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How the Dutch are Pioneering BioPharma Innovation

From top research institutes to collaborative R&D, Holland’s biopharmaceutical ecosystem is a global powerhouse

The Netherlands has an excellent reputation in medicine. With the Dutch at the forefront of biopharmaceutical research and technology, many multinationals are choosing to invest in Holland. Part of the country’s collaborative life sciences industry, the Netherlands’ biopharma sector is a driving force for innovation from new vaccines to synthetic embryos. Read on to learn more about what’s driving the Dutch biopharma ecosystem.

Highly-Concentrated BioPharma Industry

Source: Martin Lopez

Holland is home to more than 2,900 medical and biotech companies employing over 34,000 people. It is one of the world’s most concentrated life sciences regions. Multinationals like Janssen, Aduro Biotech, Amgen, Genmab, Merck (MSD), AstraZeneca, Galapagos and Kite Pharma, comprise the Netherlands’ innovative biopharma sector.

Amgen, for example, has grown its Breda biotech center to a campus of more than 500 workers since opening in 1997. In addition, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, worked in close collaboration with the Dutch bio-engineering and pharmaceutical company Bilthoven Biologicals for nearly four decades. As a result of the partnership, Serum Institute acquired Bilthoven Biologicals and boosted bilateral relations.

Furthermore, California-based Kite Pharma, a Gilead company, recently announced plans to advance cancer cell therapy production and research in Hoofddorp. Massachusetts-based Charles River Laboratories will expand pharmacokinetic capabilities in ‘s-Hertogenbosch.

New Medical Solutions

Source: Public Domain Pictures

The Dutch are pioneering new medical solutions thanks to the Netherlands’ world-class health and research institutes. Public-private partnerships between science, industry, patient organizations and government are also a key component of Holland’s biopharma leadership. There are currently 50 public-private partnerships working towards the latest innovations in oncology (Oncode), regenerative medicine (Regmed XB) and more.

Cutting edge work surrounding Alzheimers Disease, vaccine production, epilepsy, Cystic Fibrosis, are some of the many biopharma projects underway in the Netherlands.

Thanks to the Netherlands’ supportive R&D framework, the country ranks No. 1 worldwide in medical technology patent applications. In fact, Holland has invested millions into life sciences and health research and development.

Clear Path to Regulation

The Netherlands offers a straightforward and trustworthy process towards regulation with some of the top European regulatory agents. The Netherlands Medicines Evaluation Board (MEB) serves as a profound voice of expertise and is a top European regulator for central and pharmacovigilance procedures. The Dutch biopharma ecosystem will also be strengthened when the European Medicines Agency (EMA) relocates to Amsterdam in 2019.

To this point, Health~Holland notes, “a proactive internationalisation policy leads to sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation, an economically attractive sector and improvements in Dutch healthcare.”

Logistics Built for Life Sciences

Source: Gerhard van Roon/Kunst en Vliegwerk RP

Holland’s positive business climate and strategic location offer pharmaceutical companies a springboard to the European market. The Netherlands’ advanced logistics infrastructure enables the country to export a total of $6.7 billion life sciences and health goods. Additionally, Holland’s highly-educated, multilingual workforce makes it an ideal biopharma gateway to Europe.

The Invest in Holland LSH team will attend the 2018 BIO International Convention, the world’s largest gathering of the biotechnology industry, on June 4-7 in Boston, Mass. For more information on our LSH team at BIO International, please visit our Event Page.

1 June 2018

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