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0226 Germany
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Product Development

The dark of COVID-19 brings promise to Germany’s biotech scene

After a near-death experience, German biotech is seeing signs of life 

German biotech may see an improved translational and financing environment ahead stimulated by the COVID-19 successes of two of its greatest stories. 

Feb 26, 2021 | 9:43 PM GMT

Apart from a few outliers, the biotech ecosystem in Germany has largely been devoid of life for over a decade. But COVID-19 has brought several more German stories into the limelight, and with them some shoots of optimism that the translational and financing environment for German biotechs is steadily improving.

Those with long memories still connect the German biotech scene with the failed Neuer Markt, the high-growth segment of the German stock exchange that operated from 1997 to 2003 and at the time was heralded as Europe’s rival to NASDAQ. By all accounts it was a spectacular failure that only a few companies — such as German stalwart MorphoSys AG — survived.

“There was a low bar for getting a company on the Neuer Markt. It was terrible,” MIG’s Michael Motschmann told BioCentury. “Of course 90% of these companies had no business model, no technology and no products. They must fail.” 

The outcome was a stretch of nearly a decade in which there was very little capital available for German biotechs across the financing spectrum, from start-ups to growth capital. New money

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