Germany fertile ground for medical biotech

A report commissioned by vfa-bio has shown the medical biotechnology industry in Germany is growing strong. A global leader in the field, Amgen GmbH, provides an example of how business benefits from conditions in Germany.

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The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, called Medizinische Biotechnologie in Deutschland 2022, reports that the number of biopharmaceuticals on the German market has doubled from 197 to 362 in the decade that ended in 2021. Even more striking is that in just the last year alone, 26 new biotechnologically-manufactured drugs were approved. What is more, around 46 percent of the newly licensed drugs were biotech products.

The report notes more products are expected to come into use soon. It says that 113 effective ingredients are in currently in Phase III clinical trials. One of the world’s leading medical biotechnology companies, Amgen, is working on some of these drugs.

The Munich-based German subsidiary, Amgen Research GmbH (ARM), is developing a new generation of immuno-therapies for cancer. The approach uses the body’s own T-cells to fight the disease. The innovation is known as Bispecific-T-Cell-Engager or (BiTE) technology.

Amgen describes ARM’s work as an example of the potential and significance of Germany as a place for research. The country has traditionally good links between basic research and industry. Micromet, a start-up affiliated with a major Munich university, LMU, was acquired by Amgen in 2012. After joining forces, they developed BiTE technology for the market. Its debut came with the approval of a BiTE-based leukemia drug in 2015.

Another German advantage, says Amgen, is that after drugs receive European approval, they rapidly come onto the market. Amgen attributes this in part to the German Medicines Market Reorganization Act (AMNOG), which allows added-benefit assessments and price negotiations to run parallel to a drug’s introduction. The company characterizes Germany as “pilot market” for Europe, saying that the country’s patients can benefit rapidly from innovation.

Amgen GmbH additionally notes the advantages Germany has as a place to carry out clinical trials. The country, it says, has a high population density and a compact network of clinics and hospitals, medical specialists, and high-quality universities.

The Export Initiative for the German Healthcare Industry, HEALTH MADE IN GERMANY, is the place to learn more about these and other advantages of Germany as a location for medical biotech businesses.