Belgian biotech firms among European market leaders
Belgium has climbed to second place in the European biotech industry, after Denmark, according to data released by KBC Securities on Wednesday. At the end of March 2023, Belgian companies in the sector had capitalised a total of 40.1 billion euros, the financial firm reported.
Despite last year's global market downturn, Belgium's life sciences ecosystem remained resilient thanks to the "solid performance" of Ghent biotech company argenx and private biotech companies backed by venture capital. The market value of argenx has risen by almost 25 per cent in less than a year.
However, the situation for small biotech companies capitalised at less than 1 billion euros is more precarious. With a total market value of 1.6 billion euros, Belgium has fallen from fourth to seventh place in the European ranking. Economic and geopolitical uncertainties have put stock market valuations under pressure, affecting IPOs and follow-on offerings, KBC Securities says.
It has nevertheless observed an increase in mergers and acquisitions on the market, which it expects to stimulate investor appetite for the life sciences sector. International venture capitalists and pharmaceutical companies remain very interested in the life sciences sector in Belgium, as shown by recent financing deals.
The biotech ecosystem is experiencing an unprecedented wave of innovation, driven by artificial intelligence, which is increasingly being integrated into the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries, as well as recent advances with regard to Alzheimer's disease.
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