11 Hot Companies to Meet this Year at BioSpain

biospain 2016 bilbao biotech

Spain has a lot of great stuff – paella, tapas, siesta! But how is Spanish biotech doing? With BioSpain 2016 approaching, we took a look at some of the most important biotechs operating in Spain and attending the event.


Bonus: here is a promotional code to have a discount of 10% on your ticket BIO2016


As one of the largest biotech events in Europe, a lot of eyes will be set on Bilbao from the 28th to the 30th of September, where the 8th edition of BioSpain will take place.

Biospain is co-organized by ASEBIO (the Spanish Bioindustry Association) and by a local institution from the host city/region. This year it is the Basque Government through the SPRI, the Basque Business Development Agency. Today, Biospain is one of the largest partnering events for biotechnology in the world, with 3327 one-to-one meetings.

The program includes trendy topics like immunotherapy, cell therapy, drug-resistant infections and identification of biomarkers. The list of speakers also includes Francisco Mojica, the first researcher to characterize CRISPR (and come up with this catchy name).

Below are some of the most important biotechs in Spain you definitely should meet at BioSpain 2016!


Set up in 1975, Bioibérica is a private biotech that started out by producing heparin – the most widely used anticoagulant and antithrombotic drug.

Now, it has over 100 products spanning human, animal and plant health, with a strong focus in glycosaminoglycans. Its main manufacturing site is located in Palafolls, near Barcelona.



PharmaMar is based in Madrid and did its IPO on the BME Spanish stock exchange in November, now having a market cap of €473M. It also struck deals with Taiho (Japan) and Janssen (US).

This oncology-focused company has an interesting strategy for drug discovery. It tests the effect of chemical compounds from marine organisms on tumor cells. This approach already yielded one approved candidate, and PharmaMar was present at ASCO 2016 to show one of its early-stage candidates.



US multinational Celgene has chosen Seville as the location for its first R&D center overseas. The Celgene Institute for Translational Research Europe (CITRE) was founded in 2010 with a $5M investment in scientific equipment and now has 25 employees.

It focuses on developing new scientific insight in the fields of cancer and other rare diseases into novel treatments, and it has teams specializing in diseased tissue research, computational biology and clinical trials.


Located in Fuente Alamo Technology Park in Murcia (along the Mediterranean coast), Bionet Engineering provides a full range of advanced bioprocess equipment and services. Its objective is to reduce ‘time-to-market’.

The company also has a pilot plant for the development of upstream and downstream processes, the production of validation and commercial batches, with industrial capacity of up to 3000 L.


Based in Barcelona, Oryzon is a clinical-stage biopharma and a European leader in epigenetics-based therapeutics. It has raised over $54.5M from private investors.

It has two candidates in clinical trials, including a Phase I/IIa trial in oncology and a Phase I for Alzheimer’s. Oryzon has additional programs in other cancer indications and is developing its candidates through Phase II.


3P Biopharmaceuticals was founded in 2006 near Pamplona. It’s a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) and has raised over €3.5M from private investors.

It develops GMP processes for cell therapies and biologics, both with microbial fermentation and mammalian cell expression. It can handle manufacturing of both new biological entities (fusion proteins, vaccines, monoclonal antibodies…) and biosimilars.


Biopolis was founded in 2003 in Valencia, as a spin-out of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC). It has partnerships with three big companies in Spain (CAPSATalde venture capital, and Naturex España).

It provides research, development and production services for the agri-food, pharmaceutical, chemical and energy industries. It has a fermentation capacity of over 9000 L. It also licenses its probiotic, which was isolated in-house.


mAbxience is based in Spain. It specializes in the development and manufacturing of biosimilars (one of the most important trends in biotech). It was founded in 2009 is a subsidiary of Madrid-based Chemo Group.

It is currently in clinical development with an Avastin-biosimilar, used in colorectal cancer. Its R&D in monoclonal antibodies is carried in León, where it has laboratories and a GMP pilot plant. An industrial plant is in the plans…


Cross Road Biotech is an early-stage investor specializing in Spanish biotech. Founded in 2004, it now manages funds with over €50M and has 14 biotechs in its portfolio.

CRB invests in new therapies and diagnostics in areas like cancer, Alzheimer’s, liver disease and HIV. It has previously invested in companies like OWL (which is studying biomarkers for NASH and liver diseases) and Oncovision (working in technology for early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s).


Though Sartorius is a multinational company, it is also present in Spain, with offices in Madrid. Sartorius is one of the world’s leading providers of laboratory and process technologies in key production steps such as fermentation, filtration and purification.


Although Merck‘s headquarters are in Germany, the giant pharmaceutical and chemical company is very well implanted in Spain thanks to three production sites. Merck is at the forefront both in investment in as well as the development of new processes. One of its factories, in Tres Cantos (Madrid), produces growth hormones which are shipped across the world.


Now that you know these hot biotechs are attending BioSpain, you just have to book your trip to Bilbao if you want to meet them!

Bonus: here is a promotional code to have a discount of 10% on your ticket BIO2016


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