ASEBIO: Entrepreneurial Support for Spanish Biotech




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Video title: ASEBIO: Entrepreneurial Support for Spanish Biotech
Released on: May 04, 2010. © PharmaVentures Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks with Isabel Garcia at ASEBIO. Filmed at Bio-Europe Spring 2010 in Barcelona, Spain.
Asebio 's origins and role as the national platform to promote biotechnology in spain.
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here in Barcelona at BioEurope. On this show I've got Isabel Garcia , who is General Secretary of ASEBIO based in Madrid welcome to the show.
Isabel Garcia:
Thank you very much.
Fintan Walton:
Isabel Garcia , ASEBIO is a national organization whose purpose is to support the biotech industry here in Spain, so tell me a bit about the origins of Asebio and how it's developed and what is it's true role now?
Isabel Garcia:
Well Asebio is the national platform to promote the biotechnology in Spain. Since 1999 we have Asebio has 10 years old and their principle objectives is to the promotion of biotech sector before regional and national and international governments. We are committed to support all our members to develop their activities in biotechnology in the Spain and at international level.
Fintan Walton:
Right. And I was looking at the Board of Directors you've got lots of very prominent companies represented on the board of the organization?
Isabel Garcia:
Yes, of course.
Fintan Walton:
So the story of building a biotech industry here in Spain it's you are relatively newcomers I mean US has been doing for 30-years this is only 10-years old and we are seeing more biotech companies emerging inside Spain, so is your role to support new companies or to try and attract overseas companies into Spain?
Isabel Garcia:
Well our priority is to support our members their companies the biotech companies completely dedicated or related to biotech sector in the Spain and outside. Of course we are interested in attract more industry to Spain but anyway I think there are another organizations with this objective and I think the best we have to we can do is collaborate between other organizations and Asebio .
How Asebio coordinates with regional associations like BioCat?
Fintan Walton:
Okay. So for example we are based here at Barcelona which is Catalonia and there is BioCat which is a local association, would you coordinate with them?
Isabel Garcia:
Yes, of course in fact BioCat is member of Asebio and we usually collaborate with other regional associations, foundations or scientific technical or scientific parks or national centres also.I think it's very important to be coordinated to support the Spanish sector.
Spain's expertise in biotech sector.
Fintan Walton:
With all the companies that are operating here in Spain there are obviously some strengths they have in particular areas, how would you describe Spain's expertise from the therapeutic perspective?
Isabel Garcia:
Well we have a multi disciplinary sector as is the biotech sector in Biofuels or (indiscernable) and the most area representative in Spain is Red biotech or sanatorium biotech in its two sides diagnostics and development of bio products and in this area we could see that oncology represents more than 50% of the programs and also the companies are researching in other issues like inflammatory, infectious diseases, orphan drugs, neurodegeneratives diseases.
How does Asebio promote entrepreneurial culture and venture capital support.
Fintan Walton:
So you support your members that's very important obviously, for your members to grow they need strong financing obviously there is government grants that are available as we know for biotech companies but there is also a need for venture capital to come into Spain so what can you do, what can your organization do to try and encourage more entrepreneurial culture and one where which is supported by venture capital?
Isabel Garcia:
The companies needs public funds and private funds and we usually organize several meetings with venture capital firms and biotech private companies, for example we are organizing an international investment forum in BioSpain, BioSpain is the fifth meeting international meeting that will that the wills are rated in Pamplona this year from the last day of September to the first day of October.
Importance of BioEurope conference to local biotech and pharmaceutical companies.
Fintan Walton:
Right. So we are at a meeting here we are at the BioEurope conference which is based here in Barcelona we are here in March the early part of March how important is the conference like this to the local biotech and pharmaceutical companies in Spain?
Isabel Garcia:
Well I think this kind of events are very important to our companies because the network and the contacts you can make in this kind of partnering are very important to the potential collaborations, partnerships and alliances. I think this phenomenon alliances and partnerships are very common in the Spanish biotech sector as in the international sector.
EuropaBio and participations at the European level.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so for an organization like yours it's important that you as you say you need to collaborate with the local associations like BioCat you've just mentioned but equally it's important for you to work at a higher European level?
Isabel Garcia:
Yes, of course.
Fintan Walton:
And I believe you are also members of EuropaBio, so what can you do, what can an organization like yours how can that influence decision making that's going on in the EU?
Isabel Garcia:
Well I think it's very important to be a member of organizations like EuropaBio. I think is the point of meeting of different countries towards or through different associations. So you can keep in contact with another national associations from countries of all of the Europe and we participate in several working groups because as you know the biotechnology is a versatile sector, so we are participating in different issues regarding agriculture, environment, renewable energies of course orphan drugs for example, so we are committed to the different (indiscernable) of EuropaBio and we also I think it is very important to have a voice from a Spain from several other different countries and to meet there in EuropaBio of course.
Asebio 's objectives for the next five years.
Fintan Walton:
Now from your own perspective you are running an organization how do you measure your success? You know it's important that you look after your members but how would you like to look like say in five years time what would you like to achieve for your organization?
Isabel Garcia:
We would like to achieve many many actions on one hand I would like to, I would like the biotech the Spanish biotech sector I think will be more attractive for the private funds to venture capital there at the same time venture capital will be more flexible with biotech sector and will be. I think I am sure will be more interested in the biotech sector in Spain. Of course I think the Spanish sector will be with them will have more presence in the several countries of course and the regulatory environment will be better.
Fintan Walton:
Okay. Well Isabel Garcia , thank you very much for coming on the show and telling us all about Asebio . Thank you very much.
Isabel Garcia:
Thank you very much.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Isabel Garcia
General Secretary
Isabel Garcia is the General Secretary at ASEBIO, SPANISH BIOINDUSTRY ASSOCIATION.Her previous experiences include Consultant at Vitalia Consulting and Technical Consultant at Consultor"a de T"cnicas Ambientales, S.L. Isabel Garcia has done her Master in Biotechnology Management, Biotech Industry from Universidad de Sevilla.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
Asebio
ASEBIO acts since 1999 as a platform to meet and promote those organizations interested in developing the national biotechnology scene. To do this, working closely with regional, national and European as well as all the social organizations interested in using biotechnology to improve the quality of life, the environment and the generation of skilled employment. The broad base of partners, ASEBIO makes the best scenario to meet the challenge of developing the biotechnology sector and exploit the opportunities presented by biotechnology innovation as a vehicle for social and economic growth in Spain. ASEBIO owned and has the support of EuropaBio, the European Federation of Biotechnology Industry and is integrated into the CEOE (Spanish Confederation of Business Organizations).