Spanish biotechnology captured more than 150 million euros in 2017, 17% more than in 2016

Spanish biotechnology captured more than 150 million euros in 2017, which is 17% more than the previous year, according to the ‘ASEBIO Annual Report 2017’ presented by the Spanish Association of Biocompanies (ASEBIO) on Monday 9 July. The event was attended by the Secretary of State for Universities, Research, Development and Innovation, Ángeles Heras.

Thus, the financial operations in the biotechnology sector in Spain that have been registered during 2017, have accounted for a total of 149 million euros -without taking into account the value of the acquisitions of Biofabri and of the purchase operation of Biópolis, that has not been made public. This figure represents a growth of 17% compared to what was recorded in 2016.

The association assures that there are 27 private capital increases, valued at 93.7 million euros -such as the most important MedLumics 34.4 million; and Anaconda Biomed 15 million-; six capital increases for issuing shares for 41 million euros -Oryzon, Atrys Health, Sygnis, Reig Jofré and Inkemia-; 31 complementary financing operations or participative loans for 10.8 million euros and various operations in the field of crowdfunding- find more info Mtocosplay.

The venture capital activity has been especially significant, according to ASEBIO

with 30 million euros disbursed and 46 million euros committed mainly by companies such as Ysios Capital Partners, Caixa Capital Risc, CRB, Inveready, Clave Mayor or IUCT Emprén among others.

The report highlights the impact on the economy of companies with a total dedication to biotechnology in 2017, which have contributed directly, indirectly and induced GDP to 7,300 million euros, which represents around 0.7% of GDP with the generation of more than 108,000 jobs, of which more than 2,000 are direct jobs. This activity contributes 2,600 million of revenue to the public coffers, according to data extracted by CEPREDE. Thus, the total contribution of the biotechnology sector to the economy, both directly and indirectly, rises to 7.8% of GDP.

The total number of companies in the biotechnology sector has declined in more than 200 companies, from 2,981 to 2,767 in 2016. By activity areas, in biotech, 66.8% are dedicated to human health and 23.5% to food. The investment in R & D of the total sector was 617 million euros, 6.6% more, clarifies the association.

By Autonomous Community, those with the highest percentage of biotechnology companies are Catalonia, with 19.3%, Andalusia with 13.5% and Galicia with 8.6%. Regarding the companies with the main dedication to biotechnology, 23.3% are from Catalonia, 18.7% from Madrid and 16% from Andalusia.


Likewise, ASEBIO proposes measures to improve the financing system of R & D, such as increasing the public budget allocated to R & D both in volume and quality and increase grants and non-reimbursable tranches as opposed to loans, as reported by the Asociation.

Similarly, the document collects the sector data for 2017 and macroeconomic data from the statistical study of the National Institute of Statistics (INE) on Technological Innovation in Companies of the Biotechnology use module.

This year, internationalization is once again the priority for the companies surveyed by ASEBIO, the entity says, with the merger or acquisition of another company as the least important action for companies. For 87% of the entities, the need to internationalize is essential. The preferred markets are the European Union and North America.

The Association considers that the recovery of the biotechnology sector presented chiaroscuro in 2017, as a result of the weaknesses suffered by the Spanish R & D ecosystem as a result of the “deficient” framework of aid and incentives by the public administration. “We do not want privileges, but we do want to be able to say, as stated in the conclusions of this report, that the Administration must pay attention to certain requests,” explained the president of ASEBIO, Jordi Martí, during the presentation of the ASEBIO report.

The entity suggests a series of proposals to help resolve the limitations they face such as increasing the public budget allocated to R & D; accentuate the subsidies; increase the execution of public budgets allocated to R & D; articulate retroactive structural measures that solve the problems caused by the policy of aid based on loans; give continuity to debt deferral mechanisms; simplify and reduce the cost and time required to certify the investment in R & D; increase the use that companies are giving to the cashback mechanism; enable secondary markets to transact the deductions and negative tax bases or continue betting on non-bank financing of technology-based companies.