This year 48 Spanish companies are attending the BIO International Convention, held in Philadelphia from 15 to 18 June, invited by ICEX.
BIO International Convention is the largest global event for the biotechnology industry. It takes place annually, with rotating headquarters. This year it will be held between 15th and 18th June in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the United States.
ICEX Spain Export and Investment is organising Spanish participation for the 12th time, this time made up of 48 companies, a number that has been experiencing a significant increase since 2004, when the Spanish pavilion was composed of nine exhibitors.
This evolution demonstrates both the strong commitment of ICEX to improving the country's image among American players in the industry, and the interest of Spanish companies in the largest biopharmaceutical market in the world and source of much of the biotech milestones of the past 30 years.
Exhibitors are physically divided into four areas: three of them representing the bioregions of Andalusia, Catalonia – more than half of the companies come from Barcelona – and the
Basque Country; and the fourth, called SpainBio, holds firms from other areas, as well as state-level institutions.
One of the keys to the success of this event lies in the unique opportunity afforded to companies by the partnering system that takes place during the fair, which enables contact with potential partners or customers through one to one meetings.
A small but highly specialized market
The Spanish industry is perceived in the US as a small market (compared to its own), but
with very high quality research, mainly in the areas of oncology, neurodegenerative and inflammatory, and rare, diseases both in basic and in applied research and in clinical diagnosis.
Spanish biotechnology is growing at above average rate in the EU, such that Spain has become the fifth country in the EU-15 in scientific production in biotechnology behind the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy, despite the fact that the sector is deficient in the development of products and technologies, and in its application in business (public research represents about 70% of the total).
Interaction with the US
Over recent years, Spanish biotechnology has gained confidence to develop commercial and research activities in the US, when in the past its natural market was essentially the European Union (Germany, the UK, France and Italy).
Interaction between Spanish and American companies is growing. Large companies from the United States (Amgen, Genentech Inc., Monsanto and Syngenta AG) recognise the value of small Spanish biotech companies, which are generally more specialised. This fact creates a favourable climate for the establishment of technological or commercial agreements, or even for financing cooperation projects. For Spanish biotechnology companies developing products with high added value – as in the case of drugs – and which require prior approval from the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), association with a US company can help to develop new products, and to receive both financial and structural support to take all the necessary steps to achieve this approval.
Spain kicks off Day
Spanish participation in BIO will be enhanced with the third edition of the Spain Kicks off BIO day, to be held at the Independence Visitor Center of the city of Philadelphia on the morning of June 15.
This activity, organised from the Economic and Commercial Office of Spain in Chicago, is entitled "Winning Strategies to Move Forward" and will focus primarily on licensing, technology transfer, and access to external sources of financing.
It will end with a networking cocktail aimed at Spanish companies attending BIO, US
companies present, and representatives of the various States, universities and research centres attending the event.
Two days later, on June 17, a networking event will be held in the Spanish pavilion in
which catering composed of Spanish products will be offered. This activity aims to give visibility to the Spanish participation in the fair.
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