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Life Science Report Austria 2011

Biotechnology Sector Survey 2011: Facts and Figures

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life science report austria 2011


he recent success stories in Aus-

sciences through its funding programmes

made possible by outstanding researchers

thermore, the government raised the R&D

personal risk and by the targeted support

to 10% at the start of 2011. All these meas-

The Federal Ministry of Economy, Fam-

and exciting jobs while securing Austria‘s


tria’s life science industry have been

‘PreSeed LISA’ and ‘LISA Seedfinancing’. Fur-

who are willing to take a high amount of

cash tax-premium for companies from 8%

of our innovation-friendly government.

ures are now bearing fruit, creating new

ily and Youth in particular considers it an

future as a hot spot for innovation.

in research, development and innovation

With investments into R&D in 2011 at an

strengthen Austrian companies.

invest far more into R&D than the EU av-

2010 has proven to be another successful

search, development and innovation of the

December a Viennese biotech company

We want to make Austria an innovation

between large pharmaceutical companies

the share of investments into R&D to 3.76%

important policy to promote investment and to create appropriate conditions to

all time high of 2.79% of GDP, we already

erage. However the new strategy for re-

year for the Austrian biotech industry. In

Austrian Government aims even higher.

announced the biggest ever licensing deal

leader within the European Union and raise

and an Austrian biotech company – valued

of GDP by 2020.

large biotech license deal with an Austrian

Austria takes pride in a long tradition of

half years. This eye-catching deal is an im-

es, with such famous names as Max Perutz,

a key European biotech location over the

tria clearly still has a wealth of innovative

at a total of 1.26 billion euro. It was the fifth

innovative company in the last two and a

revolutionary discoveries in the life scienc-

portant indicator that Austria has become

Theodor Billroth or Karl Landsteiner. Aus-

last 10 years.

potential to offer. There is a bright future ahead for the Austrian biotech industry.

Against this background Austria has a wide array of national and regional funding

schemes for young high-tech companies

on offer. austria wirtschaftsservice, the

Dr. Reinhold Mitterlehner,

financial support for start-up ideas for life-

Family and Youth

Austrian national funding bank, provides

Federal Minister for Economy,


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life science report austria 2011

Content The Austrian Biotechnology Sector 2011



Structure of the Biotechnology Sector .................................................... 6 Employee Structure .............................................................................................. 7 Fields of Activity ..................................................................................................... 8 Clinical Pipeline ...................................................................................................... 10 Cooperations .......................................................................................................... 14 Development of Turnover and R&D Expenditure ........................... 15 Financing ................................................................................................................... 16 International Overview .................................................................................... 18 Prospects ................................................................................................................... 19 Public Funding for the Austrian Life Science Industry ................ 20 Life Science Austria – LISA ............................................................................. 20 Methodology .......................................................................................................... 21 OECD Definitions ................................................................................................ 22


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life science report austria 2011

The Austrian Biotechnology Sector 2011

n Austria, the life sciences – includ-

euros, and employ 1,470 staff. Through sta-

ver. Investors certainly view biotechnology

being among the most important key

ogy in Austria is anticipated to grow further

Austrian biotechnology was at high levels

ing biotechnology – are viewed as

technologies for driving forward new developments, and for developing econo-

ble growth, the significance of biotechnolin the years to come.

mic potential. Over the last decades a live-

The subsections of ‘red’ biotechnology,

panies has put Austria on the European life

gredients, diagnostics, and new therapies,

ly scene of innovative biotechnology comscience map .

Austrian biotechnology is young – the average company is just seven years old. Yet the

industry has reached a critical mass within a very short period, and has grown into a

major economic factor. In 2010, Austrian companies, working either in part with bio-

technological methods or committed fully to methods of biotechnology, generated more than three billion euros in turnover. 2,865 million of this figure is attributable

to the 36 biotechnologically active firms,

with a focus on active pharmaceutical inand ‘white’ biotechnology, which is occupied with biotechnological processes for in-

dustry, generate the strongest turnover. 97 million euros of this alone, i.e. 60% of total turnover, is attributable to the health sector; turnover in industrial biotechnology in 2010

private investors, grants, loans, and other contributions. With 35 million euros, the majority came from private investors and

business angels; venture capital was the second largest source of financing for biotechnology companies, with a total contribution of 19 million euros.

half of the Austrian Federal Ministry of

clear focus in Vienna. 43 companies, or over half of the dedicated biotechnology companies, are based in the capital.

panies exceeded the sales figures. This is

companies oversee a turnover of 161 million

including funds from venture capitalists,

perspective biotechnology in Austria has a

These companies employ 5,810 people in

Together, the 77 dedicated biotechnology

lion euros flowed into the sector last year,

These are the key findings of the company

Whether red or white, from a geographical

In 2010, expenditure on research and devel-

their biotechnology-related arms.

in 2010. Funding totalling around 79 mil-

was around 17 million euros, a share of 10%.

including companies such as Baxter, Boehringer Ingelheim, Sandoz, and Sanochemia.

as a promising future field. Financing in

opment in dedicated biotechnology comfurther evidence of the strong focus on in-

survey carried out by BIOCOM AG on beEconomy, Family and Youth and Austria

Wirtschaftsservice GesmbH (aws). Data were collected from February to May 2011,

following the guidelines and definitions of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD; for methodology see page 21).

novation within the industry. In total, the firms invested 173 million euros in future products, corresponding to 107% of turno-

Number of dedicated biotechnology companies


Number of other biotechnology-active companies (e. g. pharma, chemicals or seeds manufacturers)


Number of employees in dedicated biotechnology companies


Number of employees in the biotech-related areas of other biotechnologically active companies


Turnover of dedicated biotechnology companies Turnover of other biotechnologically active companies

EUR 161m EUR 2,865m

R&D expenditure of dedicated biotechnology companies

EUR 173m

Total financing of dedicated biotechnology companies

EUR 79m



Tab 1: Key figures of the biotech sector in Austria 5

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life science report austria 2011

Structure of the Biotechnology Sector

in the field of medical or ‘red’ biotechnol-

egory. On the map of biotechnologically

number of predomantly growing companies.

course of the year.

dedicated, 6 biotechnologically active) and

or for the most part with methods of mod-

The biotech industry in Austria still is relative-

definition by the Organisation for Economic

nology company being just seven years old.


he biotechnology sector in Austria today, is made up of a remarkable

In 2010, 77 companies were occupied wholly ern biotechnology. Thus, according to the Cooperation and Development (OECD),

these are counted as ‘dedicated’ biotechnol-

ogy – were registered bankrupt over the

ly young, with an average Austrian biotech18 companies were founded before 2000.

active federal states are Lower Austria (13

Styria (10 dedicated, 5 biotechnologically active). Tyrol is home to six dedicated and

one biotechnologically active biotechnol-

ogy company. The federal states of Upper Austria (four dedicated, five biotechnologically active) and Salzburg (one dedicated) are further down the table.

ogy firms. Biotechnology is also becoming

The geographic distribution of biotechnolo-

exclusively active in the field. Companies ac-

sector in Austria. An important nucleus is the

Thematically, it is notable that the Vienna

Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP) in the

available expertise and activity in the devel-

increasingly significant for companies not tive in biotechnology alongside other areas

of activity fall into the category of ‘other biotechnologically-active companies’. Included

here are, among others, pharma and chemicals companies, foodstuffs manufacturers,

or energy companies employing innovative

biotechnological techniques. Last year, a to-

gy companies also reflects the history of the basic biomedical research-oriented Research capital Vienna, which was founded in 1985

as a joint venture with US biotech company Genentech and German pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim.

tal of 36 companies in Austria were included

Overall, the statistics record 43 dedicated

cated, only dedicated biotechnology compa-

alone, meaning that more than half of

in this category. When not otherwise indinies will be considered in the following.

In 2010, three new companies emerged in Austria, two other companies – all of them


biotechnology firms in the Vienna area

companies are based in the Vienna district. The non-dedicated biotechnology firms are similarly distributed. In Vienna,

18 companies can be assigned to this cat-

Dedicated biotechnology companies

Employees of dedicated companies

area shows, among others, a high level of

opment of vaccines and immune therapies. The companies in Upper and Lower Austria

have an overall emphasis on systems biology, diagnostics, and regenerative medicine.

In Styria, work focuses above all on pharmaceutical procedures, -processes, and

-production technologies. The region is also home to Europe’s largest tissue biobank infrastructure. In addition, industrial biotechnology is more strongly represented in the

company profiles than in the other Austrian provinces (see ‘Fields of Activity’).

Other biotechnologically active companies

Biotech-employees of biotechnologically active companies


Lower Austria


















Upper Austria

















5,810 © BIOCOM


Tab. 2: Distribution of biotechnology companies and their employees by federal states (in absolute figures) 6

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life science report austria 2011

Employee Structure

of employees working in dedicated bio-

The publicly-traded Intercell AG in Vienna

Salzburg (4).

nology companies, founded in 1997 as a

dedicated biotechnology companies had

Mirroring the industry as a whole, the

of Molecular Pathology (IMP), is now also

According to the survey, a total of 828 of

panies are of a small size. 76 of the 77 ded-

tech companies. 207 people work for Inter-

in the survey fall into the EU-defined cat-

which is specialised in the development of

prises (SMEs), i.e. with less than 250 em-

ploys 411 people.


glance at the employee figures for Austrian biotech companies shows

that small and medium sized companies

dominate the industry. In 2010, the 77 a total of 1,470 employees on their books.

these employees were female, a proportion of 56%.

The 36 companies in the pharmaceutical,

chemical and food industries, which in

this survey fall under the category of bio-

technology companies in Tyrol (86) and

is not only one of Austria‘s first biotechspin-off of the Vienna Research Institute

majority of Austrian biotechnology com-

the biggest employer among Austrian bio-

icated biotechnology companies counted

cell in Austria. Worldwide, the company,

egory of small and medium-sized enter-

vaccines against infectious diseases, em-


Number two in the employee rankings

technologically active companies, amount

Indeed, most of these companies are very

is PAA Laboratories GmbH. The labora-

technology-oriented departments. Only

nology companies (46.8%) have fewer than

have a staff of exactly 100. The company

large percentage (44.2 %) employ between


to a total of 5,810 employees in their biothe employees of dedicated biotechnology companies are considered in the following.

From a geographical perspective, the majority of dedicated biotech companies are

small. Almost half of all Austrian biotech-

tory suppliers in Pasching in Upper Austria

ten employees on their books. An equally

specialises in the production of cell culture

ten and fifty. Five companies employ a staff of 50 to 99.

based in Vienna. The capital employs the

Companies with more than one hundred

ees. Closely following are the provinces of

an biotechnology sector. To date, only two

highest number of staff with 848 employStyria (240), Upper Austria (150), and Lower

Austria (142). There is also a small number

1% 1%

employees are the exception in the Austribiotech companies belong to this exclusive club.

7% Number of employees > 249 100 – 249

44 %

50 – 99 10 – 49 < 10


47 %

Fig. 1: Size structure of dedicated biotechnology companies 7

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life science report austria 2011

Fields of Activity

n contrast to many other sectors,

specialised in contract research and man-

range of application fields. The majority of

into this category. Pure contract manu-


biotechnology is used in a wide

biotechnological products, processes, and

services are aimed towards the health sector. The search for new therapies, vaccines,

or biomarkers, as well as the development of new diagnostic techniques, represents the most important area of application for biotechnology, and this is also true for

ufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, also fall

this, among others, is the Austrian food company Agrana.

facturers of biological molecules without

To date, only 2 companies in Austria can

included here. With 22 % this makes it the

biotechnology. These are Bioplant R&D

in-house development activities are also second most important industry segment.

However, the separation between these segments is fluent, and not irreversible.

be clearly placed in the category of plant

in Vienna and Bio-Ferm GmbH in Tulln.

Both are focused on the development of biotechnological procedures to improve

plant health in both ornamental and useful plants.


Industrial or ‘white’ biotechnology is ex-

Thus, the majority of biotech companies

2010, six Austrian companies stated that

In the framework of this survey, no bio-

technical enzymes, new biomaterials, and

been assigned exclusively to the separately

in Austria is dedicated to the development of drugs or new methods of diagnosis. 52

companies (67.5 %) can be counted in the field of ‘red’ biotechnology.

With 17 companies, the second largest

category is ‘non-specific applications’. This also includes all companies providing services exclusively or mainly for other

biotechnology firms, or which are active

for these as suppliers. For example, the

cell culture media specialists PAA Laboratories GmbH, or Polymun Scientifc GmbH,

periencing a growth in significance. In

they were focused on the development of biotechnological production processes.

Nevertheless, the total figure occupied

technology companies in Austria have defined area of bioinformatics.

with industrial biotechnology – 7.8% – is relatively low. This figure does not re-

flect the true significance of the sector, however. Because white biotechnology

is relevant above all for industry, a large

number of activities do not take place in the dedicated biotechnology companies, but directly in biotechnologically active

large-scale enterprises. An example of

0% 22 % health/medicine agricultural biotechnology industrial biotechnology


non-specific services




67 %

Fig. 2: Main areas of activity in dedicated biotechnology companies 8

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Linz St. Pölten



Bregenz Innsbruck




Fig. 3: Geographical distribution of dedicated biotechnology companies with main activities in medicine (red)


Vienna St. Pölten


Bregenz Graz




Fig. 4: The geographical distribution of dedicated biotechnology companies with main activities in industrial biotechnology (grey) and agrobiotechnology (green). 9

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Clinical Pipeline

efore investors decide whether to

and two chemical molecules are currently

mechanically ventilated ICU patients at 33


rope and Latin America. Already in 2008,

in the more advanced stages of clinical de-

participate financially in drugs de-

velopers, they will always put the clinical pipeline under the microscope. The number and quality of drug candidates found here

A total of 15 active ingredients (13 biothera-

of the company. If the pipeline is good, the

being tested in clinical phase I trials; ten

will greatly determine the future success

peutic agents, two small molecules) are

prospects are likely to be brighter.

other active ingredients (only biotherapeutic candidates) have made it into phase II.

In 2010, the 77 dedicated biotechnology

companies in Austria had a total of 80 com-

In 2010, Vienna-based AFFiRiS AG had an

of the three phases of clinical development.

clinical phase II. Since spring 2010, the drug

pounds in preclinical development, or in one This took in 66 biopharmaceutical candidates and 14 small chemical molecules. These

In 2010, Intercell AG in Vienna had three

large part of development work is carried

(the active ingredient V710) was termi-

vaccine candidates in phase II, one of these

out in Austria were included.

nated in spring 2011. Positive results from a

phase II clinical trial were reported in 2010

for the vaccine candidate IC43, which is di-

The majority of development candidates

rected against hospital infections caused

are in the preclinical phase: A total of 43 bio-

by the bacterium Pseudomonas aerugi-

pharmaceutical candidates and twelve

nosa. This randomised, placebo-controlled

small chemical molecules are in this devel-

phase II clinical study included around 400

opment stage. 23 biotherapeutic agents

ner – Romark Laboratories L.C. – was found

in 2010. An extended phase II study combining the vaccine with Romark’s active ingredient nitazoxanide is planned for 2011.

which was in-licensed from Vienna-based

being carried out in a number of indications.

In addition, only those projects in which the

against hepatitis C. A development part-

has been undergoing a multicentre study

good performance.

in more than one market or if studies were

II study into the vaccine candidate IC41

The likewise Vienna-based Apeiron AG had

tries, and first results have demonstrated

gle time, even if approvals had been sought

Intercell also published results of a phase

Alzheimer‘s vaccine candidate AD02 in

in Austria and five other European coun-

product candidates were counted only a sin-

intensive stations in eight countries in Eu-

a candidate in phase II in 2010. APN 201,

biotechnology company Polymun Scientific GmbH at the end of 2010, uses the natural-

ly occurring enzyme superoxide dismutase. It is being initially developed for the treat-

ment of side effects caused by specific cancer therapies. In early 2011, Apeiron also

took over the rights for APN301 from the German pharmaceutical company Merck

KGaA for the treatment of neuroblastoma, melanoma, and other cancers. This active

ingredient – a recombinant protein that

combines the antibody hu14.18 with interleukin-2 – is also in phase II, although

was not included in the 2010 statistics as

Biopharmaceutical substances


Small molecules 43


Phase I



Phase II


0 0 0

Phase III approved

0 0

2 10







Fig. 5: Drug candidates of dedicated biotechnology companies 10

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life science report austria 2011

a result of the 2011 acquisition. The to date

step, muscle from the upper arm muscle

examination stages, and are commercially

enzyme biotherapeutic for the treatment

of a small tissue punch biopsy. In the sec-

granted approval for Ixiaro, a vaccine for

most advanced drug candidate APN01, an

of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), has been included in the statistics,

however. This was out-licensed to the British pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline in the beginning of 2010, and is being prepared for phase II.

Also in phase II is a flu vaccine developed

(biceps) of the patient is removed by means

ond step, these cells are selectively propagated and injected as somatic cells in the

bladder or anal sphincter. Once there, they grow and strengthen the existing sphinc-

ter. Since the second quarter of 2010, the most advanced candidate ICES13 is being tested in phase II.

available. On 30 March 2009, the US FDA

Japanese encephalitis from Vienna’s Intercell. Approval is anticipated for Europe,

Canada, and Australia. The vaccine, manufactured in Intercell‘s production location in Scotland, contains a purified, inactivated

strain of the Japanese encephalitis virus, which is grown in the kidney cells of vervet

monkeys. Customers include the US military, among others.

by the Vienna-based company Avir Green

The Vienna-based biotechnology company

taFLU – administered as a nasal spray – is

ing an active ingredient for the treatment

The second biopharmaceutical drug on the

eases. Marinomed identified the candidate

GmbH. The 2006 spin-off from the Veteri-

Hills Biotechnology AG. The vaccine delcharacterised by the fact that the viral defence factor is removed from the cellular

immune response. This is intended to prevent the multiplication of the vaccine virus in the cell, but to nevertheless warn the

Marinomed Biotechnology GmbH is testof Type 1 allergies and autoimmune disMAM-06.301 through targeted screening for anti-allergic active ingredients.

body of an infection. The resulting relative-

Trimed Biotech GmbH in Vienna, the

against different variants of the influenza

Cancer Research, is developing a cellular

ly strong immune response is also directed virus, which is only limitedly possible with conventional vaccines.

In turn, Innovacell Biotechnology AG in

Innsbruck is specialised in cell therapies for

the treatment of incontinence. In the first


daughter company of St. Anna Children‘s tumour vaccine based on dendritic cells. This candidate (Trivax) was put through a randomised phase II trial in 2010.

Two biopharmaceuticals developed in Austria have already passed through all clinical

Drug candidate

market from Austria is from Marinomed nary University of Vienna is specialised in

the development of remedies from marine natural substances. In 2008, the company‘s

nasal spray Coldamaris prophylactic, extracted from red algae, was put forward

for approval. The natural substance Carragelose casts a protective film over nasal

mucosa that have become dry and irritated during a cold or other illness. This is intended to boost natural defences against

viruses and bacteria using the body‘s own processes.




Alzheimer‘s disease

Apeiron AG

APN201 APN01

Inflammatory skin conditions Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS)

Avir Green Hills Biotechnologie AG





IC43 IC41 V710 (terminated)

Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections Hepatitis C Nosocomial infections (Staphylococcus aureus)


Type 1 allergy and autoimmune diseases


Renal cell carcinoma

Innovacell Biotechnologie AG Intercell AG Marinomed Biotechnologie GmbH


Trimed Biotech GmbH

Tab. 3: Drug candidates of dedicated biotechnology companies in clinical phase ii in 2010 11

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life science report austria 2011

Number of companies

Dedicated companies




> 25

Other biotechnologically active companies Employees of dedicated companies Biotechnology employees of other biotechnologically active companies

Number of employees 0–99




> 600


Bregenz 1



1 Innsbruck






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Linz 4






43 18 848

St. PĂślten


4 440 150



burg 10







Fig. 6: dedicated and biotechnologycally active companies and their employees, distributed according to federal states 13

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Cooperations C

ooperation across organisational

tions receive fresh ideas from the young

the field of biotechnology – in research and

financing further development. In return,

distribution. It is a part of scientific life for

needed capital to further develop their

boundaries has a long tradition in

firms by in-licensing specific projects and

development, the validation phases, or in

the biotechnology companies gain much-

companies to work closely together with

own projects.

This is true above all for the description of

Although medical biotechnology above

action, such as for the development of new

billion-dollar licensing agreements – Vien-

panies bring the further development of

maceutical corporation GlaxoSmithKline

own laboratories only when there is prom-

Boehringer Ingelheim on board – today,

academic research groups, among others.

corresponding information for this survey are pursuing 512 partner projects. Most of

these (185) relate to projects with research institutions, and deal with issues of basic

research. There are almost as many con-

basic molecular-biological mechanisms of

all attracted media attention in 2010 with

therapies or diagnostic procedures. Com-

na-based Apeiron gained the British phar-

the most promising candidates into their

as partner, and f-star brought German

ise of commercial application.

partnerships are also greatly significant in

The division of research and development


in the value chain is now standard practice.

The chemicals and food industries are

and not only in Austria, see themselves

nological innovations; many biotech com-

increasingly popular model of cooperation

further development of industry-oriented

pharmaceutical companies and innovative

a wide spectrum of partnerships under-

other areas, such as in industrial biotech-

activities among the different stakeholders

biotechnology companies that provided

nections with industry.

The encompassed biotechnology companies are conducting 105 partnerships between themselves; there are 32 ongoing

projects with public institutions. Biotechnology companies in Austria frequently find their partners in their home country;

78 cooperations with research institutes and 26 projects with other national industry partners point towards an active

Against this backdrop, many companies,

progressively more interested in biotech-

as providers of contract research. Another

panies offer technology platforms for the

is that which is conducted between large

biotechnological processes. There is thus

biotechnology companies. The corpora-

way in Austria. In total, the 39 dedicated

exchange between science and industry in Austria.

with public institutes

with biotech companies

with research institutes

with industrial partners




with other sectors


160 140 120





60 40 20 0


47 10






23 26


21 0


32 9



0 0 5 4 3 Sales

16 Total







Fig. 7: Cooperations of dedicated biotechnology companies along the value chain 14

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Development of Turnover and R&D Expenditure T

he turnover generated in Austria with



and products is a key economic factor for

the country. In 2010, revenue in the sector

such as in the chemicals industry. Only a

small part of turnover in Austria is in agricultural biotechnology.

passed the three billion euro mark, with bi-

Aside from the three fields of medicine,

ing for 2,865 billion euros of this figure, and

range of companies offering unspecific

otechnologically active companies accountdedicated biotechnology companies contributing a total of 161 million euros.

Turnover in the 77 dedicated biotechnology firms in Austria can be clearly subdivided into four groups. Not unexpectedly, the most important is ‘red’ biotechnology.

industry, and agriculture, there is also a services that do not belong to any of these

fields. Around 46 million euros were gener-

ated in 2010 with these services, processes, and laboratory reagents. This represents

a 28% share of total turnover among the dedicated biotechnology companies.

The largest company in this area is PAA

sector. Some of the most famous Austrian

which is fourth place in ranking according

biotechnology companies such as Intercell, f-star or AFFiRiS, are active in this area.

Sales in ‘white’ or industrial biotechnology stood at around 17 million euros in 2010. Worth mentioning in this area are, among

others, the Vienna enzyme specialist Euco-

dis, manufacturer of modified proteins for

the optimisation of production processes,

2010 – originate from the capital.

Biotechnology is an exceptionally researchintensive industry. This is underlined by the

173 million euros – 107% of turnover – invested in research by dedicated companies in

2010. Given the high costs associated with the development of new drugs, the largest

share of this is in medical biotechnology. This sector alone counts for 161 million euros

of R&D spending. With just under nine million euros, the area of non-specific applica-

97 million euros – and with this 60% of

revenue – was generated in the health

earned in the sector – 97.5 million euros in

Laboratories GmbH. It is in Upper Austria, to revenue among the federal states. 13.5

million euros was generated by biotechnol-

ogy in and around Linz in 2010. At a similar order of magnitude is Lower Austria, with around 18 million euros. Doing even better

tions is somewhat further behind. Industrial biotechnology invested three million euros in R&D projects. Geographically, there is

again a focus on Vienna as regards R&D activities. 146 million euros was invested in the capital. R&D expenditure in Styria and Tyrol

was around ten million euros respectively, and around 5 million in Lower Austria.

is the location of Styria – 27.5 million euros

of revenue was generated in this state. Not

surprisingly, the largest biotech location in

Austria is Vienna. Three out of five euros


R&D expenditure

Mio. Euro 200 175 150 125 100



75 50






Fig. 8: Turnover and R&D expenditure of dedicated biotechnology companies 15

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life science report austria 2011


espite the global economic crisis, fi-

and state sides. This represented almost 15

remained at high levels in 2010. Funding

Loans are a further important financing


million euros of available funding in 2010.

nancing in Austrian biotechnology

option, especially for small and medium-

totalling around 79 million euros flowed

sized enterprises. This is demonstrated by

into the sector last year, including funds

the nine million euros loaned by the banks

from venture capitalists, private investors,

to mostly small firms. Other unspecified

grants, loans, and other contributions. In

forms of financing brought a further one

addition, some biotechnology companies

million euros for the biotech companies.

succeeded in closing impressive deals with

major corporations â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a further step to-

in 2010 the Vienna-based antibody devel-

wards securing their long-term business

oper f-star was very successful in attract-


ing fresh capital. The company started

the year with an eight million euro first

The majority originated from private in-

round of financing. This took f-star to a

vestors and business angels. These were

total of 19 million euros in investment

responsible for 35 million euros of the total

and funding since its founding in 2006.

sum, thereby reinforcing their enormous

The company develops novel therapeutic

significance for the sector. Because there

antibodies and antibody fragments us-

were no capital increases in the stock mar-

ing its own Modular Antibody Technol-

ket in 2010, venture capital funds became

ogy. The company, which has more than

the second largest source of funding for

20 employees in locations in Vienna and

biotechnology companies with a total of 19

Cambridge, used the funding to advance

million euros.

its pipeline. f-star CEO Kevin FitzGerald

has enjoyed not only successful financing

The 77 dedicated biotechnology companies

in a difficult financial environment, but

could also attract funding from the federal

Mio. Euro

also the participation of new investors. Sector heavyweights MPH Healthcare

Venture Management and Merck Serono Ventures, launched in 2009 by the German pharmaceutical giant, have been

brought on board as strategic venture capital funds.

The second largest funding round was by Apeptico Forschung und Entwicklung

GmbH. The Vienna-based company succeeded in raising three million euros from

existing investors for the further development of its synthetic peptides against lung

damage. The company also received a research grant of 1.2 million euros from the

Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) during this round of financing.

Likewise, Biocrates Life Sciences Ltd, which specialises in metabolic biomarkers, received a cash injection of 1.2 million euros.

The young company Themis Bioscience

GmbH saw also promising development in 2010. Founded in September 2009, the vac-

cine developers received the highest pos-

Venture Capital

Private Investment/Business Angels


Investment in Public Equity

Public Subsidies


35 30 25 20





5 0


0 2010



Fig. 9: Sources of financing for dedicated biotechnology companies 16

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life science report austria 2011

sible seed financing of 1 million euros for

additional milestone payments and royal-

Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesmbh.

million euros could be paid for each of the

commercialisation, the company will also

ties on potential product sales. Up to 180

take a share of the turnover.

seven development candidates.

Deals such as that for APN01 are often sig-

in 2010 also outside of the health sector.

The agreement between Marinomed Bio-

parties, but also for other corners of the

biotechnology company, raised 2 million

er Ingelheim could also be worth millions.

clinical phase II studies, greater quantities

ist wants to use the funds to expand its

an expansion of the commercialisation of

proteins are required. The Viennese sub-

enzyme families, and thereby move into in-

nasal spray against the common cold.

der in the spring of 2010. The company is

The British pharma giant GlaxoSmithKline

of biopharmaceuticals, and is certified for

ments and corresponding agreements

biotechnology landscape. After develop-

turing Practice (GMP). Polymun had already

creasingly important role for many bio-

and Intercell in 2009, in February 2010 GSK

ron’s APN01 phase I clinical study.

has been the subject of attention. The col-

project from Apeiron Biologics AG in Vien-

with the German pharmaceutical company

combinant human angiotensin-converting

could be worth up to 1.26 billion euros

active enzyme which has finished phase I

largest biotech deals ever concluded in

tory distress syndrome (ARDS). Under the

develop antibody-based drugs directed

of up to 236 million euros could be paid if

Boehringer Ingelheim. Alongside an imme-

tion areas. Apeiron has initially received

further company development from the

There were successful financing stories

nificant not only for the directly involved

Eucodis Bioscience GmbH, an industrial

technology GmbH in Vienna and Boehring-

industry. In order for APN01 to be tested in

euros from investors. The enzyme special-

The objective of this license agreement is

of consistently high quality therapeutic

existing product portfolio to include other

Marinomed‘s already approved antiviral

contractor Polymun secured this major or-

ternational markets.

specialised in the contract manufacturing

In addition to financing, license agree-

(GSK) is very important for the Austrian

production according to Good Manufac-

for milestone payments now play an in-

ment agreements with AFFiRiS AG in 2008

produced the APN01 batches used for Apei-

technology companies. Here again, f-star

acquired exclusive rights to the APN01

laboration and license agreement closed

na. The development candidate APN01 (re-

Boehringer Ingelheim in November 2010

enzyme 2, rhACE2) is a biotherapeutically

for the Vienna-based firm. This is the

studies for the treatment of acute respira-

Austria. The two companies will jointly

license agreement, milestone payments

against target structures selected by

APN01 is approved in a range of applica-

diate sum, the license agreement includes

around 12.5 million euros. In the case of



Sum in million euros




APEPTICO Forschung und Entwicklung GmbH



EUCODIS Bioscience GmbH



BIOCRATES Life Sciences AG



Themis Bioscience GmbH


1 15.2 © BIOCOM


Tab. 4: The highest funding of listed dedicated biotechnology companies in 2010 17

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life science report austria 2011

International Overview

s an innovative cross-sectional tech-

2004 the Organisation for Economic Cooper-

great many fields of research and economic

a general definition, along which this survey


ation and Development (OECD) introduced

nology, biotechnology touches on a

fornia, some 2,300 companies are based in

the US; many of these are of global signifi-

proceeds (see Methods). A comparison with

sectors. Naturally the companies active in

cance. Important biotech locations have

earlier surveys carried out in Austria on the

this area have a global presence, and serve

emerged also outside the US; Canada and

basis of alternative classifications is there-

the international market.

a number of countries in Asia play an in-

fore possible only to a limited extent.

For this reason, biotechnology is a field for

strategic development and investment for

The OECD creates international overview

tainly no exception. The Austrian Council

lar basis by member countries. The basis

creasingly important role today.

From an international perspective, Euro-

tables using data submitted on a regu-

most industrialised countries. Austria is cer-

pean biotechnology counts among the heavyweights. In addition to Great Britain,

for the diagram below is a corresponding

for Research and Technology Development

Germany, Switzerland, and France, Aus-

OECD publication from 2009, supplement-

(RFT), which has supported government ef-

tria is one of the stronger biotech nations,

ed by more recent data in as much as these

forts since 2000, has presented a national

maintaining an international position with

were available.

research strategy that defines biotechnol-

ogy as one of ten areas of research to enjoy

its numerous business start ups and suc-

special funding priority. Thousands of com-

However, such absolute data on the

of this political support, but also because of

not allow statements to be made on the

cessful business stories, such as Intercell, f-star and AFFiRiS, as well as renowned re-

number of biotechnology companies do

panies have emerged worldwide as a result

search facilities. This is demonstrated by, among other things, the strong presence in

significance of the industry in the respec-

the great commercial opportunities of the

Austria of globally operating pharmaceuti-

tive country. Other factors such as the size

many biotechnological discoveries made in

cal companies.

and maturity of individual companies must

recent decades.

also be considered.

Due to varying counting methods, however,

Against this backdrop, one thing is clear:

drawing comparisons between the individ-

The US remains by far the largest country

ual countries can be a difficult task. Thus, in


for biotech. From Massachusetts to Cali-

2,325 714

700 600



532 457






237 122










ay * De nm ar k Au st ria * Fi nl an N d et he rla nd s Sw ed en Po rt ug al





Ita ly

e* it z er la nd * Be lg iu m

Fr an c



Ko re a


ut h So

Ca na da

Ja pa n* Ge rm an y*



Source: OECD Biotechnology Statistics 2009 | * updated from other sources

Fig. 10: Number of dedicated biotechnoloy companies within the OECD


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life science report austria 2011



iotechnology is now an indispensable driver of innovation for a range

of different industries. From medicine,

industry and food, to energy and agriculture – demand for bio-based innovations is growing, above all in the industrial nations of Europe.

New approaches that can offer solutions for increasing cost pressures in the health

system, and for the utilisation of renewable resources, are needed now more than

ever. Thus, the commercial viability of products, processes, and services deriving from biotechnology is growing steadily, and this is also reflected in the Austrian

biotechnology sector, as this survey demonstrates.

To date, the most visible benefits to society

of biotechnology can be seen in the health

sector. This is also true in Austria, where © Life Science Austria

most local biotechnology companies are

active in this field. More than 100 biotechnologically produced drugs are currently

on the worldwide market. However, confronted by expiring patents for their blockbuster drugs, many global pharmaceutical

orientation towards a bio-based economy,

of robust drug candidates. Increasingly,

level – for a review of the sustainability of

companies require urgent replenishment these originate from the laboratories of

biotechnology companies. Licensing agree-

the way is being paved – also on a political existing processes and procedures.

ments with pharmaceutical companies

Austria was and remains challenged to fo-

many companies, as demonstrated in 2010

cerns the advancement of knowledge and

thus represent important milestones for by the examples of Apeiron and f-star.

However, biotechnological methods are

used further afield than just medicine. Consumer goods manufacturers, foodstuffs manufacturers, chemical companies, and

energy companies are also increasingly reliant on environmentally friendly produc-

tion processes. Faced with the challenges posed by global climate change, these industries are being forced to reduce their

CO2 footprint. Moreover, with Europe’s re-

cus its activities – above all where it con-

technologies. In March 2011, the Federal Government adopted a national strategy

for research, technology, and innovation,

ment is thus committed to the sustained

investment of significant resources in research, technological development, and innovation. By 2020, it is planned to increase research spending up to 3.76% of GDP, with

an emphasis on ensuring efficient utilisation of this funding. The central objective is

to become one of the ‘innovation leaders’

in Europe, a country with performance indicators well above the European average.

“The Path to Innovation Leader”. Here, the life sciences, considered one of the most important key technologies for driving

forward new developments and enabling

further economic progress for Austrian society, is set to play a major role.

Independently of the financial and eco-

nomic crisis, the Austrian Federal Govern19

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life science report austria 2011

Public Funding for the Austrian Life Science Industry

he most innovative ideas are of use

up. Costs related to the scientific imple-

bridged the gap from lab to market. Aus-

of a project can be funded. The maximum

regional funding schemes on offer. Focus-

support is € 200,000.

medical devices, austria wirtschaftservice

The setting-up of an innovative and in-

financial support with its promotional pro-

pany needs a lot of know-how, courage

ing”. The two programs aim at encouraging

aws supports the starting phase of young

into businesses and to raise the number of

lion, combined with tailored advice and


only, when they have successfully

mentation and the economic application

tria has a wide array of national as well as

amount of this non-refundable financial

ing on start-up ideas in biotechnology and

(aws), the Austrian funding bank, provides

ternationally competitive high-tech com-

grams „LISA PreSeed“ and “LISA Seedfinanc-

and capital. With “LISA Seedfinancing”

the implementation of scientific discoveries

high-tech companies with up to € 1 mil-

new business ventures in the life sciences.

support. Once the company is making

PreSeed LISA provides funding for the

refunded. Customary securities usually

phase before a life science company is set

profit or sold, financial support must be needed for bank loans are not necessary.

However, the company must be partly

and adequately funded through private capital. To overcome critical competence

gaps, aws supports young high-tech companies, which are already funded through

the Seed programme. With up to € 50,000 or a maximum of 50% of the costs, exter-

nal advice in the areas of finances, sales or technology can be funded.

aws financing is complemented by other

agencies. The Austrian Science Fund (FWF) is funding basic research, while the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG) is in charge of applied research funding. Also a wide range of regional funding tools is on offer.

Life Science Austria – LISA Life Science Austria (LISA) promotes the life science sector in Austria on the international stage and is the first point of call for enquiries relating to it. Austrian life science is renowned for its sustainable growth, taking a lively, creative and highly innovative approach

rooted in world class engineering and science. Organised through the regional life science clusters, LISA represents companies in the

therapeutic, medical technology and diagnostic sectors as well as providers of enabling technologies and related service companies located in the following regions: Lower Austria (ecoplus)

Styria (Human Technology Styria) Tyrol (Life Sciences Cluster Tirol)

Upper Austria (Health Technology Cluster)

Vienna (LISA Vienna Region)

LISA is committed to the development, growth and prosperity of the Austrian life science industries as a leading component of the Austrian economy. On the international front, LISA also works towards Austria itself being a country known worldwide for the excellence of its life science sector. For more information please visit:

Life Science Austria is run by austria wirtschaftsservice (aws) on behalf of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and

Youth (BMWFJ). As a funding bank, austria wirtschaftsservice is fulfilling the task of supporting Austria’s economy by the funding of companies and know-how transfer. The state-owned bank is particularly funding small and medium sized companies through

guarantees, favourable credits, equity and other financial support. The aim of aws is to promote the founding of new companies, the growth of existing ones, regional development and the implementation of innovation and new technologies.


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life science report vienna 2011


n December 2004, the OECD stand-

activity. Companies are defined as biotech-

In accordance with the OECD guidelines,

definitions of the term biotechnology. Since

biotechnological procedures for recently

extreme care was taken to include all en-


ardised the huge range of existing

then, all OECD countries have been called

upon to carry out surveys on biotechnology, following the so-called Framework for Biotechnology Statistics ( The

OECD recognises two different categories

of companies within the biotech industry:

dedicated biotechnology company and other biotechnologically active companies. The

first of these definitions, according to the OECD, applies to biotechnologically active

nologically active companies if they use developed or significantly improved prod-

ucts or production processes. The central company aims must not be solely in the

use of biotechnological procedures for the

production of products, the supply of services or in the execution of biotechnological research and development. Examples of

such companies are pharma firms, chemical companies or seed manufacturers.

enterprises, whose core company goals are

For the purposes of this survey, BIOCOM

dures in the manufacturing of products, the

based on the OECD definition as described

the application of biotechnological procesupply of services or in the execution of biotechnological research and development.

Unlike the dedicated biotech companies, the central aims of other biotechnological-

ly active companies do not exclusively lie in the application of biotechnological proce-

has compiled a questionnaire, which is above. Between February and May 2011, a

terprises which are resident in Austria and

which are active in biotechnology. Therefore, companies that are majority owned

from outside Austria but have a company

office with R&D activities in Austria were also considered. In surveying the employee

figures, number of companies and fields of

activity, the survey included only the Austri-

an locations of a company. If an enterprise

had more than one location in Austria, only cumulated figures and data for the company as a whole were considered. The reference date of the survey was 31.12.2010.

total of 214 companies were contacted and

requested to complete the survey. When

deciding on the company selection, the OECD definition was used alongside an

adjustment with the company database

at BIOCOM AG. 150 of the companies an-

dures. The OECD thereby also includes in

swered either by questionnaire or by tel-

ogy makes up only one part of the business

of 70%.

this category companies where biotechnol-

while selecting companies to participate,

ephone, corresponding to a response rate

Biotechnology â&#x20AC;Ś

â&#x20AC;Ś is defined as the application of science and technology to living organisms, as well as parts, products and models thereof, to alter living or non-living materials for the production of knowledge, goods and services. A dedicated biotechnology firm ...

... is defined as a biotechnology active firm whose predominant activity involves the application of biotechnology techniques

to produce goods or services and/or the performance of biotechnology R&D. An other biotechnologically active firm ...

... is defined as a biotechnologically active firm that applies biotechnology techniques for the purpose of implementing new or significantly improved products or processes (per the Oslo Manual (OECD, 1997) for the measurement of innovation). It

excludes end users which innovate simply by using biotechnology products as intermediate inputs (for instance, detergent

manufacturers which change their formulation to include enzymes produced by other firms via biotechnology techniques).

OECD Definitions 21

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life science report austria 2011

OECD Definitions


Development of therapeutics and/or diagnostics for the field of human medicine, drug delivery, human tissue replacement Animal health

As above, for veterinary application Agrobiotechnology

Genetically modified plants, animals or microorganisms, as well as non-genetically modified plants grown using biotechnological procedures, for use in agriculture or forestry Industrial biotechnology

Biotechnological products and processes for the handling of waste or sewage, for chemical synthesis, for the extraction of raw materials and energy etc.

Non-specific application

Equipment or reagents based on biotechnological principles, for research or provision of services in this field (“ancillary industry”)

Definition areas of activity

Biotechnology product

… is defined as a good or service, the development of which requires the use of one or more biotechnology techniques based

on the list and single definitions above. It includes knowledge products (technical know-how) generated from biotechnology R&D.

Biotechnology process

… is definded as a production or other (e.g. environmental) process using one or more biotechnology techniques or products. Biotechnology research and experimental development (r&d)

… are defined as R&D into biotechnology techniques, biotechnology products or biotechnology processes, in accordance with both the biotechnology definitions presented above and the Frascati Manual for the Measurement of R&D (OECD, 2002). Biotechnology employment

… is defined as the employment involved in the generation of biotechnology products as defined above. For ease of collection,

it is suggested that employment be measured in terms of staff numbers rather than hours worked. However, where countries

prefer, they can collect this information in terms of full-time equivalents, consistent with an R&D survey approach (as outlined in the Frascati Manual).

Further relevant terms 22

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Imprint Publisher: Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft mbH Ungargasse 37 1030 Vienna, Austria Editor: BIOCOM AG Stralsunder Str. 58–59 13355 Berlin, Germany Simone Ding Dr. Boris Mannhardt Sandra Wirsching Christoph Mayerl Dr. Philipp Graf Florian Dahnke Tom Finnis Benjamin Röbig

© Austria Wirtschaftsservice Gesellschaft mbH (aws) The Free use of all contents is expressly permitted under the condition that aws is credited. A PDF edition and images from this brochure are available at

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Biotechnology Sector Survey 2011: Facts and Figures