Glasfassade des IZB mit Spiegelung des Tower

Industry focus

Life Sciences – Biotech and Pharma

Companies, research institutions, and universities in Munich and the surrounding region represent a true center of excellence in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry.

Munich as Germany’s top region

21 percent of German biotechnology companies work in the Munich Metropolitan Region. 25 percent of national clinical studies are carried out here. This diverse, innovative sector comprises biotech, pharmaceuticals, contract research organizations (CRO), and life science companies.

Munich’s sector in figures

employees in total

employees in biotechnology

new drug approvals in 2022

Job growth in biotech

According to the “Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry in the Munich Metropolitan Region (EMM) 2021” report, some 33,400 people are employed in 373 companies in the sector as a whole. Biotechnology, in particular, boasts impressive growth, with the number of jobs almost doubling in the last ten years.

The number of new businesses shows a similar trend, increasing five-fold since 2015. As of 2021, 21 percent of newly founded biotech-startups were active in Munich.* There is a pronounced north-south divide in Germany, with Munich among the very top regions.

*Deutscher Biotechnologie-Report, Ernst & Young, 2021.

Companies in the Munich region

Well-known national and international companies are based in Munich and the surrounding region.

They include

  • Amgen GmbH
  • Aenova
  • Astellas Pharma
  • Bavarian Nordic GmbH
  • bene-Arzneimittel GmbH
  • Biogen GmbH
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS)


  • GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)
  • Hexal
  • Moderna
  • MorphoSys
  • Neovii Biotech GmbH
  • Roche Diagnostics

as well as other companies and both new and established startups.


Research and networks

Munich’s strength in the biotech and pharmaceutical sector is exemplified by eight research institutions, including Munich’s elite universities, three world-renowned Max Planck Institutes, and the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Health.

In addition, the region’s highly effective network management supports cooperation between the scientific and business communities.

The survey carried out as part of the current study shows that Munich’s key strengths in this sector are companies’ proximity to research institutions and the networking opportunities on offer.

Firmenbesuch im MTZ

BioM: 25 years of success

BioM, which develops and manages the Munich Biotechnology Cluster, has been successfully promoting cooperation between science and business and acquiring funding for more than 25 years. Until 2015, it also managed the elite cluster M4, which was dedicated to the groundbreaking fields of personalized medicine and targeted therapies and which enhanced Munich’s profile as a leading location for drug development.

BioM runs the virtual incubator inQlab  for prospective entrepreneurs. The incubator offers wide-ranging advice and specialized coaching, training and mentoring programs. It also coordinates the pre-seed competition “m4 Award” for biomedicine, with support from the Bavarian State Ministry of Economic Affairs, as well as training, events and networking.


R&D centers

Luftbild des Campus Großhadern - Martinsried

Biotech and medicine in Großhadern-Martinsried

The Innovation and Start-Up Center for Biotechnology (IZB) is renowned as a hotspot for new companies in the life science sector. 50 startups now work at two IZB locations.

In Großhadern-Martinsried in Munich’s south-west, the Klinikum Großhadern, the LMU Gene Center Munich as well as the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry and Neurobiology have formed biotechnology networks.

The Biomedical Center Munich (BMC) has also been based at the LMU’s HighTechCampus in Großhadern since 2015.
Picture: Aerial view of Campus Großhadern-Martinsried

Luftbild des Campus Freising-Weihenstephan der TUM mit Unigebäuden

Life sciences in Freising-Weihenstephan

Research in Freising-Weihenstephan in the north of Munich traditionally focuses on agricultural, biological and nutritional science. The Technical University of Munich (TUM) has combined research and academic disciplines in the School of Life Science  since 2020. The IZB is also represented here.

Other organizations at the location include the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Science (including Faculty of Food Technology) as well as federal and federal state research institutions, such as the Helmholtz Center Munich (German Research Center for Environmental Health) and the Leibniz Institute for Food Systems Biology.
Picture: The TUM’s Campus Freising-Weihenstephan