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Dutch Biopharma: Collaboration is in Our Genes 

The Netherlands has an excellent reputation in the areas of immuno-oncology, neurology, infectious diseases, aging, regenerative medicine and stem cells. With a very well-documented population, the Netherlands offers high-quality infrastructure for pharmaceutical data and analysis. The regulatory process also offers a very clear cut and trustworthy path towards regulatory decisions.

On 20 November 2017, the General Affairs Council of the European Union decided that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will relocate from London to Amsterdam in 2019. The Netherlands Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) is a major contributor of expertise to the European network of pharmaceutical authorities coordinated by EMA. The Netherlands being the new home for EMA, will strengthen the Dutch ecosystem for all human and veterinary medicines. It will also boost the Netherlands’ attractiveness to other companies and institutions in life sciences and health.

Major multinationals and innovative pharmaceutical companies like Janssen, Merck (MSD), Amgen, Sanofi, Genmab, Synthon, AstraZeneca, Kite Pharma, Aduro Biotech, Galapagos, AbbVie, Kiadis, Pharming, Merus and PRA Health Sciences, as well as state-of-the-art research institutes, make the Netherlands one of the most innovative countries in the world for BioPharmaceuticals.

The Netherlands: the Most Innovative Biopharmaceutical Community in Europe

Investment in Holland’s Biopharmaceutical Industry

The Dutch life sciences sector is on the rise: in the last ten years the sector investments have doubled in size and as a result the business climate of the Netherlands is a magnet for international life sciences companies and top talent.

Biopharmaceutical companies in the Netherlands today have a wide range of options for growth at every stage of their development. This means that the sector can flourish to its full potential. As a result, promising biopharmaceutical companies no longer have to wait unncessarily long for capital.

Source: Dutch Association for Participation Companies

Dutch biopharma is on the rise

In the past years, several Dutch biopharmaceutical companies have attracted investments from larger pharmaceutical firms. In some cases this resulted in the acquisition of a Dutch company. For example, Biogeneration made one of the largest private sales worldwide by acquiring Acerta Pharma for up to $7 billion and Dezima Pharma for up to $1.5 billion. Furthermore, several companies have had a successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) on Wall Street. For instance, one of the largest Dutch IPOs on Nasdaq was Galapagos. The following infographic shows the largest IPO’s and mergers/acquisitions.


Growth of biopharma in the Netherlands

Moreover, six Dutch venture capital investors – Aglaia, BioGeneration, Forbion, Gilde, Inkef and LSP – raised more than € 1 billion in 2018 to finance life sciences and health companies. That is above the previous record of € 1 billion in 2016. Life sciences funds in particular proved successful in their fundraising in the Netherlands. For example, LSP raised € 430 million for their 6th fund and Forbion more than € 360 million for their 4th fund.

The Dutch biopharmaceutical industry continues to grow. Below is an overview of the investments in 2019.


The success of investment in the Dutch life sciences sector has proven to inspire companies in the Netherlands: it has a positive effect on financiers, talent and on many suppliers of biotech companies. This improves the growth and development of the life sciences sector in the Netherlands and promises more growth in the future.

A powerful team, ready to help

The Invest in Holland network is a collaborative team of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA), regional economic development agencies and several large cities. The network works to provide a continuum of free, confidential support services to new foreign investors, as well as existing foreign investors that already have operations in the Netherlands.

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