Private investment in Spanish biotech firms up nearly 50% in 2020

This year saw over €150 million in private capital invested, compared to €103 million in 2019. Publicly traded biotech firms attracted over €70 million on capital markets, up 35% from 2019

inversión privada biotech

The pandemic has been an opportunity for Spanish biotechnology and with it came a notable jump in private investment in 2020, as the Spanish Bioindustry Association (AseBio) announced this Wednesday. The volume of private capital raised has been growing since 2016, but even with the healthcare emergency, 2020 stood out with 46% growth over 2019 and a total of €151,634,021. 

Furthermore, the sector saw 10 more operations than the previous year, with an average value of €3.6 million. “Biotechnology is in the spotlight for many investors since the outbreak of Covid-19 and these figures prove it. Our sector is working on solutions to some of the challenges society is facing and investors are seeing that biotechnology companies can create value,” highlights AseBio CEO Ion Arocena. 

Figures are also up for the funding raised through capital markets. Throughout 2020, there were four capital increases by issuing new shares, carried out by three publicly traded biotechnology companies, Reig Jofré, Oryzon and Atrys Health, raising over €70 million, up 35% from 2019. 

The growth in private investment in biotechnology companies has run parallel to the launch of the co-investment initiative under the CDTI Innvierte program, which accompanies professional private investors in their investment in Spanish biotech firms. In the two years since it was launched, this instrument has invested in 19 biotechnology companies with a total of €23 million paid out and a commitment to invest over €35 million. “Innvierte has played a key role in dynamizing investment in the sector, with a significant pull effect on private investment, which is why we believe this instrument should be strengthened under the Recovery Plan,” adds Arocena.

International investment also increases

The figures also show the importance and interest of international funds in our national industry over this year of the pandemic, during which most of the economy ground to a halt. According to data compiled for the 2020 AseBio Report, the volume of operations with international participants and the number of companies international investors have invested in are up again for this year. 

A total of nine companies have attracted funding from investors in Switzerland, France, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, China and Andorra, with three times more than in 2019. Four companies have received at least €10 million, with Ona Therapeutics leading the pack at €30 million. The sum of all these investments, along with participation from Spanish funds, is nearly €100 million, while it wasn’t more than €75 million in 2019. “Spanish biotechnology is more and more attractive for foreign investors. A few months ago, at AseBio Investor Day, we had 33 international investors, a figure we hope to consolidate at Biospain 20201, the benchmark event in our sector, held in Pamplona from September 27 to October 1,” concluded the CEO of the association.