BioWorld International Correspondent

BRUSSELS, Belgium - The new European grouping of emerging biopharmaceutical enterprises is making a play for attention in June with its first public conference, in Lucerne, Switzerland.

This new group within the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations was set up to promote a favorable business environment and a positive regulatory framework for companies (including small, medium and start-up enterprises) involved in emerging bioscience technologies within the European pharmaceutical sector. It says it also works to foster a more supportive climate for the evolution of science and technology, which will help generate new medicines.

The grouping, chaired by Ernesto Bertarelli, the CEO of the Swiss biotech firm Serono, said that to be able to provide patients with timely access to innovative treatments, it is necessary to create a favorable environment to facilitate product registration and remove any unnecessary hurdles for marketing products ? which, it said, fall disproportionately hard on start-ups and smaller companies. It says it wants to promote a competitive environment in Europe, with favorable market conditions creating an attractive site for investment by smaller firms and for the development of new technologies.

Bertarelli claims that Serono is Europe's leading biotechnology company and among the world's top three. And despite the difficulties facing the sector, he said he is convinced of the future of biotechnology in Europe. In addition to Bertarelli, the group's board now includes Elliot Goldstein of British Biotech, Antoine Beret of Trophos, Ahmed Bouzidi of Sedac Therapeutics, Stéphane François of Beaufour-Ipsen, Peter Heinrich of Medigene, and William Haseltine of Human Genome Sciences.

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