Express Pharma

India is a key focus country under renewed global strategy

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Sandra de Wild Charonnens, Strategic Advisor, Life-Science & Health, NFIA, informs
why the Netherlands is an attractive destination for India’s life sciences companies
with its attractive business climate and wide-ranging scope for innovation, in an
exclusive interaction with Sanjiv Das

What type of opportunities is Netherlands offering to pharma companies, making it an attractive market?
The Netherlands is Europe’s densest and most innovative life sciences and health community. The country’s central geographic position, combined with its accessibility and excellent infrastructure, makes it the location of choice to 2,900 life science and medical technology companies and research organisations, employing over 34,000 people, University Medical Centre’s and research organisations.

Together with leading multinationals such as Janssen, MSD, Boston Scientific, Abbott, Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Medtronic, Pfizer, Novartis — the Netherlands boasts one of the most concentrated life sciences regions in the world within a 200 km radius. Their operations include R&D, production to logistics and marketing. Some have established their European Headquarters in the Netherlands or have invested in Dutch SMEs.

Dutch companies hold strong positions in the fields of molecular imaging, medical informatics, biopharma, human and veterinary vaccines, regenerative medicine and biomaterials, medical technology, and health infrastructure.

The Netherlands provides an attractive business climate with wide-ranging scope for innovation. It is known for its competitive and stable tax regime, attractive R&D incentives, excellent research facilities and top-rated educational institutions that result in a well-educated and multilingual workforce with a high level of productivity.

How many of these pharma and healthcare companies are based out of India?
Currently, there are over 18 leading Indian pharma giants that have their presence in the Netherlands to name a few Aurobindo Pharma, Serum Institute, Dishman Pharmaceuticals, Sun Pharma, GVK Biosciences, Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Intas Pharmaceuticals etc.

Recently, European Medicines Agency (EMA) moved their base from the UK to Amsterdam. Will this help the Netherlands to strongly position itself as a pharma hub in the EU region? How will the market benefit from this move?
The EMA, a decentralised agency of the European Union (EU), ensures the safety, effectiveness and quality standards of all medicines available on the EU market. The EMA assesses, supervises and monitors the scientific development of medicines in the EU and protects human and animal health in 28 EU Member States and the countries of the European Economic Area. In other words, it monitors a market that serves more than 500 million EU residents. The EMA’s relocation from London to Amsterdam is a direct consequence of Brexit. The move will enhance the already dynamic Dutch pharma sector. Not only does it put the Netherlands in the spotlight, but it also offers huge opportunities to attract new biopharma companies and service providers to the Netherlands. The Dutch government expects that the arrival of the EMA in Amsterdam will create thousands of new jobs in the pharma industry and the service sector. Moreover, specialised lawyers, patent experts and consultants will also relocate to Amsterdam in order to be close to the EMA.

These are interesting times in the Indo-Dutch bi-lateral trade relations, the relocation of European Medical Agency from UK to Amsterdam post Brexit enhances NL’s prospect as an export gateway to Europe for Indian LSH companies.

In the coming years, what business activities are you expecting from the Indian market?
Currently, the Dutch life-science healthcare sector has identified India as one of the few countries of key focus under its renewed global strategy. Life Science and Health (LSH) is one of the top nine priority sectors designated by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs for its ability to address global social problems.

In 2018, NFIA saw an investment of approximately 250 million euros from Indian companies in the LSH sector, in NL, thereby offering 700 job opportunities. The emerging synergies in digital, e-health and research collaboration will enhance the knowledge ecosystem in NL and create new jobs in both countries. The Netherlands is a global leader in patents in LSH and ranks 2nd in patent application for biotech in the world.

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