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Time to focus on knowledge transfer for Dutch life sciences sector

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Biotechgate, the leading global biotech database, published their annual Trend Analysis Report 2022 of the Dutch life sciences sector. In 2021 compared to 2020, new biotech companies grew with 2% and the amount of products in development in the (pre-)clinical phase increased with 22%. Although there is an increasing trend for new companies and products, the year-to-year growth rate of new biotech ventures is decreasing since 2018. Bringing innovations from bench to business is difficult, but crucial for patients and consumers in society.

A vibrant ecosystem remains
With many ground-breaking companies, world-class universities and an attractive business climate, the Netherlands is the perfect location for biopharmaceutical innovation in Europe. This is reflected in a vibrant ecosystem. Biotechgate currently lists 503 biotech companies, 132 medtech companies, 60 digital health companies and 42 pharma companies in the Netherlands. There are 186 products in preclinical development phase and 151 products in the clinical development phase.

Record amount of venture capital
In total, life science companies raised $914 million (~€853 million) in the Netherlands. Biotech companies accounted for the largest share of that with $767 million (~€716 million). The two biggest rounds were raised by NewAmsterdam Pharma ($196 million) and Leyden Laboratories ($140 million).

Time to improve knowledge transfer
The figures are impressive, but the growth is declining and we stand to lose our frontrunner position. In 2018, 41 new ventures were created, but in 2020 this shrank to only 13 new ventures. If this trend continues, the amount of new products in development might eventually also decrease. With that, innovation slows down and biotech cannot fulfil its full societal potential.

HollandBIO’s managing director Annemiek Verkamman about the developments in the Dutch life sciences sector: “Biotech innovations contribute to global health and sustainability challenges, but its full potential needs to be unleashed. The life sciences sector really shows its capability and strength in raising venture capital and bringing new products in development. On the other hand, we have to be aware of the slowing growth rate. One way to embolden knowledge transfer is the Biotech Booster program. With Biotech Booster we are aiming to increase the impact of scientific knowledge by creating more robust new propositions that develop knowledge into products and services.” 

Download full report here.