Germany boasts more than 25 biotech clusters of which BioRN is one of the largest. The BioRN cluster is situated 30km outside of the city of Heidelberg. The cluster is centred around three main cities: Heidelberg, Darmstadt and Mannheim and has rapidly established itself as one of Germany’s best performing biotech clusters.
BioRN has become highly specialised in the fields of personalised medicine and cancer research. The cluster houses around 80 biotechnology enterprises in the field of red biotechnology. Red biotechnology is a term applied to medical processes for example the production of antibiotics. These companies specialise in the development of drugs, technology platforms and diagnostics. The expertise has allowed the cluster to cultivate a number of close links with universities such as the University of Heidelberg and big pharma with Roche, Abbott, Merck Serono and Sanofi Aventis all present. In 2008 the cluster was awarded the leading edge cluster for Cell based and molecular medicine in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region. The cluster contains 5 main collaborative projects:
- The BioRN Incubator
- The BioRN Biomarker Incubator
- The BioRN Stem Cell Network
- The BioRN Academy
- The BioRN Cluster Management
The cluster also benefits from the shared expertise of the Health Axis Europe (HAE). HAE links three key European clusters: Cambridge (UK), Leuven (Belgium) and Heidelberg (Germany). The combined expertise of these clusters focus on the development of regenerative medicine including stem cells, medical electronics, nanotechnology, personalized medicine and cancer research.
The German biotech market has seen consistent growth in recent years despite the economic downturn. In 2011 the German government pledged €5.5bn to support the countries life science research activities with the field of personalised medicine a key target. This all points towards significant growth for the BioRN cluster in the coming years. Recently the BioRN cluster has been granted €40 million from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in order to support biotechnological innovations.
‘The field of biopharmaceuticals has seen rapid expansion over the past 5 years and now represents 17% of the total German pharmaceutical market.’
The presence of large pharma along with regional politics, regional associations, service providers and, investors in the life sciences have all played a decisive role in the rapid development of the cluster. The cities of Heidelberg, Mannheim, and Ludwigshafen actively support the BioRN Cluster as well.The BioRN cluster offers a fantastic variety of career opportunities for oncology and haematology professionals from large multinational pharma companies to biotech start-ups. Within the cluster there are some incredibly exciting companies including: Apogenix, Cellzome, Medicyte and Sygnis Pharma.
The German market is currently performing above the average for the Eurozone and with the continued commitment of the German government to biotechnology research, Liftstream believes that the BioRN cluster will continue to strengthen over the coming years. BioRN is a collaborative effort between big pharma, academia and small biotechs in the fight against cancer.