Access to Finance in the Biotech Sector

Commercialisation of first-class research and the development of the European Biotech Healthcare sector are problematic especially in terms of unmet financial needs and poor cooperation between sector actors.

The lack of early-stage risk capital severely hampers the formation of innovative start-up companies: Europe’s start-ups need new forms of early-stage co-financing. Lack of short term exit strategies to enable an acceptable return on investment from biotech projects also affects the ability of mature companies to seek additional investment. Experience and key performance indicators suggest that European biotech is not sufficiently collaboration-minded. Efficient and dynamic regional and EU-wide networking between actors is imperative if this situation is to improve.

AFIBIO aims to address these issues and enhance access to finance through the formation of a network of professionals (from research to finance) to share knowledge and best practice in order to provide models, toolkits and recommendations.

The overarching goal of the AFIBIO project is to:

Network experienced partners with strengths in obtaining finance, to establish a laboratory to cultivate innovative ideas relating to innovation financing in the healthcare-dedicated Biotech sector, from the point of view of both investors and biotech companies.

Six main objectives have been identified:

  • To identify the defining characteristics of the biotech market in terms of obstacles and needs concerning access to finance.
  • To mobilise the biotech community, bio-industry associations and biotech investors, and to inform investors with no experience of biotech investment about the sector’s specific requirements through knowledge transfer and best practice.
  • To map the funding sources available to biotechnology at EU level, rating them by relevance to the different development stages and business models. To address the aspects identified by developing and validating practical and innovative tools.
  • To establish policy recommendations for European, national and regional public authorities including overcoming the problems related to financing biotech companies at critical stages of development.
  • To elaborate an agreed framework for an operational pre-seed capital scheme using a sustainable network of EU experts.

Project website: AFIBO