Biotech Report by BCG and vfa Bio
Medical Biotechnology in Germany 2021
© vfa bio / Crispin I. Mokry.
Presentation of the Biotech Report 2021 by vfa bio and Boston Consulting Group (BCG) on June 29, 2021 in Berlin. From left to right: Jens Machemehl (vfa communications), Dr. Jürgen Lücke (Senior Partner BCG, study author), Dr. Sabine Sydow (Head of vfa bio) and Dr. Frank Mathias (Chairman of vfa bio and CEO of Rentschler Biopharma).
“Medical biotechnology is one of Germany’s top-performing industries. It is successful in particular because there is a high medical need for the drugs it produces. This is particularly evident in the treatment of people with rare diseases, for which there were no therapeutic options at all for a long time.”
Dr. Frank Mathias
Chairman of vfa bio and CEO of Rentschler Biopharma SE
“Medical biotechnology is one of Germany’s top-performing industries: in 2021, there were 26 approvals for new biopharmaceuticals; and 669 projects are currently testing additional biotechnological therapeutics and vaccines in clinical trials. It is successful in particular because there is a high medical need for the drugs it produces. This is particularly evident in the treatment of people with rare diseases, for which there were no therapeutic options at all for a long time.” This was stated by Dr. Frank Mathias, Chairman of vfa bio and CEO of Rentschler Biopharma SE, on the occasion of the publication of the industry report “Medical Biotechnology in Germany 2022,” which the strategy consultancy Boston Consulting Group (BCG) prepared for vfa bio, the biotechnology interest group within vfa.
Focus on the treatment of people with rare diseases
In addition to an economic analysis of the industry, this year’s report focuses on orphan drugs, i.e. drugs for the treatment of people with rare diseases. Of the 200 drugs approved with orphan drug status since 2000, around 30 per cent are biopharmaceuticals, i.e. genetically engineered drugs. They are used in a variety of areas, but are particularly common in rare forms of cancer or metabolic disorders. However, the fact that only around 150 of around 8,000 known rare diseases are treatable to date makes it clear that development activities still need to be expanded.
Progress through targeted collaborations
“It’s not easy, and funding is still needed. But some of the known difficulties in the field of orphan drug development can be overcome through collaborations between healthcare players,” says study author Dr. Jürgen Lücke, senior partner at BCG. “Digital solutions developed by treatment centers and companies could facilitate diagnosis and help affected individuals find an effective therapy more quickly – or participate in a suitable clinical trial. Case registries built cooperatively by users and companies could provide treatment optimization data on orphan drugs for more diseases than ever before.”
Biotechnology opens up new therapeutic opportunities
The report provides exemplary insights into what medical biotechnology is likely to achieve for people with rare diseases in the coming years: For example, T cells genetically engineered in the lab could soon fight not only certain lymphomas and leukemias, but also solid tumors such as synovial sarcoma. Antibodies that specifically silence components of the immune system should make it possible to treat autoimmune diseases such as cold agglutinin disease or myastenia gravis (a muscle weakness). Gene therapies are expected to alleviate some severe vision disorders such as retinitis pigmentosa.
Industry report available free of charge
The Biotech Report 2022 The 60-page report analyzes the activities of all companies in medical biotechnology in Germany and highlights the overall market (pharmacy and clinical) for biopharmaceuticals with data collected by IQVIA. It covers both originator products and biosimilars. It also discusses the industry as an employer and orphan drugs. It can be downloaded as a pdf or ordered free of charge at www.vfa-bio.de/publikationen.
About vfa bio
vfa bio represents biotechnology in the vfa, which advocates the interests of its 48 world-leading manufacturers in health, research and economic policy. vfa bio is committed to exploiting the medical and economic potential of biotechnology and making Germany the leading biotechnology location in Europe. 30 companies currently belong to vfa bio.