MAC-Team

pharmaceutical sectorThis brief EU Industrial policy overview for the Pharmaceutical sector is an extract of the report published January 22, 2014. This staff working document illustrates trends and the impact of the crisis on production, investment, productivity, employment, skills and innovation. It also describes the EU performance in the international arena and considers possible benefits from improvements in the internal market regulations.

Europe has traditionally been a world leader in the pharmaceutical sector. This high-tech industry presents an excellent overall performance and has been particularly resilient to the crisis and therefore, it can be considered as one of the gems of the European economy. The reasons why a viable European pharmaceutical industry is of the utmost importance are four-fold:
1°) it contributes to the health and the quality of life of our citizens by providing remedies to an ever-increasing number of patients. As the burden of disease is likely to increase as a consequence of the ageing European population it is to be expected that the 9.5% GDP spending on healthcare costs, including pharmaceutical treatment, on average across OECD countries in 2010 will increase significantly in the coming years.
2°) the healthcare sector and in particular the pharmaceutical industry is of economic significance, as demonstrated by €157 billion in annual turnover and 660,000 employees (of whom 110,000 are researchers).
3°) the European pharmaceutical industry serves as a major contributor to the EU's position as a successful trading power. In fact, the European Union is the world's major trader in medicinal and pharmaceutical products enjoying a trade surplus of EUR 56 billion in 2012.
4°) the world market of medical products is a growth market, i.e. global spending on medicines will grow to nearly $1.2 trillion by 2016. While the developed markets are expected to grow slowly due to the sustained impact of the global economic crisis, emerging markets will become the major sources of demand.

Agri fieldsThis brief EU Industrial policy overview for the Agri-food sector is an extract of the report published January 22, 2014. This staff working document illustrates trends and the impact of the crisis on production, investment, productivity, employment, skills and innovation. It also describes the EU performance in the international arena and considers possible benefits from improvements in the internal market regulations.

With an annual turnover over EUR 1 trillion and around 4 million employees, the agri- food industry is part of a complex supply chain, which encompasses also agriculture and distributive trade. Taken as a whole, this value chain generates a total value added of € 715 billion per year — almost 6% of the EU Gross Domestic Product. On average, 15% of household expenditure is on food and drink. The sector not only feeds people,it also responds to cultural, health, ethical demands and many other qualities that consumers demand from their food, including convenience.
Moreover, the EU is the world's biggest exporter and importer of agricultural and food products and accounts for about 19% of total global export flows.

food drink EuropeFoodDrinkEurope launched its 2013-2014 Competitiveness Report, urging EU institutions to deliver an industrial policy tailored to increase the competitiveness of the food and drink sector.

 

marine proteinsMarine Proteins and Peptides
Biological Activities and Applications
Kim, Se-Kwon (ed.)

Food proteins and bioactive peptides play a vital role in the growth and development of the body's structural integrity and regulation, as well as having a variety of other functional properties. Land animal-derived food proteins such as collagen and gelatine carry risks of contamination (such as BSE). Marine-derived proteins, which can provide equivalents to collagen and gelatin without the associated risks, are becoming more popular among consumers because of their numerous health beneficial effects. Most marine-derived bioactive peptides are currently underutilized. While fish and shellfish are perhaps the most obvious sources of such proteins and peptides, there is also the potential for further development of proteins and peptides from sources like algae, sea cucumber and molluscs. Marine-derived proteins and peptides also have potential uses in novel products, with the possibility of wide commercialization in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, as well as in other fields such as photography, textiles, leather, electronics, medicine and biotechnology.

copyright-seed-390Patent Cases
The European Patent Office (EPO) has already granted many hundreds of patents on genetically engineered plants and animals (see statistics) and has even started to grant patents on normal, non modified plants .

However, legally speaking, there is still uncertainty on where patentability ends. Both the EPC and the EU directive 98/44/EC set limits to patentability of living organisms. Nevertheless, the EPO has repeatedly granted patents which clearly go behond these limits. Some of them have been revoked following an opposition procedure. In other cases the EPO has interpreted the laws in such a way as to undermine the limits of patentability.