Successful Biotech CFO Summit on 18 April in Berlin

Photo: Biotech CFO Summit 2018 in Berlin © BIO Deutschland
Photo: Biotech CFO Summit 2018 in Berlin © BIO Deutschland

Some 80 finance experts from the biotech scene discussed the current situation in financing innovations at the twelfth Biotech CFO Summit in Berlin. Current financing trends, IPOs in the United States and an in-depth examination of the future potential of companies were as much a topic as German success stories, such as InflaRx, Qiagen and Rigontec. The afternoon was primarily devoted to debating what strategic approach companies should take to ensure a successful growth strategy when working in or out of Germany.

High-calibre speakers from CureVac, Medigene and Miltenyi Biotec rounded out the programme with insights on current biotech trends, including point-of-care gene therapies and oncology immunotherapies.

Naturally, the experts also discussed potential ways of financing innovation and local value creation in Germany. Tax incentives for research and development (R&D) are also an important instrument for triggering research momentum, especially in SMEs. In this respect, CFO Summit participants expressly welcomed the inclusion of the topic in the coalition agreement. However, they commented critically on the fact that the financing of these expenditures has not yet been finalised.

Dirk Honold, Chairperson of the Working Group on Finance and Taxation at BIO Deutschland, warned, “It is important to capitalise on all the opportunities for innovation financing in order to provide entrepreneurs with the optimal conditions to implement their ideas and ensure the continuous flow of innovative products on the market. Existing disadvantages for research-based SMEs, such as a flat rate tax for investors, minimum taxation or the still unresolved forfeiture of tax losses pursuant to section 8c of the German Corporation Tax Act, are still significant hurdles that must be overcome.”

“The newly created financing instruments of the Federal Government, including Coparion, ERF growth facility and EIB participation in innovation funds, cannot fully offset this,” added Oliver Schacht, who co-chairs the working group together with Honold and is a member of BIO Deutschland’s board.

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