Biotech comes together in Brazil

Some of the world’s leading biotechnology companies form the Associação Brasileira de Biotecnologia Industrial

A number of the world’s leading biotechnology companies from both inside and outside Brazil have banded together to form a new trade body: the Associação Brasileira de Biotecnologia Industrial (Brazilian Industrial Biotechnology Association, known as the ABBI). The founder members are Amyris, BASF, BioChemtex, BP, Centro de Tecnologia Canavieira, Dow, DSM, DuPont, GranBio, Novozymes, Raízen and Rhodia.

“The establishment of the ABBI is important for the Brazilian government,” said Luciano Coutinho, President of the Brazilian Development Bank (BDB), speaking at the announcement of the new organisation. The BDB has invested Brazilian real BRL1.2bn (about US$540m) in biotechnology projects in Brazil. The association said its main objective is to “foster a dialogue” in Brazilian society about the advancement of industrial biotechnology in the country, which is rich in natural flora, and to act as a channel between industry and academic institutions in Brazil and elsewhere in order to share knowledge and information. As part of its self-imposed remit, it will speak with policymakers to improve the country’s biotechnology regulations and keep legislation up to date. In particular, it will lobby to improve patent laws, especially for biological products and processes, which is an area where the members feel improvements are needed.

Patricia Mansfield-Devine, Rennes

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