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German biotech sector growing

The German biotech industry has shown tremendous growth in 2017. According to figures of BIOCOM, turnover, employees or number of start-ups – many key figures for 2017 exceeded those of the record year 2016. 

Key figures for the sector rose sharply in 2017, the BIOCOM report “The German biotech industry 2018” biotechnologie.de says, which has been collected annually since 2005 on the basis of the biotech criteria of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). “Many German biotech companies have reached a high degree of maturity, which is reflected in growing sales and employee numbers. At the same time, the start-up dynamic has regained momentum in the last two years, so that further growth can be expected in the long term as well, “stressed  study leader Sandra Wirsching.

According to the industry survey, companies generated a turnover of €4.1bn in 2017, a 16% increase compared to 2016. Pharmaceutical biotech companies generated most sales (+17%, €2.8bn), followed by service companies (+15%, €853m) industrial biotechnology enterprises (+8%, €290m). R&D expenditure remained stable vs the previous year (€1.12bn , +1.2%), but companies in the industrial biotechnology space put more money into R & D than in 2016  (+6%, €54m) as well as bioinformtics companies (+3%, €13.6m). and service providers did (+3%, €117.2m). 

According to the survey, there were a total of 646 dedicated biotech companies (2016: 615), half of which are diagnostics and therapeutics developers. 30% of the companies are services providers, and 10% are active in industrial biotechnology.

Many companies hired staff in 2017. There were 21,860 employees in the 646 biotech companies. Further 23,800 employees worked in other companies with biotechnology activities, totaling in 45,660 people employed in the industry in Germany in 2017.

From a financing perspective, 2017 was also a good year for the sector: companies raised €673m of capital, a plus of €168m compared to 2016. Public companies achieved double-digit growth (+ 36%) and raised €352m  (2016: €258m). 

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