European biotech has always been at an investment disadvantage relative to US biotech and this is reflected by the continuing lead in the USA on all financial parameters. This is not a result of lower quality or productivity in basic research (to the contrary) nor necessarily of lower volumes of technology transfer (albeit with the European processes and TTO attitudes being less conducive) nor of a lack of home grown talent (even in much of it follows the money and moves to the USA).

This Alacrita report assesses the current drivers of change in Europe, focussing on:

  • A notable increase in the availability of patient capital
  • A maturing approach on the part of VC funds and management regarding financing strategy
  • Attitudes to risk by investors, and the need for a more entrepreneurial culture in Europe

As a result, there is an increasing cadre of European biotechs which can compete on equal terms with their US counterparts, and which, over the next decades, may see the emergence of sustainable biotech majors in Europe.

Changes underway address further improved funding by dismantling capital barriers in Europe, creating European VC firms of the scale required to fund sustainable biotech companies over the long term. Although not yet a mainstream issue, Brexit may threaten the UK’s pre-eminence as the home of the largest biotech cluster.

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