Position papers

Valuing Healthcare Biotechnology in Europe

EuropaBio’s perspective.

The healthcare biotechnology sector includes bioscience based enterprises, which create and deliver innovative treatments and preventive interventions for the benefit of European patients and European health care systems. Healthcare biotechnology refers to a medicinal or diagnostic product or a vaccine that consists of, or has been produced in, living organisms and may be manufactured via recombinant technology. The fact that biopharmaceuticals are based on living organisms differentiates them from small molecule pharmaceuticals based on chemicals. The primary difference is that where pharmaceuticals are simple in structure, biopharmaceuticals are complex structures based on unique organisms.

This makes biopharmaceuticals particularly challenging to develop and also to manufacture.

The industry makes major investments in innovation in the EU. It is a diverse sector, with more than 2,000 companies in Europe ranging from large multinationals, with global annual sales in excess of €10 billion and annual R&D expenditures of €1-4 billion, to medium-sized as well as much smaller enterprises, with fewer than 10 employees running on grant-based incomes only. The industry is directly responsible for around 170,000 jobs and provided an estimated 700,000 jobs in 20131 including associated indirect employment. Europe delivers 26% of all global manufacturing of biological medicines.

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