BioNTech and CureVac, went public last year and contributed strongly to the record capital raise.
The recent investment trend has not just been limited to biotech companies with an internationally recognized track record in the fight against Covid-19. Venture capital financing reached EUR 942 million, setting a new record and representing a 79 percent increase compared to 2019.
The same survey also showed that 58 percent of the participating biotechnology companies expected the political climate for their business to improve in 2021 - this is the most optimistic outlook the German biotechnology sector has had for at least five years.
It is not just private investors that have been funding in the German biotech industry during the pandemic. The Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy announced a joint funding program with a volume of EUR 300 million in May.
The program objective is to support pharma companies in bringing Covid-19 therapeutics in late-stage clinical development to market. The scope of the program also includes the preparation of pharmaceutical production capacities. This funding program complements existing initiatives. Previous public funding had benefited drugs in early development and in Phases I and II; the new program closes the gap to application.
Federal funding initiatives also supported vaccine development and production by funding three vaccine-developing companies in Germany with EUR 750 million in total. Public incentives for the production of PPE and point-of-care antigen tests are further examples of how Germany's pandemic response has created opportunities for local manufacturing in the pharma and medtech sectors.