Industry and EC to meet to discuss better biopharma access to cash

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: European union, European commission

Industry and EC to meet to discuss better biopharma access to cash
European biopharmas trying to avoid “death valley” went to California this week according to industry groups, investors and officials who met in Belgium this week to discuss ways of making it easier for companies to access funding on this side of the Atlantic.

The “death valley” in question is not the national park just 350 miles North of San Diego, US where the Biotechnology Industry Organisation (BIO) convention was held this year, but the financial wilderness where many promising European biopharma projects fail.

The problem– according to officials from European Commission, European Investment Bank, industry groups and venture capital investors who met in Brussels this week – is the complex regulations that make it hard for biopharmas to access finance in Europe even though it is available.

Panel chair William Brooks said: “Access to finance for emerging companies is an on-going problem. By revising policy tools and adjusting its current financing measures, the European Union can translate R&D innovation to its full potential, impacting both its economic future and its citizens’ health​.”

He explained that, to effect this change, Logos Public Affairs and the European Biopharmaceutical Enterprises (EBE) have arranged a series of debates for industry, funders and EU officials to discuss shaping the EU’s financing mechanisms.

Finance solutions

According to the EBE the aim is to identify financing solutions in cooperation with the main EU financing bodies; the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) as well as European Commission.

The debate project consists of a series of policy dialogues that seeks to improve current financing mechanisms for biotech start-ups in Europe to overcome the so-called “death valley” often occurring beyond the early stage and seed financing level.”

EBE president Roberto Gradnik said: “It is critical that all finance community players participate in seeking solutions for sustainable European biopharmaceutical ecosystem.”

He described projects like Horizon 2020​ and Innovative Medicines Initiative​ as a “promising shift in EU funding policy not only supporting research and applied research only but also towards funding research linked to innovation and delivery of innovative medicines, diagnostics and therapies​. “

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