POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES FOR LIFE SCIENCES INDUSTRIES IN COSTA RICA
& BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
Costa Rica brings together scientific capacities, infrastructure, equipment, and a world-class business network for establishing partnerships and investments. A leading destination for life sciences offering the best quality of scientific research in Latin America .
PROCOMER (COSTA RICA EXPORTS PROMOTION AGENCY)
Institution responsable for promoting Costa Rican exports of goods and services to the world. We facilitate and promote commerce abroad and investment.
COMERCIAL PROMOTION DIVISION.
MEIC (ECONOMY, INDUSTRY AND COMMERCE MINISTRY OF COSTA RICA)
We are the national institution that propitiates and supports social and economic development, through policies that foster the competitiveness of industry, trade and services, particularly micro, small and medium enterprises. We promote production linkages, boosting the governmental capacity to mage trade, and to ensure fair competition, regulatory Marcela Monge improvements and consumer support.
RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT DIVISION
MICITT (SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS MINISTRY OF COSTA RICA)
Dictates public policy for science, technology and telecommunications, allowing the country to promote the use of knowledge and innovation, to prioritize and lead industry initiatives on competitiveness, welfare and prosperity.
FOR LIFE SCIENCES
INDUSTRIES IN COSTA RICA
This sector is closely related to the medical device industry as it shares similar suppliers and regulatory terms. The country enjoys qualified labor force in any of these areas due to the almost 20 years existence of the biotechnology engineer career and other related careers. Therefore, Costa Rica can become an interesting target for a diagnostics company which is able to outsource production in an overseas location, where it enjoys manufacturing advantages. Diagnostics is the highest growing healthcare sector ready to deliver strong double-digit annual growth over the next several years and Costa Rica is well suited to participate in this trend
The biotechnology knowledge background of the country is gaining interest of foreign companies sourcing biodiversity based opportunities for the biopharma industry worldwide. Partnerships with European and US-based companies with Costa Rican institutions have been increasing in the last 15 years. Costa Rican CMO’s (contract manufacturing organizations) are hired by biopharmaceuticals for carrying out their developments to the production phase. Working with CMOs in Costa Rica can result as a precursor for future biopharmaceutical development within the country
Costa Rica carries out 20% of the clinical trials in Central America and The Caribbean excluding Puerto Rico, positioning itself in the top 3 countries of the region. Nearly 150 clinical trials have been conducted in the country for more than three decades sponsored by multinational companies such as Roche, Novartis, Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline, among others.
The country has a solid institutional and legal structure with an international track record, that includes SMOs, CROs, as well as regulatory institutions such as the National Council of Health Research (CONIS) -part of Costa Rica’s Health Ministry-, Scientific Ethics Committees and private hospitals with international accreditations. Research companies follow Good Clinical Practices in compliance with ICH. The National Insurance Company (INS) grants a special civil responsibility insurance to the sponsors in order to support the institutions and patients involved in the studies.
Costa Rica has also consolidated a solid legal framework since the Research on Humans Law was enacted in 2014 along with its corresponding Regulation, becoming the first country in Latin America with a research on humans law. Some of Costa Rica’s success factors in biomedical research are:
•Well educated population that understands the voluntary involvement in a research project.
• Varied ethnicity.
• An internationally acknowledged public and private healthcare system.
• Health ratings similar to developed countries
• Qualified personnel.
While the majority of clinical trials conducted in Latin America are Phase III, in Costa Rica Phases I and II are conducted regularly, as well as Phase III..
New initiatives from the academia such as a master’s degree program, the biotechnology engineer program, a multilateral commission, participation in an international cluster, have given way to the production of more than 600 students over the past 5 years. Demand for bioinformatics services has been increasing mainly from local research. A pioneer company established has allowed new advantages and incentives encouraging more companies to find out more about the local human resource capacity.
Clearly this niche is a winner for Costa Rica due to its rich biodiversity and an internationally renowned reputation. Regulations are clear, both for access of biodiversity and its commercial exploitation through the National Council for Biodiversity Management.
(CONAGEBIO). Many local and international companies have developed proprietary phytomedicines and phyto-derived products based on Costa Rica’s biodiversity through collaborations with the many technological research institutions in the country.
BIOECONOMY AND BIODIVERSITY
In a country where over 90% of the energy is provided by renewable sources, it is easy to imagine that Costa Rica has bioeconomy-relevant policies in areas such as bioenergy, biotechnology, biodiversity and agricultural waste management. Untapping the potential of the bioeconomy by partnering with technology centers, such as TEC, and many of the start-up companies that comprise CR biomed cluster, is one of the booming opportunities for foreign organizations interested in taking the discovery phase into the next level. The cluster represents successful bioeconomy experiences, public-private collaboration, university-business collaboration and solid B2B partnerships.
Let's talk and learn how through PROCOMER we simplify and facilitate the contact of your company with the best of the Costa Rican offer.