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Ernst & Young Benchmarks Danish Biotech Pipeline Third in Europe

COPENHAGEN, December 1 /PRNewswire/ -- A strong pipeline makes the Copenhagen Region biotech cluster well prepared for the challenges ahead. With 185 drug candidates in preclinical and clinical development, Denmark ranks third in Europe. Only United Kingdom and Germany have a bigger pipeline.

Also in term of pipeline growth Denmark has a strong position as it experienced the largest pipeline growth among the countries in Europe.

These are the two main findings of the Ernst & Young report "Biotech in Denmark 2008 - Growing stronger" prepared in cooperation with the Danish Association of Biotechnology Industries.

"Being a global biotech company founded in Denmark, Genmab is proud to be part of the important Medicon Valley biotech sector. We have found the innovative climate inspiring in the process of building our late stage pipeline," says Lisa N. Drakeman, Ph. D., Chief Executive Officer of Genmab.

The report underlines the role of the Copenhagen Region. Of the 82 biotech companies in Denmark, 74 per cent are located in the Danish part of Medicon Valley, a biotech cluster stretching across the Copenhagen region and the south of Sweden.

The strong pipeline is backed by a proven ability to take drug candidates into preclinical and clinical development. Despite general difficulties in the western economies, many new companies have been founded over the latest years. The richness in young companies with a number of potential drug candidates in their pipeline opens a wide range of business opportunities for international companies willing to engage in partnerships.

"It is a great pleasure to see the Danish biotech environment keeping up its level. Denmark has a variety of smaller as well as bigger companies within biotech, ensuring ongoing innovation. The stronghold of the region was one of the reasons why Genzyme chose Copenhagen for our Nordic headquarters. We have already benefited from this location as in 2005 we bought a local biotech company, which is now Genzyme Biosurgery, producing cartilage for surgery purposes," says Hilde Furberg, Vice President for Genzyme's Northern Region in Europe.

A breakdown of the key indication area for the Danish compounds currently in clinical trials reveals that oncology is by far the largest with 37 per cent. Out of the 260 cancer compounds in clinical development in Europe, Denmark accounts for 17 per cent of the European pipeline.

Neurology (15 per cent) and inflammation/autoimmune diseases (14 per cent) are the fields with second and third most Danish compounds in clinical trials.

"The broad variety of competences has helped the Copenhagen Region position itself as one of the absolute top biotech clusters in Europe through a number of years. Besides the strong pipeline I notice that Denmark is in the European top five when it comes to the ability to attract venture capital," says Steen Donner, Managing Director of Copenhagen Capacity.

The Ernst & Young report "Biotech in Denmark 2008 - Growing stronger" can be downloaded at:

For further information and comments please contact: Christina Heje, Business Development Manager, Copenhagen Capacity. Mobile: +45-28-94-13-41. Mail:

SOURCE Copenhagen Capacity
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