Germany boasts more than 25 biotech clusters, of which m4 is one of the most advanced. The m4 cluster is situated in and around the city of Munich. The cluster has developed a strong specialisation in oncology with around 50% of clinical candidates indicated for cancer.
The cluster originates back in 1970’s with the foundation of Grosshadern University Clinic and Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry. In the late 1980’s the first biotech companies began to form in the cluster including Morphosys and Medigene.
The m4 cluster has been in existence in various forms for almost 40 years. This strong history has made m4 one of the leading biotechnology clusters in Europe. The cluster is located right in the heart of the metropolitan region of Munich in South East Germany.
‘Within the cluster companies have a strong focus on developing medicinal products.’
The m4 cluster has a strong focus on personalised medicine. Within the m4 cluster there are currently 30 projects which are investigating personalised medicine for a wide range of indications. Personalised medicine is at the forefront on biotech innovation and is rapidly catching the eye of big pharma, therefore the m4 cluster is perfectly positioned to take advantage of this booming segment. Over the next 5 years over €100m of funding will be available for development of personalised medicine and targeted therapies in the m4 cluster. The m4 cluster has a number of other functions to aid this research including: clinical trial service centre, biobank and a range of venture capitalists and private equity firms. The majority of companies in the cluster focus on red biotech (52%). Red biotech is applied to medical processes for example the production of antibiotics.
Many global pharmaceutical companies have been attracted to the m4 clusters with Roche Diagnostics, GSK, Gilead, Sandoz, GE Healthcare, Merck Sharp Dohme, BMS and Daiichi-Sankyo all present. In addition to the global pharma firms a number of European publicly listed biotech companies are present in the cluster including: 4SC, Bavarian Nordic, Agennix, Medigene, Morphosys and Wilex as well as numerous private and venture back biotechs.
‘The cluster has a fantastic blend of universities, leading hospitals, clinical trial facilities, research institutes and significant government incentives.’
The m4 biotech cluster is well established in the European market and boasts a global reputation. The cluster has been responsible for developing many globally renowned products in particular many currently available biomarkers. The strong industry presence means biotechs have access to some of the top industry talent very early on in their lifecycle. This has generated a collaborative approach within the m4 cluster in stimulating early biotech ventures. The cluster offers a fantastic array of opportunities for the biotech and life science professionals.