This is the view of Jean-Francois Mouney, CEO of French functional genomics company Genfit, and is expected to be one of the main talking points at a session of partnership strategies scheduled to take place at the CORDIA conference in Vienna, Austria, early next month.
"Licensing deals with pharmaceutical companies signify the maturity of theEuropean biotech industry. These partnerships not only feed the pipeline ofbig pharmaceutical companies, but are also essential to enable theadvancement of molecules developed by biotechnology companies and ensure their availability to patients," commented Mouney, who will chair the session at CORDIA.
At present, explicit Commission approval is necessary for any technology licensing agreement that do not fall into certain categories covered under the so-called 'block exemption'. However, the new proposals, if approved, would reduce the number of licenses covered by the block exemption and being retroactive could also affect existing licensing deals.
The Commission's proposal comes at a time when licensing deals are crucially important for biotech companies and academic researchers seeking to capitalise on their innovative technology, as well as for the pharma industry that needs to feed its ailing pipeline with novel molecules.
The deadline to comment on the European Commission's draft legislation is 26 November.