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Highlighted at BIO 2017: why Belgium is a biotech hotspot

From June 19-23, San Diego is hosting the 2017 BIO International Convention: the place to be to connect with biotech's top people and most innovative technologies from around the world. Showcasing the biotech strengths of Flanders and Belgium as a whole — Flanders Investment & Trade is joining a delegation of partner organizations hosting a Belgian workshop on ‘Immunotherapy: a therapy for cancer’.

Here are 3 reasons why that place in the spotlight at BIO 2017 is so well-deserved.

1. Life sciences and pharma form a world-class ecosystem in Belgium

There’s a reason why each of the world’s top 10 biopharma players has based key activities in Belgium. From Novartis, Pfizer, Sanofi and Merck & C° to Johnson & Johnson, GSK, AstraZeneca, UCB and AbbVie – they all tap into the right local ingredients for a successful biotech ecosystem:

  • top-notch academic research centers, including the renowned VIB life sciences institute and the VITO research center for sustainable innovations in healthtech, chemistry and more;
  • the fastest clinical trials approval procedure in Europe (15 days tops), in addition to the fact that Belgium is the European #2 when it comes to the number of trials per capita;
  • a dense community of agile SMEs open to innovative collaborations;
  • supportive national and regional authorities that offer biopharma, life sciences and biotech companies access to a range of tax and R&D incentives and financing options.

2. The Belgian biotech market is thriving

With a total market capitalization of EUR 21.5 billion in 2016, listed biopharma companies from Belgium represent no less than 18% of the European biotech market capitalization: a major share of a market that’s relatively small in geographic terms.

Moreover, these companies are ‘kings of cash’: 7 of Europe’s top 10 cash-generating biotech businesses are based in Belgium.

€21.5 bln
market capitalization in 2016

3. Belgian biotech stands for R&D and financial success

EUR 3.4 billion. That’s how much the Belgian biotech industry funneled into research and development in 2016 alone. This represents a staggering increase of 123% compared to 10 years earlier, and the number of R&D investments continues to grow.

As such, Belgian life sciences companies have been partnering successfully with large pharmaceutical firms – resulting in a cumulative value of over EUR 18 billion when it comes to licensing and R&D contracts signed over the last 12 years. More than EUR 4 billion of that amount has already been received as milestone payments.

Let’s meet up at BIO 2017

Belgium is attending the 2017 BIO International Convention with no fewer than 135 delegates, representing 74 companies and organizations. Meet up at one of the conference’s vibrant pavilions and receive an invitation to the Belgian Café – a popular social event where you’ll discover the expertise, technology and creativity that characterize our local life sciences ecosystem.

On June 19, you are also more than welcome to join the Belgian workshop on ‘Immunotherapy: a cure for cancer?’. Key industry players will be showcasing recent breakthroughs, while others will demonstrate how and why they collaborated closely with pharma giants AbbVie and Pfizer.

Join us at the Belgium Pavilion (Booth #2111).

About Belgium and Flanders

With Dutch as its official language, Flanders (Dutch: Vlaanderen) is the northern region of Belgium. The capital of both Belgium and Flanders is Brussels.

More info

BIO 2017
Reported by
Flanders Investment & Trade
19 June 2017

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