• Florence Joffroy-Black

5 Things we learned at BIO2017

Here are a few facts and thoughts we would like to share with you from BIO 2017.

1. The US is still the number one producer of drugs in the world:

Source : Biotechnology Innovation Organization

2. “Strategics” are looking for innovation more than ever.

In the world of BIO, innovation can be done from within, but also brought in through funding, partnerships or straight forward acquisitions.

According to David Thomas and Chad Wessel of Biotechnology Innovation Organization, over the last decade, a total of $116 billion in investment dollars went into US emerging therapeutic companies through venture capital ($43 billion), initial public offerings ($16 billion), and follow-on public offerings ($57 billion). More than $144 billion went into upfront payments for either in-licensing assets or acquiring global R&D-stage emerging companies. Although there were far fewer market-stage acquisitions (123), larger biopharma companies spent more on market-stage acquisitions ($175 billion) than on licensing transactions ($41 billion up front across 1,203 deals) or R&D-stage acquisitions ($103 billion paid up front for 308 companies) in the last decade.

Source : Biotechnology Innovation Organization

And if any of the figures below are any indication, the trend will continue as more than 60% of the current clinical trials in the world are conducted and supported by US based companies.

Although these trials are US backed it does not in anyways world where diseases such as cancer, diabetes and more are true global issues. Any drug put on the market will address needs of populations across borders.

3. Funding, Licensing and Buying is not everything

Although funding, licensing and acquiring are a huge part of the strategy of the Bio Pharmaceutical companies in the US, the reinvestment in its own R&D plays a big role for any of the big Pharma companies:

4. In the US, private investment far out weights the Government funding and investments.

5. Entrepreneurship is alive and well - Discoveries are global (not it’s not all about the US)

As the show was based in the US a lot of data was shared about the role of the US Companies in the world of Bio Technology.

But let’s emphasize that it also does not mean that every discovery funded is based or created in the US. On the contrary, discoveries come many different countries and we are seeing more than ever cross border deals.

Over 74 countries were represented and made a big impact at BIO. In 2016, the top 10 European BIO hubs were published and we agree with the findings. We are also adding a few more Asian-Pacific locations to complete the picture:


Netherlands (Amsterdam) The city seems to be a big cluster of oncology companies among other things

Germany (Berlin) where some of the most promising Immuno-Oncology solutions are being created.

Denmark (Copenhagen): does great research in the field of antibody therapies and oncology.

United Kingdom (London). Cell and Gene therapies, Diabetes solutions and so much more are being researched in London.

Scotland (Edinburgh): Stem Cell research, Biofuel, regenerative medicine are some of the main areas of research stationed there.

France (Lyon and Paris): Oncology, Infectious diseases, immune oncology and so much more is being created out of amazing facilities in these two cities

Australia (Vienna): Infectious diseases, Immuno oncology are some of the most promising discoveries coming out of Australia

Switzerland (Zurich): has some of the newer Vaccines in the works as well as neuro-degenerative solutions.

Asia Pacific:

Australia: The government has announced a mandate to push and support BIO discoveries. Australia aims to be one of the strongest BIO hubs in the world by 2020.


Often known for clinical validation, India has evolved into a hub for Pharma manufacturing in the past. Yet innovations, for example in the world of genomics are coming from India. Unlike in other parts of the world, India is leading the way in creating solutions that are more economical in their developments.


More than 30 of the world’s leading biomedical sciences companies (including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis and Takeda) are leveraging Singapore as a key home base to drive innovation. One of Asia’s fastest-growing bio-cluster, Singapore offers strategic partnership opportunities with research institutes, corporate labs and public hospitals to develop new medicines and future therapies.