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European Biopharmaceutical Review

European Biotechnology on the World Stage

 

THE WORLD STAGE

European biotechnology on the world stage plays a major role as an innovator in new startups and in translating Europe’s continuing strength in research into a commercial context. Since the explosion of commercial biotechnology in Europe in the 1990s, the sector has strived to follow in the footsteps of the US in creating valuable, fast growing companies that feed the ever-hungry pipelines of the productstarved pharma companies.

However, Europe has not managed to recreate the American model on this side of the Atlantic, and holds a different place in the biotechnology world. Whilst it is true that Europe creates a comparable number of new biotechs each year to the US, few achieve the size and maturity of US companies. This may be for a number of reasons.

European Late Starter?

The boom in the biotech sector in Europe occurred after the US and many companies failed to reach critical mass and maturity before the funding crash of 2001. The era of ‘if it moves, invest in it’ is unlikely to be seen again, and only those companies that achieved a solid pipeline were able to generate significant funding.


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Dr Claire Skentelbery is the network Manager for the Council of European BioRegions (CEBR). Based in Brussels, Claire has worked within the biotech sector since completing her PhD. Claire has focused on the communication and networking of biotechnology throughout her career, including technical and promotional writing, national contact point for biotech in the UK in FP5, international event management and network management. She currently has two jobs: she works as the Network Manager for the Council of European BioRegions, and is also Biotechnology Strategic Adviser for Europe Unlimited, a Brussels-based company that brings together the value chain, from research to end-use, for high-tech companies to accelerate investment.

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