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Brazil's biotech firms: From imitators to innovators in health-related products
Date:6/6/2008

Brazil is in the midst of a transition from imitator to innovator in health-related products, according to the most comprehensive analysis to date of barriers and opportunities facing that country's health biotech industry.

In the third study of its kind, the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health (MRC), says South America's largest and most populous country has the scientific and market capacity to emerge as a major global player. It is held back, however, by a number of important challenges including regulatory barriers, limited access to private equity and a general lack of coordination and collaboration among stakeholders. MRC's previous studies focused on India and China.

Says study co-author Peter A. Singer, MD, Interim Director of the MRC, based at the University Health Network and the University of Toronto: "One thing is clear: when you think of biotechnology, its no longer just San Francisco, Boston, London and Tokyo. It's also Hyderabad, Shanghai, and Sao Paulo. While in the emerging economies it is still in it's adolescence, biotechnology is no longer the sole hegemony of the rich world. Biotechnology innovation is becoming globalized."

"Unlike most developing nations, what is holding back Brazil has little to do with the level of scientific expertise," adds Dr. Singer. "In fact, its science is world class. It is unfortunate that a set of relatively smaller challenges continues to slow down the country's transition to becoming a significant global innovator in health biotechnology."

The study says the fact that several of Brazil's small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have succeeded in making innovative products is a testament to the country's strength in health sciences and to its entrepreneurs' creativity and astute management.

Published June 6 by Nature Biotechnology, the paper is based on case studies of 19 diverse Brazilian-owned private health biotech companies and four public institut
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy,McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert

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