Picks of October: Large pharmaceutical and technology companies committing to Catalonia
As October wraps up with the most quintessential of autumn festivals—the Castañada and Halloween—, we have also seen several large pharmaceutical and technology companies set up in Barcelona and open new hubs and research centers. We take a look at this month's Top 10 highlights showing Catalonia’s primacy and leadership in the sector.
- The multinational tech company Oracle has opened a new digital health hub for southern Europe in Barcelona to support its clients in the healthcare sector, including hospitals, insurers, sector startups and even public administrations. The new European Center will initially take on 60 people, with 300 expected in total.
- The Swiss pharmaceutical company Sandoz has committed to the BioRegion of Catalonia. The world’s third-largest manufacturer of generic and biosimilar pharmaceutical products has announced an investment of €50 million in its plant in Palafolls (Barcelona).
- Another example of foreign attraction was Centrient Pharmaceuticals, a Dutch company specializing in sustainable biosynthetic pharmaceutical products, which announced the opening of a new innovation lab at the R&D center of Catalan pharmaceutical company Almirall.
- On the other hand, SpliceBio has closed a licensing agreement with the Roche group for a drug for a hereditary ophthalmologic condition for €205 million. Biocat raised €50 million in funding in 2022, turning it into one of the largest biotech operations in the history of the BioRegion of Catalonia and in Spain, according to the 2022 BioRegion of Catalonia Report.
- Several startups have attracted investment, such as ADmit Therapeutics (€5.4 million), Onalabs (€1.8 million), Genie (€1.1 million) and Renalyse (€1 million). In terms of public funding, The Blue Box, Vitala and Ysotope have received €400,000 in public capital from ACCIÓ.
- In terms of investment funds from the BioRegion of Catalonia, Sabadell Asabys has participated in a round of funding for €100 million from the Belgian company Agomab Therapeutics. The round involves recognition of two Catalan drugs by Origo Biopharma, a Galician-Catalan biotech firm that was acquired by Agomab in 2021.
- And in terms of research, the World Health Organization (WHO) has approved the global use of the vaccine from the Catalan pharmaceutical company Hipra—the first of its kind designed and manufactured in Spain—, which can be distributed across Europe.
- It is also worth highlighting the fact that RemAb Therapeutics, a spinoff of IDIBELL, has been authorized by the Spanish Agency of Medicines and Medical Devices (AEMPS) to begin clinical trials with the drug that belongs to a new generation of medication that for the first time suppresses specific antibodies within the human body.
- As for new scientific infrastructures, Ciutadella del Coneixement will have a new CSIC research center, which will house the Institute of Biomedical Research of Barcelona (IIBB-CSIC) and the Molecular Biology Institute of Barcelona (IBMB-CSIC), which are currently at Hospital Clinic and the Barcelona Science Park, respectively.
- And we can’t finish this space without mentioning the celebration of World Mental Health Day, where we at Biocat have analyzed digital mental health, a market that boomed—both in terms of number of companies and investment—during the pandemic, and which, despite all growth predictions over the coming years, shows several significant challenges to overcome.