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Dutch Life Science trend analysis: A difficult year for venture financing 

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Biotechgate, the leading global biotech database, published their annual Trend Analysis Report 2023 of the Dutch life sciences sector. In 2022, compared to 2021, venture financing of life science and biotech companies went down by more than 50%. Furthermore, the year-to-year growth rate of new biotech ventures has been decreasing since 2018, with the amount of biotech companies growing with only 2,3% from 2021 to 2022. Hollandbio is concerned about these developments. Funding is one of the most important factors needed to successfully bring biotech innovations to market. With less companies founded and funding available, these innovations might miss their chance to bring value to society.

Innovative companies experience financing difficulties 

Financing is an essential factor for biotech companies and their product development. Without funding for R&D activities no new biotech innovations would benefit patients or consumers. This year’s Dutch Trend Analysis shows a large decrease in venture financing and an ongoing decrease in newly founded companies. Times are tough for new innovative biotech companies, but also existing companies experience more and more difficulties raising essential capital. The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs & Climate Policy is searching for ways to tackle these problems.For instance, they want to connect with institutional investors, such as pension funds, to discuss how they can best start investing in innovative start- and scale-ups to boost the capital market with targeted support. 

A European problem 

Not only The Netherlands is facing a decrease in venture financing and growth rates. Other European countries that were included in the benchmark experience similar trends, with venture financing decreasing similarly in the UK (-60%) and Germany (-43%), while France (-23%) and Switzerland (-30%) performed slightly better.  

When looking at the amount of assets in clinical development per million residents, Switzerland is in the lead (75), with Denmark (29), the UK (15) and the Netherlands (14) as runners-up.  Remarkable is that venture financing in Denmark dropped by 90%, while the country maintained a high amount of assets in development. 

Hollandbio’s Managing Director Annemiek Verkamman about the developments in the Dutch life sciences sector:

The numbers that come from this trend analysis are alarming. We need to put our effort in closing the investment gap for biotech companies. I am happy that the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy also sees this problem and wrote about this in her letter to the parliament (Dutch only). Hollandbio is committed to improve the investment climate for the frontrunners of biotech, so patients and consumers can benefit from new technologies and products.”