Bio Convention an Opportunity to Demonstrate Mexico’s PotentialBy Victor Gabriel Sánchez | Wed, 06/29/2022 - 10:00
The biotechnology sector has a global technological, economic, and social impact and the Bio International Convention is its mecca. Every year, this event brings together more than 15,000 pharmaceutical and biotechnology leaders from over 65 countries, who, for four days (from June 13-16), will gain access to opportunities to link organizations from diverse backgrounds, including those related to technological supply and demand.
One of the most dynamic segments is that of life sciences, whose global biotech drug sales grew from US$179 billion in 2015 to US$351 billion in 2021. The 10 largest biotech and pharmaceutical companies worldwide based on market capitalization as of 2021 are the following: Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Pfizer, Eli Lilly, Abbot, Novartis, AbbVie, Merck, AstraZeneca, and Novo Nordisk. The healthcare applications competitors in this segment have developed focus primarily on oncology, neurology, rare diseases, vaccines, virology, and respiratory diseases.
At a global level, Latin America and the Caribbean provide important resources to the biotechnology sector at the input level due to the nature of the region (40 percent of the world’s biodiversity is found there). Contributions are also observed at a scientific and technological level; in the last 15 years the region has doubled its production of biotechnology publications in health, mainly due to a push from organizations and individuals from Brazil and Mexico, which are the leading countries. The region has also increased its numbers of patents thanks to the efforts of universities from Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, which are protecting technological applications in various domains.
Mexico offers potential opportunities and strategic advantages to the global life sciences industry, including the following: it is the 11th-most populous country in the world with over 130 million inhabitants; the population mix is young, with nearly 27 percent under the age of 15 and only 7 percent in the group of 65 years and older; and the leading causes of death in the general population have been diabetes and ischemic heart disease.
The pharmaceutical industry has a strong presence in Mexico, with about 400 laboratories that manufacture pharmaceuticals and employ around 65,000 people. Twenty of the 25 largest pharmaceutical companies in the world have operations in Mexico. The industry is concentrated mainly in Baja California, Jalisco, Mexico, Mexico City, Morelos, and Puebla. A wide range of products, including antibiotics, cancer treatment products, OTC medicines, and vaccines, are manufactured in Mexico by both multinational and domestic companies.
Regarding foreign direct investment in Mexico, from 2015 to 2020, the pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing sector observed a compound annual growth rate of 95.84 percent, whereas the medical equipment and supplies manufacturing segment experienced an annualized growth rate of 17.38 percent.
In the last few years, Mexico has been consolidating its value chain at different levels, offering participants global opportunities to exploit potential competitive advantages supported by:
- Extensive capabilities and infrastructure for research, technological development, and technology transfer.
- Diverse public and private institutions that offer clinical research with international recognition.
- A globally competitive and well-positioned industry for manufacturing and innovation in life sciences.
- Strategic allies that collaborate to strengthen the health innovation ecosystem.
- Government organizations in the healthcare sector that focus on simplifying the approval processes for registrations and public purchases.
For this Bio International Convention 2022, a group of 18 organizations from Mexico that participate in different links within the value chain will share their global knowledge and experience in the life sciences industry. This is a great opportunity to show not only the potential that Mexico can offer in technology manufacturing but also in research and development, clinical research, and innovation. In our next article, we will share key highlights and valuable pieces of information gathered from the event. To be continued…
 Pharma and biotech M&A activity; Medical biotech industry (STATISTA, 2022).
 Orbit innovation, 2022
 Fitch Solutions Macro Research (2021a). Competitive Landscape - Mexico Pharmaceuticals &
Healthcare Competitive Landscape.
 Distribution of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Mexico as of September 2020, by industry sector. https://www.statista.com/statistics/709878/fdi-mexico-by-sector/