Medical Biotechnology Industry

Petri dish on colour scale; Source:

The German medical biotechnology industry has made numerous innovations that have set global standards. German biotech companies are a major driving force in Europe, both in terms of corporate representation and capacity to generate new - and profitable - intellectual property.

About 50-percent of the biotechnology companies based in Germany develop new drugs or diagnostic methods in the areas of human and animal medicine. Medical use ranks among the most important applications of biotechnology.

In Germany, there are currently around 300 small and medium-sized dedicated biotechnology companies predominantly active in medical biotechnology. Total turnover of these dedicated medical biotechnology companies increased by 8.1 percent to EUR 2.5 billion in 2016.

The medical biotechnology sector in Germany can be classified into three major fields of activity: technology platforms and preclinical development, clinical drug development and diagnostics. It is dominated by the production of biopharmaceuticals (e.g. antibodies), the manufacture of which is among the most demanding within the area of genetic technology. In addition to their use for making therapeutic drugs, DNA/RNA technologies also play a key role in genetic therapies and regenerative medicine as well as in medical biotechnology itself.

As a productions site for biopharmaceuticals, Germany ranks first in Europe and second worldwide - German medical biotech products and technology platforms are sought after abroad and international demand is rising.

Market development

The importance of the biotechnology industry is rising. Compared to recent years more companies produce biotechnological products in Germany and more employees are working in this industry. Sales figures are stable and continue to remain high. In addition, Germany has a large and active research community that enjoys a high level of international respect.

Our standard of living in the future will be based on the foundation of a knowledge-based bio-economy. One cornerstone of this foundation is biotechnology.

German products are popular worldwide due to constantly increasing quality in development and production. This is reflected in the German market for biopharmaceuticals, with its sales of EUR 9.3 billion in 2016, amounting to an increase of 12.4 percent compared to the previous year.


German companies active in the field of medical biotechnology are driving innovation to bring new therapies, devices and diagnostics from the lab to the patients. They are at the forefront in developing personalized medicine approaches. German biotechnology companies are known for their expertise in a broad range of indications and innovative medical fields such as molecular diagnostics, immunotherapies, vaccine technologies, targeted therapies, cell and molecular technologies and the digitalization of healthcare.


Among the tasks of the Export Initiative of the German Healthcare Industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY, is to inform and guide foreign individuals and companies who are interested in doing business in and with German healthcare. The Initiative informs you about German industry, holds events in your country and is available to answer your questions. Other functions are to promote lasting foreign market access and international network development for German small and medium-sized industries (SMEs).

In order to ensure that it is meeting their needs, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY works in close cooperation with four working groups whose members are organizations representing specific sectors within the German healthcare industry. They are also available to address any queries you might have.

The members of the Medical Biotechnology Working Group are:

Association of German Biotech Companies (VBU)

German Association of Biotechnology Industries (DIB)

Biotechnologie-Industrieorganisation Deutschland (BIO Deutschland)