PPPs holding steady

BioCentury's 2014 analysis of PPPs and early stage venture financing

BioCentury's annual analysis of public-private partnerships and early stage venture financing activity shows that the model of using PPPs to foster academic innovation is holding fast, and that academia is an active driver behind the surge of new companies formed in 2014.

The development of PPPs as an interface between academia and industry is founded on the notion that programs pursued as collaborations can be efficiently ripened to the point they can be commercialized - either by a straight licensing deal or by spinning out a new company.

While there are few concrete measures of success for PPPs, the number formed and how that relates to early stage financing of start-ups provides a snapshot of how academic innovation contributes to the biotech landscape.

PPPs have now become an integral part of the biotech ecosystem, with 200-400 new PPPs formed per year globally in the last four years.

In the U.S., 160 new PPPs were formed in 2014, continuing the trend of previous years (See <div>Figure: Public-private partnership activity by region</div>).

In Europe, the number of new partnerships was slightly higher at 177, but was dramatically lower than the two previous years. That suggests either a drop-off in interest in Europe or - more likely - that the previous two years were outliers in which companies and academics started to make up for lost time and embrace the model as a way to kick-start innovation in the

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