Greece’s Life Sciences industry has been developing at a vigorous rate. Start-up and spin-off companies are emerging with new products and established players are increasingly pursuing international R&D collaborations for the development of competitive, technology-based products. Essential to this dynamic growth is the Greek R&D infrastructure, which includes internationally renowned Research Institutes and University Research Groups. Greece is proud to host world-class research teams, engaged in leading-edge Life Sciences Research and international collaborations with corporate and research players, in Europe and worldwide.
The Biotech market growth has been exceptionally strong. Total pharmaceutical spending in Greece, as a proxy for Biotech spending, has grown at an annual pace of 17.5% from 2000 to 2007, while the total annual healthcare expenditure in Greece from 2000 to 2006 has been growing at 11%. Greece boasts the largest number of pharmacies per capita in Europe, with 94.2 pharmacies per 100,000 inhabitants. The strong growth in pharma spending in Greece is supported by the social security safety net, through which most pharma expenditures are reimbursed by the Greek state. The Greek state pharma expenditure covered 90% of the total pharma expenditure in 2006. The growth in pharma expenditure is estimated to continue as Greece’s population ages, Greece smoking rate remains high, obesity rises, and sedentary lifestyles take hold.
Despite the fact that Greece is a net importer of pharmaceuticals, domestic production of medicines has grown by 11.1% annually from 2000 to 2007. Furthermore, Greece’s highly effective drug management system has reduced counterfeit medicines to a minimum compared with other European Union countries.
Healthcare services have also been growing strongly. Private hospitals have increased their market share and the demand for privately funded health care is proving strong. Obstetrics is one of the most rapidly growing private healthcare services sectors. Greek private hospitals are expanding into neighbouring Southeast European countries and analysts estimate that Greece could become an attractive destination for ‘health tourists’ seeking high quality healthcare services at competitive rates.
Regional Hub for Clinical Trials
Greece has established itself as a regional hub for clinical trials and most major international pharmaceutical companies conduct clinical trials in Greece. Approximately 300 protocols are approved each year, with about 700 state university and research institutions overseeing these protocols. The average cost per clinical trial per patient stands between €2,000 – €3,000
Concrete Investment Opportunities
Greece offers a unique investment opportunity to international pharma companies to enhance and support their main growth driver: the development of new medicines. With an exceptional talent pool at very competitive rates, top universities and research facilities to conduct R&D, and a competitive overhead structure, Greece is an ideal location for a research team developing and testing a new medicine or for developing medical and diagnostic devices. And, as underlined, a conducive environment for clinical trials presents an opportunity for biotech companies looking to the international market to gain the extra edge over the competition.
Establishing regional headquarters in Greece for the Southeast Europe, Middle East or North Africa region allows companies to tap into highly educated, strongly motivated human capital with strong multinational corporate ethics.
Biovista Inc. Named Top Innovator in Life Sciences
Biovista Inc. was awarded the 2009 Top Innovator Presentation Award in Healthcare at the 2009 New England Venture Summit, held December 8, 2009 in Dedham, Massachusetts, USA. The award, which recognizes cutting edge private companies driving the future of innovation, was granted to Biovista, which competed with over 50 other privately held companies that play a leading role in innovation in the Technology, Life Sciences and Clean-tech sectors. Biovista’s repositioning programmes leverage the company’s technology platform to identify suitable drugs and reposition them in isolation or in combination with other drugs to therapeutic areas currently not covered by existing products. By selecting drugs that already satisfy basic toxicity, ADME and related criteria, Biovista is able to deliver significant value at reduced cost and in dramatically shorter time frames than is normally the case.
EMBIO Diagnostics Captures 1st Prize in Entrepreneurship Competition
EMBIO Diagnostics won the 1st prize of the 6th Cyprus Entrepreneurship Competition. EMBIO focuses on the development of sophisticated, portable cell biosensors for the detection of pesticides, biological warfare, animal/ human viruses & inflammation markers by means of membrane and genetic engineering. Two landmark products of the company are the Bioelectric Recognition Assay (BERA) cell biosensors and the Molecular Identification through Membrane Engineering (MIME) technology, which are widely appreciated as standard analysis tools for mass screening of chemical and biochemical compounds.
Forth Photonics Funding for Further Growth
Forth Photonics has completed its second round of fundraising with a new investment of €7.6m. The newly-raised funds are expected to take Forth Photonics’ first product through to full commercialisation. Forth Photonics will use the funds to commercialise its medical device, DySIS (Dynamic Spectral Imaging System), which is the only medical device to use dynamic spectral imaging technology to assist gynecologists in the detection and mapping of precancerous and cancerous lesions of the cervix. The use of DySIS has been shown in clinical trials to significantly increase the sensitivity of pre-cancerous lesion detection compared with traditional methods.
Advantages of Investing in Greece’s Life Science market
•Strong market fundamentals
•High quality personnel
•Attractive investment opportunities
•Attractive funding opportunities
Strong Market Fundamentals
The Life Sciences market in Greece has been displaying strong growth in recent years, with pharmaceutical expenditure growing at a pace close to 20% annually, supported by a strong state social security net. This trend is expected to continue, driven by the demographic characteristics of the Greek population.