Why is Increasing Biotech PE Funding in Europe Focused on Immunotherapies?

Europe’s biotechnology industry, which comprises more than 3000 biotech firms and at least a million employees, has observed huge growth in the past few years. While the industry did not perform well on the revenue front in the past two years, it raised substantial funds for R&D and did well in terms of net income.Exuding rapid growth prospects with its strong research base and an increasingly improving level of support for innovation from governments, the biotechnology industry here is raising funds at a rate not seen since the turn of this century.

Companies in all sectors of biotechnology – healthcare or red biotechnology, agricultural or green biotechnology, and industrial or white biotechnology – all across Europe are raising funds through investments from some of the most highly regarded companies of the world and through IPOs. The overall biotech industry is anticipated to witness robust growth in the future; many biotech companies have observed double digit growth and a sharp rise in funds raised through IPOs and investments in the past two years.

Rising Buzz around Immunotherapies

In a recent development, Britain’s Immunocore, the leading biotech company behind the immuno-oncology technology ImmTACs, raised US$320 million from global pharmaceutical giants such as Eli Lilly & Co., the Irish life science investment firm Malin, and Woodford Investment Management. Reneuronplc., Europe’s cell therapy firm has also raised nearly US$106 million through IPO offering.

Global companies are seen pouring funds in Europe’s biotech companies that promise innovative products. Evidently, a popular trend is an investment in one particular sector, the healthcare, and one of its most promising sub-sectors – immunotherapy.

The healthcare industry is concentrating its efforts increasingly to this method of treatment that has shown highly effective results in clinical trials for a variety of cancers and has proven to be less toxic than today’s other more prevalent treatment methods. Immunotherapy, the treatment methodology that uses the body’s own immune system for fighting a disease, is increasingly becoming the new buzzword of the biotechnology industry.As such, funds are exceedingly being devoted to R&D activities in this field.

Perfectly Bankable

Many such investments are increasingly occurring in Europe’s biotechnology industry, and expressly in the field of immunotherapy. Immono-oncology or cancer immunotherapy is being considered a breakthrough and magazines, science journals, and newspapers are all churning out articles that zero-in on the number of positive clinical trials achieved by a certain immunotherapy drug. Immunotherapy is being quoted as a way to repackage biotechnologyin a way that people can not only easily comprehend but can also look upon as a method that leaves the patient with fewer or no negative effects, at least if not any positive ones. This applies mostly to treatment of cancer, which has garnered a bad reputation over its long history due to effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries.

Immunotherapy, in this scenario, does not only represent a promising method of treatment (its results are yet to be seen on a larger set of subjects), it is of huge interest for investors as people consider it immensely hopeful. A treatment methodology that has so perfectly branded itself, without any need of marketing, is sure to reach great heights in the future. Thus, Europe’s biotechnology industry, or any other sector’s for that matter, can bank its growth prospects safely on immunotherapy for many years to come.


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