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.
argenx (Euronext & Nasdaq: ARGX), announced today the closing of its initial public offering in the United States (the "Offering") of 6,744,750 American Depositary Shares ("ADSs"), at a price to the public of $17.00 per ADS, for gross proceeds of approximately $114.7 million. This includes the full exercise of the underwriters' option to purchase additional ADSs. Each of the ADSs offered represents the right to receive one ordinary share.
ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR), a biotechnology company developing novel treatments for diabetic eye disease, announced today that it will give a presentation at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, Eye Complications Study Group (EASDec) Meeting, which is being held in Budapest, Hungary from May 25-27.
Diploid, a Leuven-based genomics startup, announces the release of Moon, the first software package that autonomously diagnoses rare diseases using artificial intelligence. Moon reduces the time for genome interpretation from hours or days to mere minutes, making it the world’s fastest software for rare disease diagnostics. Moon has been tested by the University of Antwerp (UZA) in Belgium and by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, USA.
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Scientists at NERF (VIB-KU Leuven-imec) have provided fundamental insights into the mechanism of smell localization. This marks an important step in unraveling the entire neural odor localization mechanism, which is highly valuable to the study of memory diseases such as Alzheimer’s. The team, led by Prof. Sebastian Haesler, used mice for the experiment, which are smell identification champions. Using a novel non-invasive technique based on infrared technology, they revealed that localizing odors is achieved by comparing information gathered from the left and right nostril. The study is published in the leading scientific journal Current Biology.
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