Biotech company R&D expenditure by country and by application 2014

This statistic shows the research and development spending of dedicated biotechnology companies in selected countries for 2014 (or latest year available), by application. In that year, biotechnology companies in Italy spent 89.6 percent of their research and development expenditures on health applications.

Biotech R&D expenditure

Many countries spend a significant portion of their biotechnology R&D expenditures on the health industry, while the agricultural sector often garners the next largest portion of expenditures. In Germany, the health sector contributed to 82.3 percent of biotechnology R&D expenditures and 1.4 percent of spending was under the agricultural sector in 2015. As of 2012, the United States was the largest biotechnology region in the world, generating 65.5 billion U.S. dollars in revenue from the industry.

Biotechnology uses the processes of living organisms to develop or modify products for a large variety of applications. In the health sector, biotechnology has enabled pharmacogenomics, which allows for the analysis of responses to medications based on an individual’s genetics. Using biotechnology to produce pharmaceutical products is also common worldwide. Sanofi’s biotech treatment for hypercholesterolemia, Alirocumab, was released in 2015 and is expected to generate 2.18 billion U.S. dollars in global sales by 2020.

Currently, the biotech drug Humira, is one of the world’s best-selling drugs. In 2015, AbbVie generated 14 billion U.S. dollars from its revenue.

Percentage of R&D expenditure by biotech companies in selected countries in 2014, by application*

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Release date

October 2016



Survey time period


Special properties

Dedicated biotech R&D firms

Supplementary notes

*Or latest year available.
** Figures from 2015.
For Australia, reported results are for Agricultural Biotechnology; Environmental Biotechnology; Industrial Biotechnology and Medical Biotechnology.
For Canada, reported results are for Agricultural Biotechnology; Environmental Biotechnology; Industrial Biotechnology and Medical Biotechnology.
For France, data are provisional. These data reflect firms' activity related to research, rather than their principal activity.
For Italy, results are by primary application.
For Korea, "Agriculture" includes "Natural resources".
For Poland, results are by primary application. "Industrial processing" includes "Food and beverages".
For Slovenia, "Industrial biotechnology" instead of "Industrial processing".

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