Biotechnology in France
Even though biotechnologies may be a recent sector of business activity, France has succeeded in developing real know-how that is gaining international recognition.
When it comes to biotechnologies, the French are cutting edge. According to Leeme, the federation of French medical companies, today France numbers 388 biotechs in the health field in France. Biotech France, another French association for biotech companies, indicates that a third of these companies have been in existence for over 10 years. Yet the number of creations in this field is exponential. To get an idea, 50 companies were started in 2012. Unheard of! Proof that there is a real entrepreneurial effervescence when it comes to this research in France.
Young start-ups for the most part, French biotechs are mainly Small Medium sized companies. Only 4% of them have over 100 employees. On average, they employ 22 people. As to the type of activity, most of the French companies specialized in human sciences with therapeutic products are concentrated on cancer treatments. “The French have developed a full-fledged know-how on cardio-vascular devices, infectious diseases, dermatology, blood diseases and for surgery,” explains Yves Germani, Ubifrance’s manager for the health sector in North America.
French enterprises don’t just do research; they discover!
Altogether, the French biotech industry generated 261 Million Euros in turnover in 2011, compared with 186 Million in 2010. As for companies on the stock market, they generate 369 Million Euros in turnover. Concerning the pipeline, the expression used to indicate the number of molecules being developed, France is 4rth, behind the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Israel. Quite a solid ranking, but which should nevertheless be improved.
When their results are examined in detail, we see that depending on the stage of development, French companies create more products in the pre-clinic phase, in other words, all those that have been carried out before the clinical trial with patients, which is completely logical. Between the start of development on a new medicine, a molecule and its release on the market can sometimes take up to 10 years. Unfortunately, the consequence of this is that a number of products fall by the wayside. To be noted, however, is one undeniable fact: since 2008, French companies have sold more and more products. To put it another way, as Yves Germani points out, French companies don’t just do research; they discover!”
An increase of 63% in investment