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In Catalonia, 7% of the GDP corresponds to the activity generated by companies in the health and life sciences, which now employ a total of 42.133 workers (2014). Since 2006, when CataloniaBio was created through private initiative and Biocat by the public administration to promote the biocluster, an innovative ecosystem with high value added, open to the world and attractive for investors has been created with companies, science and technology parks, research centres, hospitals and universities of excellence.
The business fabric plays a key role in the biocluster. On the one hand, we have the pharmaceutical industry (Grifols, Amgen, Almirall, Esteve, Reig Jofre, Ferrer, Kern Pharma, etc.) and on the other, biotechnology and biomedicine SMEs, start-ups and spin-offs often led by renowned scientists. Pharmaceutical companies know the future lies in innovation and their ability to launch new treatments for neurodegenerative, cardiovascular and rare diseases, in oncology and in personalised medicine. Part of this research is conducted by their internal R&D teams, but in recent years they have also looked to collaborations with biotech firms. In this regard, we have seen several success stories recently like the collaborations between Oryzon Genomics and Roche (2014), Reig Jofre and Natraceutical (2014), Palobiofarma and Novartis (2015), Esteve, Mundipharma and Enantia 2015), Manremyc and Tablets India (2015), Sanofi and AB-Biotics (2015), Mosaic Biomedicals, Celgene and Northern Biologics (2016) or Ability Pharma and SciClone (2016).
It is worth noting that Catalonia leads the ranking in terms of number of companies working in biotechnology in Spain. Between 2013 and 2015, the BioRegion has incorporated 75 new companies, the majority of them focused on biotechnology, which means an increase of almost 14% with regard to the Biocat Report 2013, between which predominate the devoted to offer services of I+D.
CataloniaBio currently represents over 100 of these companies and expects to grow over the coming years in order to help knowledge of the sector flow, to generate wealth for the country and to improve the quality of life of the general public.