Europe waking to the American dream
2015 numbers suggest Europe's getting better at commercializing academic science
While Europe didn't see the spike in seed and series A financing that the U.S. biotech sector enjoyed in 2014, there are signs the region is beginning to capitalize on the strength of its academic science. But it's still too soon to know if this is a knock-on effect of the market Stateside or if this marks the maturing of a bona fidebiotech ecosystem.
Last year's numbers show a handful of countries are leading the way, with U.K. companies receiving more than $280 million in seed and series A financing, and Switzerland and France receiving $104 million and $75 million, respectively. Germany - arguably an academic powerhouse - trailed with only $34 million. (See Figure: Seed and series A by country in Europe)
While it's hard to quantify the amount of academic science being commercialized, the seed and series A financing data provide a fairly good indication. And looked at from the point of view of investors, Jean-Francois Formela, a partner at Atlas Venture, noted that 80-90% of the firm's investments are in discoveries coming out of academia.Kate Bingham, a managing partner at SV Life Sciences, was optimistic about the prospects in Europe.
"I'm very buoyant," she told BioCentury. "I think there is an opportunity to do some really