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Life Sciences Q3 2021

Spain is becoming a fast growing life science hub for investment

iStock / Getty Images Plus / Sabrina Bracher

Ion Arocena

CEO, AseBio

Spain has seen a has seen a boom of biotechnology investment over the past decade. A new report outlines the areas which have seen the most growth and development.

The 2020 AseBio Report shows a huge jump in Spanish biotechnology in this pandemic year. Companies launched 70% more products and services to the market and the country moved to eighth in the world for scientific production in biotechnology.

Similarly, private investment in Spanish biotech firms rose nearly 50% in 2020. This year saw over €150 million in private capital invested and the volume of operations with international participants rose again to nearly €100 million. In short, over the last 10 years our sector has continued to expand and consolidate.

Rise of precision medicine

Personalised and precision medicine is one of our industry strengths. This area is increasingly seen as the future of medicine and the most disruptive and relevant change in medical treatments for diseases like cancer, among many others. This is proven by the fact that, in the last year, launches of precision medicine products or services in Spain have increased by 40%, reaching 52% of the total number of biotechnology products launched on the market, according to the AseBio (Spanish Bioindustry Association) report.

The Spanish Government approved a two-year 77.3 million plan for science and innovation last year. It includes a personalised medicine strategy, coordinated by the Carlos III Institute of Health (ISCIII), which leads three of the advanced plans in precision medicine: Predictive Medicine, Data Science and Genomic Medicine.

Personalised and precision medicine is one of our industry strengths. This area is increasingly seen as the future of medicine and the most disruptive and relevant change in medical treatments for diseases like cancer.

Integrating healthcare needs and opportunities

However, as Dr. Raquel Yotti, new General-Secreaty for Research of The Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, says, “This is only a small part of the work that needs to be done; it is necessary to have a strategy that integrates the needs and opportunities in the health, scientific, industrial, economic and training fields, among others. For this reason, the Government is promoting the development of an ambitious strategy that will require the participation and contributions of all sectors.”

In Spain, Navarre is one of the regions that has been developing a firm commitment to personalised medicine over the last five years to become a leader at the national level. “Spain is at a good starting point to face the challenges that this paradigm shift entails, but Navarre is in an advantageous position to lead its implementation at national level”, says Gonzalo Rodríguez Ordóñez, director of personalised medicine and laboratories at Nasertic, the public company of the Government of Navarra. 

Collaboration opportunities

Our healthcare system offers many advantages for those who want to collaborate with us on research projects. We have a very competitive system, highly qualified professionals and health centres with a technologically advanced system, an electronic medical record that is unique for all citizens of Galicia and for all levels of care, for primary and hospital care. And a very corporate system, which seeks and implements applicable solutions for all healthcare centres.

In this sense, an event like Biospain, which is being held in Navarre, is essential to continue promoting biotechnology and allows us to share the advances and developments that are being carried out.

Biospain 2021 will be held from 27th – 31st October 2021 in hybrid format at the Palacio de Congresos y Auditorio de Navarra-Baluarte in Pamplona-Iruña, in collaboration with the Government of Navarra and Sodena (Sociedad de Desarrollo de Navarra) and with the support of platinum sponsors ICEX España Exportación e Inversiones, GAIN (Galician Innovation Agency) and Merck.

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