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The Austrian Biotechnology and Pharma Sector 2018

With 917 companies active in biotechnology, pharma or the medical devices business, life sciences are an important and constantly growing part of the Austrian economy. Eleven percent more businesses were located in Austria in 2017 compared to 2014. In 2017, these companies were respon-sible for a turnover of 22.4 billion euros. From 2014, revenues increased quite substantially by 17.2%. The life science companies also employ a large chunk of the Austrian workforce. In 2017, more than 55,000 people earned a living working for an Austrian life science company, which means an increase of 7.4% compared to 2014.

Biotech/Pharma – an economic factor

The Austrian biotechnology and pharma industry continues to grow steadily. In the last three years, the number of companies in the biotechnology and pharma sector has grown to 363. The dynamic rate of growth confirms the significance of biotechnology and pharma in Austria. With revenues exceeding 14 billion euros, the sector continues to be a significant economic factor and a driver for innovation in the healthcare field.

The 363 biotechnology and pharma companies generated a total turnover of 13.97 billion euros in 2017, an increase of 20% compared to 2014. With revenues of 9.34 billion euros, the research, development and manufacturing companies contributed about twice as much as the supply, service and sales companies (4.63 billion euros).

In 2017, the majority of staff employed by the biotechnology and pharma companies worked in the research, development or manufacturing companies: 23,080 of the 28,850 people earned their living in this field. Supply, service and sales companies had 5,770 employees. These figures illustrate the dynamic that exists in the Austrian biotechnology and pharma sector.


Biotech Strengths

The biotechnology sector in Austria continues to thrive. The crucial aspect of financing has recorded quite a substantial increase: biotech companies could raise more than triple the capital from previous years (Eur 289.5 Mio). In 2017, there were 127 Austrian companies occupied wholly, or for the most part, with biotechnology.

Globally, health care represents the most important area of biotechnology applications, and this also holds true for Austria. In 2017, 85 of the 127 dedicat-ed biotech companies (66.9%) in the country operated in this field, focussing on a wide range of different indications.

Pharma Strengths

From diagnostics to medicines: Pharma companies discover, develop and produce drugs – both chemically synthesized molecules and natural compounds derived from plants or animals for human or veterinary use. In 2017, a total of 35 companies were active in the pharma sector in Austria – an increase of 9.4% compared to 2014 (32 companies). Most of them are small. There are eleven companies with less than ten staff, and another eleven firms with up to 50 employees (31.4% each). In total, the 35 pharma companies provided jobs for 3,600 employ-ees, a plus of 16% compared to 2014 (3,100 employees). In 2017, they generated a turnover of 1.43 billion euros, which represents a substan-tial increase of 30% compared to 2014Investments into the sector

In terms of financing, 2017 was an exceptionally good year for Austrian dedicated biotechnology companies. They managed to secure a total of 289.5 million euros. This is more than three times the amount raised in 2014 (86.8 million euros). Financings through venture capital and private equity, in particular, went through the roof: Austrian biotechs were able to raise 137.4 million euros this way. The tremendous interest from VC investors more than tripled the amount of money raised. In 2014, they supplied 41.6 million euros. Another big chunk of capital came from the stock markets. Fifty-one million euros came from a single 2017 IPO while investment in public equity brought

Find more facts and figures in the Life Science Report Austria 2018.