Can Catalonia Keep its Record Biomedical Investment After the Bank Drain?

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A new study reveals Catalonia achieved a record investment in biomedicine last year. But can the region keep it up after its main banks moved out last week?

CataloniaBio has released an annual report on the performance of the biomedical sector in Catalonia. The results reveal that the sector raised a record €153M in 2016, an amount that doubles that of the previous year. The report also highlights that 82% of the capital of Spanish biomedical companies are in the hands of Catalan investors, with a growing interest on biotech. Such a massive number has likely been achieved with the help of Ysios Capital, a Barcelona-based VC specialized in biotech.

The report, however, does not mention how the recent independence crisis could affect the biomedical sector in Catalonia. Fearing instability in the region, two of the biggest banks in Spain, CaixaBank and Sabadell, announced they were moving their headquarters to other locations in the country last week.

Interestingly, the biotech Oryzon Genomics was the first company in the region to announce a change of headquarters, which resulted in its shares surging by 33%. Many other companies of all sectors have followed, including Agbar — the company behind the construction of the iconic Agbar tower.

The report of CataloniaBio cites Caixa Capital Risc, the venture capital arm of CaixaBank, as one of the main contributors to biomedical investment in the region. A situation that might change according to how the independence crisis is resolved.

Image via Ekaterina Pokrovsky /Shutterstock

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