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Catalan biomedical sector achieves record 153 million euros in investments in 2016

82% of investments came from Catalan investors, according to a recent study


13 October 2017 01:13 PM


Alex Rolandi | Barcelona

Catalonia’s biomedical sector attracted a record 153.1 million euros in investments in 2016, according to a recent study by CataloniaBio and Ernst & Young (EY).

The report found that throughout 2016 investment was raised through 50 financial operations from various sources, with 82% of the investment capital coming from Catalan financiers. International investors now control 12% of shares of the companies surveyed, while Spain controls 6%.

Entitled ‘Study on the investment in biomedicine in Catalonia 2017: Acheivements and future challenges,’ the study  “aims to paint an accurate picture of the investment landscape in Catalonia in order to measure and compare it in the coming years,” according to CatalanBio. Data was collected from 200 different biomedical companies.

This is the first time a report such as this has analyzed private investment within the sector. Ignasi Biosca, president of CatalanBio and CEO of Reig Jofre, explained that in the coming two years, more than 50% of companies within the biomedicine sector will have to carry out new rounds of financing so that investors “will have an opportunity to invest in this sector.”

95% of the companies attracting the majority of investments tend to be product development companies, while only 5% are service companies.

The study also highlighted the growing interest of pharmaceutical companies to invest in the sector, finding that 60% of pharmaceutical companies have shares in biotechnology companies, 45% of which are located in Catalonia. 

  • "These figures confirm that we are a sector open to innovation and, increasingly, technology transfer"

    Ignasi Biosca · President of CatalanBio

Biosca noted that there are a total of 157 collaborative projects within the sector. “57% of pharma companies are working with research centres, and 29% with start-ups; these figures confirm that we are a sector open to innovation and, increasingly technology transfer,” he pointed out at the study’s presentation at the Cercle d’Economia in Barcelona.

Risk factors                                                                                           

The biggest risk posed for the future of the biomedicine sector is financial, according to companies, followed by “scientific and business management risks,” aside from the general threats faced by the business world as a whole.

The study revealed that 4 out of 10 companies in the sector will have to find new sources of finance within the year, while 65% of companies, mostly in product development, are already seeking ways to incorporate partners in order to help develop or market products.

When asked whether the current political situation poses an additional risk, in relation to the relocation of companies’ headquarters outside of Catalonia, Biosca replied that “initiatives in this field are 100% in the hands of the companies.”

Referring to the relocation of biotech firm Oryzon Genomics, he confirmed that they want “to continue with their path to success, explaining that he has not received any queries thus far from his associates regarding the legal uncertainty in Catalonia. 


  • Researchers working on a vaccine against HIV-AIDS at the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, in Greater Barcelona (by J. Pujolar)

  • Researchers working on a vaccine against HIV-AIDS at the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, in Greater Barcelona (by J. Pujolar)