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  • Novara Capital Group

Pharma in the Canary Islands

The investment in Pharma has been increasing in Spain during the last years, specifically for research and development projects. Let´s take a look at the key points of this industry in the Canary Islands:

1. Investment

In 2012, the pharmaceutical industry invested 3.2 million euros in research contracts with hospitals and public centers in the Canary Islands.

In 2014, the pharmaceutical industry invested in the Canary Islands a total of 4.1 million euros for research and development (R & D) activities. Specifically, the investment was for research contracts with hospitals, universities and research centers.

In 2016 and 2017, the pharmaceutical industry invested more than 4.5 million euros in biomedical research projects in collaboration with public and private health centers in the Canary Islands. The amount was mainly used for clinical trials. These funds are part of the sector's investments in R&D activities and contribute to enhance the network research and facilitate the early access of patients to the most innovative drugs.

2. Hub

Biotifarm is a Hub that encourages the use of biotechnology and innovation as attractive tools to the Pharmaceutical Industry in the Canary Islands.

Its mission is to assist the development of the appropriate conditions to set up biotechnology, pharmaceutical research, and innovation, boosting Knowledge-Based Economy and Competitiveness, in the Canary Islands.

Its vision is to position the Canary Islands as a solid and vanguard place for biotechnology and pharmaceutical research, taking advantage of its immense biodiversity and strategic location between the three continents, Europe, Africa, and America.

Biotifarm´s strategic points are:

Consolidation of the cluster bringing together a wide variety of companies already present in the Islands and, attracting more firms or institutions. Also, it wants to maintain relationships, create synergies and promotes networking with other national and/or international clusters.

Internationalization of the cluster encouraging the participation of local companies in international biotechnology and pharmaceutical fairs and conferences. This will give to the companies access to international strategic markets. It also looks for the development of world events in the Canary Islands to attract the interest of the sector in the region and show their potential.

Development of biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in the Canary Islands. Biotifarm promotes the development of new biotechnological and pharmaceutical industries in the Canaries, placing value on the high qualifications and experience of scientists educated at the two Canarian Universities, betting also on knowledge transfer as a priority for this industry development.

Stimulating the pharma opportunities offered by the large, mostly unexplored, biodiversity of the Canary Islands, together with the various fiscal policies available in the region, such as the ZEC (Canary Islands Special Zone), and other tax incentives.

Their main strategic members are: Foundation of Canary Islands Cancer Research Institute; Centro Atlántico del Medicamento S.A.; Instituto Tecnológico de Canarias; Polifenoles Naturales S.L.; Canary Islands Institute of Agriculture Research; Sam Soluciones S.L.; University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; Foundation of Scientific and Technological Park of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria; University of La Laguna; Bioagramar Foundation; Luciano Reverón e Hijos S.L.; Scientific and Technological Park of Tenerife S.A.; Cooperativa Farmacéutica de Tenerife S.A.; Cultivos y Tecnologías Agrarias de Tenerife S.A. and Canary Venture Partners S.L.N.E.

3. Government Health Projects

Health Observatory

The Canary Islands creates its Health Observatory to evaluate the evolution of a series of indicators. The Health Minister of the Government of the Canary Islands and the General Director of Assistance Programs of Health Service (SCS) presented the Canary Islands Health Observatory (Ocsalud), a web portal hosted by the Health Service of the island.

The Observatory includes information about demography, mortality caused by frequent pathologies (cardiovascular disease, cancer), habits and lifestyles (smoking, sedentary lifestyle, diet), the appearance frequency of certain pathologies or risk factors (obesity, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia), etc. Each indicator has a link and information related to the activities of the Canary Health Service. This initiative allows people to manage their self-care. Its main function is to show the evolution of the indicators, its mission is to promote the prevention and self-care.

Committee of High Impact Medicines Evaluation

The Canary Islands will create a Committee of High Impact Medicines Evaluation (Caemai). This organization will establish the criteria for considering a medicine with 'high impact' category and will evaluate the effectiveness, safety, indications for use and monitoring of medicines that meet these criteria.

This industry has a lot of potential within the islands. There are big pharma companies that can use the territory to set up a laboratory, factory or subsidiary. Besides all the support they can receive from Biotifarm, there are scientists and a pool of talent available and, all the infrastructure needed for the ambitious plan.

If you want to know more about the industry in the islands, or how your pharma company can receive the ZEC benefits, please contact us.


Novara Capital Group is an international tax & capital investment consulting firm. We specialise in Corporate Structuring, European Union Tax Incentives, IP Positioning, and Transactions / M&A. We provide intelligent corporate structures, advice, and an integrated service which cross delivers in businesses. We advise companies globally to accelerate international growth, optimise net profits, and enhance equity value leveraging Intellectual Property and Licences. Our in-house experts specialise in International Tax Law, Company Law & Cross Border Jurisdiction, Investment & Asset Management, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Operational Management.

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