The Biotech Social Pact is a joint initiative of more than 100 industry CEOs in biotech and venture capital (VCs) from Europe and the US united by an ambition to deliver breakthrough medical innovations that transform patients’ lives. The group is committed to ensuring that patients and healthcare systems have sustainable development of, and access to, innovative therapies and technologies. We know that we will deliver our best if we are committed to a common set of principles. Our contributions to Europe will improve public health, generate vital investment and boost economic growth across the region as we expand our research activities and partnerships.

We are a group of more than 100 biotech industry CEOs and venture capitalists who have signed up to the Biotech Social Pact to demonstrate our commitment to the Pact’s principles and objectives at the highest level. Together, our companies have 256 innovative treatments in the pipeline across Europe and have an aggregated market cap of more than $115 billion[i] – demonstrating biotech’s value and contribution to the European economies and health systems. 

Our organisations, whether biotech companies or investment firms, are involved in developing some of the most innovative, ambitious, and promising health technologies in the life sciences sector. Together, we are the seedbed of the life sciences revolution and are building Europe’s future biotech ecosystems today.

[i] Statistics collated from signatory webpages. Full list of references available on request.

The Pact is signed by individuals in their capacity as biotech industry leaders and investors, be they CEOs of biotech companies, managing partners, board members or venture capitalists. We believe this personal commitment strengthens the Pact as it demonstrates ownership of the principles by the most senior leaders within our industry.

Recent events confirm that we are at a breakthrough moment in the history of our industry and in the development of medical innovation more broadly. From RNA-based medicines to cell and gene therapy, we are experiencing a “biotech revolution” characterised by the emergence of a series of ground-breaking healthcare technologies capable of particularly benefitting patients with unmet medical needs. There is an opportunity for the European biotech sector to come together and provide solutions to ensure access to innovation, to act with responsibility and integrity and to be committed to patients and to Europe.

From an economic perspective, these innovations are laying the foundations for new biotech ecosystems with the potential to generate significant levels of investment, tax revenues, and highly skilled jobs. We are driven by the need to fuel the biotech revolution.

However, our collective ability to deliver this “biotech revolution” is dependent on economic revenue. In order to do good for society, health systems and patients, we need to have the finances to sustain continued investment in the development of new innovative medicines and technologies.

This is the virtuous cycle of innovation and is what we view as the social contract between biotech and wider society. The biotech revolution needs to work for all aspects of the biotech ecosystem whilst being accessible for patients and health systems.

We believe that the solution to this virtuous cycle has the potential to be mutually reinforcing, which is why the Biotech Social Pact is seeking to work in collaboration with relevant stakeholders to find innovative solutions that ensure broad, sustainable access for all patients. The Biotech Social Pact is a collective first step from the biotech industry in initiating this essential dialogue and in reaching durable solutions for the benefit of society.

We believe the challenges we face in delivering on the promise of the life sciences revolution can only be solved through an open, collaborative approach involving all stakeholders of the healthcare community, from industry, regulators and policymakers to academics, healthcare professionals and patient organisations.

Our objective is to establish an engagement platform, which we will use to contribute to the emergence of a shared vision on how to adapt our healthcare systems to the challenges of the life sciences revolution.  

In this context, the Biotech Social Pact is a first collective step by biotech leaders to bring together a critical mass of policymakers and stakeholders to articulate guiding principles that we hope can inform national discussions on high level principles that are not product specific, but that will shape the future growth of the industry in Europe.  

Concretely, we want to:

  • Develop an ever-growing group of biotech leaders that commit to living the Pact’s values
  • Showcase best practice within the biotech sector to the wider community, regarding public private partnerships, innovative access solutions and breakthrough scientific developments
  • Demonstrate the true societal value of the biotech sector
  • Initiate dialogues across Europe with authorities and other stakeholders to develop a joint vision and roadmap for the role of biotech in European societies

The Biotech Social Pact is managed with the financial support of Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Amicus and argenx.

The companies financing the Biotech Social Pact form a Steering Committee for the Biotech Social Pact, which guides the Pact’s decision-making at the European level.

Most, if not all, of the signatories of the Pact already operate by the commitments in the Pact. However, we believe in the added value of a collective, formal declaration by a broad group of companies to stimulate important dialogue which has been lacking for some time.

The principles may sound obvious, but they have not necessarily always been applied as a rule, or at least it hasn’t been perceived as such. Mutual trust is a fundamental and necessary component within any relationship if solutions are to be found but particularly so in such a high-stakes relationship as that between the pharmaceutical industry, healthcare authorities and the public.

Our objective is to establish an engagement platform, which we will use to contribute to the emergence of a shared vision on how to adapt our healthcare systems to the challenges of the life sciences revolution.

The Biotech Social Pact is not a trade association and our intention is not to replace the work done by trade bodies, but rather to complement it through a more flexible community approach focused on promoting a long-term dialogue with all healthcare stakeholders. We want to build an increasing community of leaders who share a common understanding of the role of biotech in society. Ultimately, we believe that biotech’s contribution to science, public health and the economy should be maximised. To succeed, this requires a long-term vision and a collaborative way of working.

More specifically, what brings us together and differentiates us are the following features:

  • Our science: Our focus and commitment to high-end, innovative, and disruptive technologies.
  • Our economic model: We are a group of new, rapidly growing companies who are committed to continuously investing in R&D across Europe.
  • Our membership: CEO-level members, with the mandate to steer their organisation to live by the Biotech Social Pact principles.
  • Our values: A common belief in the importance of the Biotech Social Pact’s principles and a commitment to the development of innovative therapies and technologies.

We believe the Pact is just the starting point of an initiative with a much broader scope. It is our hope that this will initiate much-needed dialogue with other stakeholders who believe that now is the time to come together and find sustainable solutions that work for all parties. Over the next few months, we will be engaging with key political stakeholders and media outlets to generate awareness for the Biotech Social Pact and our mission. 

The best indicator for success would be to achieve change through collaboration with stakeholders. Ultimately, this would result in joint 5-10-year Biotech Pacts or Plans developed by industry and institutions in different European countries with clear actions from both sides. While we get there, indicators of success are the ever-growing number of leaders joining our initiative and clear decision from those leaders committing to actions aligned with the Pact Values.

We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure patient access to innovative medicines and treatment as well as to contribute to the economies and the societies in which we operate. In order to do so in Europe, we commit to conducting a significant share of clinical research within the continent. Many of our signatory companies already do this thanks to the scientific and medical excellence of many European countries such as the UK, France, Belgium, and The Netherlands. So, this is a trend we intend to continue and accelerate.

In 2020, the European biopharma market was valued at €36 billion and was estimated to have an annual growth rate of over eight percent, reaching a value of over €55 billion by 2025.[i] As we continue to invest, this will increase even more greatly and will continue to strengthen the European life sciences sector.

[i] Market Data Forecast, ‘Europe Biopharmaceuticals Market Research Report’, February 2020 (link). Data corrected from USD to EUR.

Work on this initiative began many months before the COVID-19 pandemic, however the recent crisis has made the debate over the sustainability of healthcare systems and the need for forward-looking solutions even more acute than ever. So, we believe the principles laid out in the Pact are even more necessary today.