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Barcelona, 1 June 2016.- A total of 42 Catalan companies and organizations (5 more than last year) will be participating in BIO Convention 2016, the top global biotechnology fair, held this year in San Francisco (United States) from 6 to 9 June. The Catalan delegation, coordinated by Biocat, makes up more than half of all of the Spanish companies participating in the fair, with 7 pharmaceutical corporations, 23 biotechnology firms, 3 service companies and 8 organizations.

The Catalan delegation features biotechnology firms AB-Biotics, Ability Pharmaceuticals, Archivel Farma, Bcn Peptides, Biochemize, Biokit, Bionure, Cebiotex; DBGen, GP Pharm, IDP Pharma, Inteligent Pharma, Minoryx Therapeutics, Molomics, Oryzon Genomics, Plasmia Biotech, ReadyCell, Som Biotech, Specipig, Spherium Biomed, Thrombotargets and ZeClinics; pharmaceutical companies Almirall, Bioibérica, Esteve, Ferrer Internacional, Gebro Pharma, Grifols Internacional, Laboratorios Salvat and Uriach; and consultancy and services companies Grifols Engineering, Oficina Ponti and TrifermedCBDO.

There will also be 8 institutions participating: ACCIÓ, BIST, UPC Biomedical Engineering Research Center (CREB), Center for Genomic Regulation (CRG), Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias i Pujol, Institute for Research in Biomedicine Barcelona (IRB), Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and Biocat, which is coordinating the Catalan delegation to BIO for the tenth year in a row.

The BioRegion of Catalonia will have its own space at BIO 2016, in the Spanish pavilion coordinated by ICEX. Five Catalan companies will have their own booth in the pavilion: Archivel Farma, Bcn Peptides, Laboratorios Salvat, Trifermed CBDO and ZeClinics.


Global business for Catalan biopharmaceutical companies

Roughly 30,000 partnering meetings are held each year at the BIO fair, making it a privileged business center for Catalan companies seeking partners for their latest developments.

This is the case of Ability Pharma. Just a few days ago, this Catalan company announced it has signed a licensing deal for its oncology product ABTL0812 for the Chinese market with NASDAQ-traded US company SciClone Pharmaceuticals. “The product is currently undergoing phase II clinical trials in Barcelona and at BIO we hope to scout for possible collaborations with multinational corporations and powerful companies in specific markets in order to continue developing this innovative oncology drug," explains Carles Domènech, CEO of Ability Pharma.

Large pharmaceutical corporations are also looking to take advantage of this fair to find new active ingredients for their pipeline. “At BIO, Ferrer is looking for products in the advanced stages of development to expand its pipeline in the areas of CNS, cardiology, dermatology and hospitals,” explained Helen Nierhaus, Licensing Out & Alliance Manager at Ferrer. “From a ‘licensing out’ standpoint, after acquiring Alexza Pharmaceuticals, located in Silicon Valley, Ferrer is looking to find partners for its own projects, some of which are the fruit of public-private partnerships with local institutions such as IDIBELL.”

BIO San Francisco is also an opportunity for new start-ups. One of these is DBGen, a spin-off of the University of Barcelona participating in this US event for the first time. “We are looking to raise global awareness of our specialty, genetic diagnosis of ophthalmological conditions,” explained Mónica Vilas, CEO of DBGen. “We hope BIO will give us a podium to explain what we do and share our knowledge with other companies and investors that may be interested in the project.”

Another organization attending the event for the first time is the Institute for Health Science Research Germans Trias i Pujol (IGTP). “By attending this convention, which brings together most of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry, we will be able to present our technology portfolio, identify and meet with international companies that may be interested in licensing IGTP technology, scout for collaborations and contact investors and other stakeholders in the sector,” highlights Núria Marti, head of technology transfer at the IGTP.


BioRegion of Catalonia, global benchmark

According to the 2015 Biocat Report, the healthcare and life sciences sector in Catalonia has 734 companies, 221 biotechnology firms, 46 pharmaceutical corporations, 94 innovative medical technology firms, 208 suppliers and engineering firms, 139 consultancy and professional services companies and 26 active investment organizations.

With these figures, despite being one of the smallest countries in Europe by population, Catalonia is among the top four European countries in terms of number of companies in the healthcare sector per inhabitant. Specifically, it has more pharmaceutical companies per capita than any country in Europe except Belgium. Catalonia is also ranked fourth among European countries in terms of biotechnology companies per inhabitant (behind Sweden, Switzerland and Israel) and fourth in medical technology companies (behind Israel, Sweden and Switzerland).




Nuria Peláez  · +34 606 816 380 · +34 93 310 34 77 ·

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