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Why Spain should be your next Pharma destination

Posted on: 28 Nov
When most people think of Spain, the images that probably spring to mind are beaches, glasses of wine and the amazing culture. However, what most people probably don’t know is it’s also a great destination when it comes to finding employment in Pharmaceuticals. Despite a strong recession and unemployment rate, Spain’s Pharma industry is healthy, and growing, attracting investment from all around the world.

For people looking to take the next step in their Pharmaceuticals career, it may even be the hidden gem that you’ve been looking for. Here’s why:

Strong investment


As one of the country’s key economic earners, it’s not surprising that Spain has invested heavily in Pharma: after all, the industry produces 22% of Spain’s entire industry sector. The government has gone a long way to eliminating any boundaries that stand between investors and innovators: they have invested in installing electronic clinical records, and for integrating the National Health System with records from public hospitals to create a more streamlined health system, where the latest drugs and devices can easily be introduced into everyday use. 

After austerity cuts were introduced in 2010, life is also returning back to the Pharma industry. The rapidly ageing population in Spain seems to be a driving factor in Spain’s growing interest in researching and developing new drugs and medicines. 

With strong government support, and tax incentives introduced for R&D spending, companies are starting to invest in Pharma again, encouraged by the Spanish government, who invested an initial $1.2bn in Research and Development in 2015 to kick-start the sector. Today, the Pharma industry employs 200,000 people in Spain, of which 37,000 jobs are direct positions- and this number is set to grow further over the coming years. This has paid off: today, the Spanish market is set to rise in value to $25.1bn by 2021, with an annual growth rate of 1%.

Growth in Biotech


Alongside this, Spain’s burgeoning Biotech sector also points to exciting times ahead for anybody wanting to get involved in the cutting edge of science. More than €400m of venture capital was invested in Biotech last year, and start-ups are flourishing across the life sciences industry as a result, with companies innovating in areas like small molecules, biologicals and medical devices. 

Combined with strong support from the government, Spain- and especially Barcelona- to establish itself as a leader in areas like rare diseases, HIV and leukaemia, both with small start-ups and established Pharma companies. One of them, Oryzon Genomics, is developing epigenetics-based therapeutic solutions for its patients, and also signed the largest deal in Spanich Biotech- worth about $500m- when it licenced its lead candidate to Roche. 

Looking ahead

With all this growth in Biotech, and investment within the Pharmaceuticals sector, the future of the industry in Spain looks bright, and investors are flocking in from around the world. In 2017, Alta Life Sciences, a venture capital investment firm, was formed in Spain with the aim of investing in start-ups and in new Pharma ‘spin off’ companies, the better to encourage innovation and breathe fresh life into the sector. Alongside this, international organisations like Roche, Novartis and the investment branches of Johnston&Johnston have also made their appearance onto the scene, innovating and investing in new and existing Biotech firms within Spain, particularly Barcelona, which is also home to Ysios Capital, the largest life sciences VC in Spain. 

For people looking to advance their career in a dynamic and ever-changing sector- and one that looks to take off in the next few years- there’s no better time to get involved. 

Getting involved


With the Spanish Pharma industry’s strong tradition of innovation and growth, solid investment from both the government and companies from around the world, and the burgeoning Biotech industry, the future is bright for people wanting to make their mark in Pharma. Whether you want to be involved at the cutting edge of technology, or in innovating the existing market, find your niche with our range of jobs in Spain here.