BONE THERAPEUTICS (Euronext Brussels and Paris: BOTHE), the bone cell therapy company addressing high unmet medical needs in orthopaedics and bone diseases, held an event at its headquarters on January 28 to highlight the growing contribution made by cell therapy to the Belgian biotechnology sector and to provide a broader update on the current sector environment.
Over the past decade, the biopharmaceutical industry in Belgian has significantly increased its contribution to the Belgian economy, employing a total of 28,294 people (1), ranking Belgium in the top 10 most innovative countries in the pharmaceutical sector and second in the top 10 European pharmaceutical exporters (2).
One sector of the biopharmaceutical industry stands out in particular: cell and gene therapy. Belgium now boasts several pioneers in cell and gene therapy, including Bone Therapeutics, Celyad, eTherRNA, Novadip, Promethera, TiGenix and other supporting companies such as Delphi Genetics, MaSTherCell and Ncardia.
With 80 clinical trials in cell or gene therapy products taking place between 2012 and 2018 and over 90 patent applications filed in the last ten years, Belgium has become a key hub for clinical development in cell and gene therapy.
“In few years’ time, cell therapy has become a key focal point for Belgian biopharmaceutical industry. Belgium has a leading position in this field and is recognised worldwide for its excellence.
I am very proud of Bone Therapeutics' contribution to this growth, which will result in the launch of two new advanced clinical trials in 2019,” said Thomas Lienard, Chief Executive Officer of Bone Therapeutics.
Financial support from the Walloon Region and SRIW
This thriving biotech ecosystem has benefited significantly from the support of the Walloon Region, an important source of funding for the sector. Over the past three years, the Walloon Region has provided Bone Therapeutics with non-dilutive financial support of around €7.60 million in the form of recoverable advances to finance important research and development programmes. The Walloon Region's total cumulative aid for research since the creation of Bone Therapeutics in 2006 amounts to €27.2 million.
The Société Régionale d'Investissement de Wallonie (SRIW), including Sofipole, one of its subsidiaries, has invested a cumulative amount of €8.8 million in Bone Therapeutics. Added to the other equity investments made by the SRIW group into other cell therapy companies (Promethera, Celyad, Ncardia and Novadip), the total amount invested amounts to €31.9 million.