Perched on the edge of the Mediterranean is the Catalonian city of Barcelona. This might appear like an unlikely place for biotechnology to be blossoming but it is now a rapidly growing and prospering region that offers considerable career opportunities to biotechnology professionals while enjoying the considerable quality of life benefits that this pulsating city can provide.
Aside from being a great location to live, Barcelona is one of Europe’s main metropolises and is considered among the top 5 European locations for business with a strong entrepreneurial spirit. In fact, according to Asebio (Spanish Association of Biotech Companies), Catalonia was the most dynamic region in Spain for the creation of biotech companies in 2006 and 2007, with almost 30% of all companies being created here.
The Catalan biotech sector is currently in rapid growth, due to a solid scientific base together with the recent creation of industry-driven government instruments and policies. The current trend of the young Catalan biotech sector is to grow up from the base, at a rate of more than 10 companies per year. (CataloniaBio).
Biotech and Pharma
It is difficult for any biotech cluster to prosper without the presence of any established companies. Catalonia has a strong presence of pharmaceutical, chemical and diagnostic sectors as well as four domestic players: Almirall, Esteve, Group Ferrer and Uriach, with one of these companies making its debut on the equity markets.
Subsidiaries of the following multinationals have chosen Catalonia, with Pfizer, GSK, Novartis, Bayer and Sanofi-Aventis all present. The Spanish pharmaceutical sector is mainly concentrated in Catalonia, which accounts for 50% of the pharmaceutical laboratories in Spain, 60% of its production, and 66% of companies working in fine chemicals.
There are nine Science and Technology parks in the cluster and these vary in size, facilities and focus. If you’re a biotech entrepreneur and would like to know more about the different facilities, we have included links here for you to follow:
- Science Park (PCB) www.pcb.ub.cat
- Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) www.prbb.org
- UAB Research Park www.uab.es
- University of Girona Science and Technology Park www.udg.edu
- Lleida Agri-Food Science and Technology Park www.parcteclleida.es
- Tecnoparc www.technoparc.com
- Parc Tecnologic del Valles www.ptv.es
- UPC Park www.upc.edu
- 22@Barcelona www.22barcelona.com
30% of Spanish biomedical research is carried out in Catalonia, mainly in Cancer and degenerative diseases.
The BioRegion is made up of 481 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies, 80 research centers, 12 universities. Most of the ‘strictly biotech’ firms focus on red biotech (over 58%), particularly on drug development (70%) and to a lesser extent, diagnostics. (25%). The cluster currently has 71 products in preclincial dveelopment, 71 products in phase I development, 33 in phase II development and 19 in phase III developments. The cluster can also boast 20 registered products and 23 marketed products currently in phase IV clincial studies.
There are some incredibly exciting companies in the region, including Argon Pharma, Omnia Molecular, Lykera Biotech, Palau Pharma and Palobiofarma. If you wish to know more about the companies that can offer career opportunities in the region, then contact Liftstream and they can talk through the different biotech companies in the cluster.
At Liftstream we like this biotech cluster because it is young and ambitious. It has a great blend of Universities, leading hospitals, clinical trials, research institutions and government incentives for R&D. There is a commercial industry working collaboratively and stimulating the creation of early stage ventures, with a strong investment community in support. If you’re interested in Catalonia based biotech, pharma or life science job opportunities please contact liftstream at email@example.com or tweet #LSLbarcelona
For more information about the Biocat Cluster please see: