Spain showing big pharma potential as Barcelona named Europe’s No.2 hub for biotech investment

Spain is set to show the greatest pharma growth potential of any country by 2024, with Barcelona a identified as Europe’s second-best hub for biotech investment, according to the CPHI Annual Report.

As more and more international biotech startups and companies are setting their sights on Barcelona and its metropolitan area to develop their activity, the Catalan capital is becoming a biotech sector stronghold, as the world’s leading pharmaceutical fair, CPHI gears up for its 24-26 October residency at Fira de Barcelona’s Gran Via venue.

The new CPHI report also places Spain as the sixth country in the world and the third in Europe with the greatest ‘pharma growth potential’ by 2024.

CPHI’s annual report is based on a macro-survey of pharmaceutical company executives around the world and its results are widely seen as the key metrics for global pharma prospects in the year ahead.

The report highlights Barcelona as the second-best European location for biotech investment, behind only the greater London region and well ahead of the major Swiss hubs, Berlin, or Paris. In this ranking (the CPHI European Biotech Index), the most productive investment opportunities for biotech companies and start-ups are analysed.

In fact, global executives advised that Barcelona need only ‘build further manufacturing resources’ and/or offer some ‘potential inbound investment opportunities’ (tax breaks or investment programmes) to see a further sizable shift in prospects. Over half (53%) of executives surveyed envisage implementing these measures would make Catalonia a more attractive alternative to the UK and Switzerland as a home for the European HQ of US pharma companies.

Spain increases its pharma growth potential

The CPHI report also highlights Spain’s strong rise in the ranking of ‘growth potential’ for 2024 among the leading pharmaceutical economies. Spain, with a ranking of 6.6 has risen seven places in the latest ranking and to reach sixth place in the world behind India, the United States, China, Germany, and Switzerland. At the European level, Spain is in third place, surpassing the UK (6.3), Italy (6) and France (5.9)) and is practically at the same level as Switzerland (6.7).

Spain also stands out in the sector’s global competitiveness index, with an improvement of 12.1%, the highest of all the countries analysed.

“It’s very fitting that in a year, when our event will welcome over 40,000 executives to Barcelona, Spain has powered ahead in our eponymous pharma rankings – including taking second place in the European Biotech Index*. These rapid increases point to excellent growth prospects for Spain in 2024 and for Barcelona to continue its rise as a globally significant biotech and biosciences hub,” said Sherma Ellis-Daal, brand director at CPHI Barcelona.

Organised by Informa Markets, CPHI Barcelona will bring together in October more than 1,800 exhibitors and attendees from 171 countries, representing the entire pharmaceutical supply chain.

“One of the reasons we chose to bring CPHI to Barcelona again is the strength of the region, its world-class manufacturing and emerging biotechs. Crucially, this is further supported by our report findings, which has delivered a massive vote of confidence for the city and its pharma prospects in 2024. The event is a true melting pot of ideas, companies, and technologies. It’s what makes CPHI so special and at the heart of driving growth, not only in Catalonia or Spain this year, but in the pharma industry globally,” added Ellis-Daal.


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