Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Spanish biotechnology should focus on food and plant sectors to be more competitive

23.11.2009
Spain and Latin American countries have an opportunity to take the lead in two small biotechnology sectors. Researchers from the University of Valencia (UV), working together with the IDICHUS Foundation, have studied the productive fabric of the Spanish biotechnology industry. Their conclusion is that Spain's food and plant sectors have more clout than those in English-speaking countries.

Biotechnology as applied to food and plants has been overlooked by the leading countries in this sector – the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Nordic countries.

For this reason, "Spanish biotechnology should focus on these two fields of specialisation, since it is a growing business sector and a market niche in which Spain could be competitive", Isidre March-Chorda, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Department of Business Management in the Faculty of Economics at the UV, tells SINC.

The purpose of this research, which has been published in the latest edition of the journal Technology Analysis & Strategic Management, was to carry out a detailed study of the behaviour of Spanish biotechnology companies from 2004 to 2005.

The researchers created a database using information from the Spanish Genome Foundation and the ASEBIO Foundation, and identified 102 companies and their economic-financial data and a series of factors to analyse for the study.

According to the study, there are two business models. On one side is the long haul model, or the 'biotechnology of discovery model', which is most important internationally and is the leader in the countries which have been pioneers in this industry (the United States and Canada).

"These companies spend 10 or 15 years developing a new drug. At the end of this time they can sell it to a multinational pharmaceutical firm and recover their investment. They make a discovery that has a major impact on the market", explains March-Chorda.

On the other side is the incremental innovation, service-oriented model, which involves lower levels of innovation and risk. It is used by companies that provide diagnosis services and equipment for the medical, surgical and clinical sectors, and is an environment where there is more competition and less differentiation.

Of all the companies analysed, only 16 had the same kind of characteristics as the predominant model in the English-speaking world (15.7% of the whole sample), showing that very few companies in Spain are driven by invention or discovery.

Since 2001, however, biotechnology businesses that operate along the lines of the first business model have been set up in Spain in the field of human health and the search for new biopharmaceutical treatments.

The funding problem

Spain will have to overcome a hurdle in the next few years – the high cost of developing and commercialising new medicines, which the study says stands at around €700 million.

"In Spain we lack the kind of financing system to fund this kind of initiative, in which the risks are high and the development period is very long. This is not the case in the English-speaking world, though, where they have stock exchanges that accept biotech companies and the whole risk capital industry is more more developed", explains the economist.

The problem is that, because less is spent here on R&D, the products developed are less novel, and their market impact is lower, meaning companies have only limited possibilities for growth. March-Chorda says this could be why Spanish biotech companies have not seen their market value take off within a short period of time "as has happened in the English-speaking world".

He concludes: "If large Spanish companies were prepared to invest in this sector, it is likely that more biotechnology companies would be set up along the same lines as the model used in the English-speaking world".

References:

March-Chorda, Isidre, Yague-Perales, Rosa M, Seoane-Trigo, Ramón. "Asymmetric behaviour of biotechnology business patterns in Spain". Technology analysis & strategic management 21 (6): 765-782, 2009.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Embryonic development: How do limbs develop from cells?
18.05.2018 | Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

nachricht Reading histone modifications, an oncoprotein is modified in return
18.05.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

Im Focus: Light-induced superconductivity under high pressure

A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.

Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersonic waves may help electronics beat the heat

18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

CrowdWater: An App for Flood Research

18.05.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>