Innovation is at the core of the life sciences sector and Belgium has a track record of developing ingenious ways to improve the quality of life of millions of people worldwide.
Not only extensive life sciences facilities support this high-level technology industry but also financial benefits for R&D companies, international collaborations that guarantee regular cash flow, world known educational systems, a promising product pipeline, and Belgium’s unique central location in Europe.
Belgium concentrates on a small territory (30,528 km2) more than 300 life sciences companies with biotech activities. In total, the life sciences sector employs more than 30,000 people (low bound estimation that does not take into account indirect employment generated by the sector). The majority of the companies is related to healthcare, but Belgium also has a strong representation of agricultural and industrial biotech companies.
The growing life sciences sector gathers 8 main Belgian universities, 19 research parks and 23 incubators, research institutes, academic hospitals, and clinical research organizations. Biotech companies have access to more than 500,000 square feet of highly flexible infrastructure.
Additional assets of Belgium includes: a supportive regulatory and political environment, a highly qualified and productive workforce, a competitive tax environment especially for research companies, a prominent location and an excellent logistical and business infrastructure.
Ablynx [Euronext Brussels: ABLX; OTC: ABYLY] today announced that it has completed the preparation of a pre-clinical package for a novel Nanobody® (ALX-1141) in osteoarthritis. As part of the ongoing collaboration between Ablynx and Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany) on this programme, Merck has accepted the pre-clinical package and this has triggered a €15 million milestone payment to Ablynx. Merck is now responsible for further clinical development of the molecule.
Tau proteins are involved in more than twenty neurodegenerative diseases, including various forms of dementia. These proteins clump together in patients’ brains to form neuronal tangles: protein aggregation that eventually coincides with the death of brain cells. Prof. Patrik Verstreken’s research team (VIB-KU Leuven) has now discovered how tau disrupts the functioning of nerve cells, even before it starts forming tangles. They immediately suggest a way to intervene in this process.
argenx (Euronext & Nasdaq: ARGX) announced today that the underwriters of its initial public offering in the United States (the "Offering") have exercised their overallotment option to purchase 879,750 additional American Depositary Shares ("ADSs") in full. This option exercise brings the anticipated total gross proceeds from the Offering to approximately $114.7 million from the sale of an aggregate of 6,744,750 ADSs. Each of the ADSs offered represents the right to receive one ordinary share.
Mithra (Euronext Brussels: MITRA), a company dedicated to Women’s Health, today announced a non-exclusive, 10-year license and supply agreement with Gynial GmbH, for the commercialization of MyringTM, Mithra’s combined hormonal contraceptive vaginal ring made of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers (EVA), in Austria. Gynial, an expert in Women’s Health, is the market leader in contraceptives in Austria. Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
Celyad (Euronext Brussels and Paris, and NASDAQ:CYAD), a leader in the discovery and development of cell therapies, today provided an update on key clinical and operational developments for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017.
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