Bio medicine

Latvia is an undeniable leader in biomedicine amongst three Baltic States. But we don’t want to be a big fish in a small pond, so we are expanding and striving to be a significant player in the European Union in this area as Latvia-based biomedical companies and organisations have demonstrated dynamic growth in recent years.

Our sector is 4th by turnover amongst manufacturing industries in Latvia. Fingers crossed, we get to the top 3 soon! And we deserve that as pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries are historically rooted in Latvia. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries in Latvia have a long history. We have a rich legacy and know-how. Latvian chemists made significant, internationally recognized advancements in research already in 19th century, so we are not some newbies in the game. 

Our strength? Well, there’s several. Latvia’s life-science sector combines strong R&D capability, established manufacturing infrastructure, geographic and cultural proximity to eastern and western markets. Our products are exported to close and faraway places, including Japan, USA, Canada and others. Ok, now you wonder what helps us excel. We will give you a hint. First it is our people. Skilled, highly competitive professionals passionate about their work and science. Many of them are graduates of world’s best universities. Also, we believe in constant improvements and further investments to raise our productivity. And least but not last, we are fans and supporters of R&D. Full package as they say.

Main subsectors

Manufacture of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, production of medical devices and instruments, healthcare, cosmetics, rubber and plastic products

Fast facts

  • Pharmaceuticals compile 1.3% of total national exports.
  • The sector is currently ranked 4th by turnover amongst manufacturing industries in Latvia.
  • Four seems to be our lucky number as we are also ranked 4th by the total export amounts amongst other industries in Latvia.

Industry leaders

  • Grindeks specializes in heart and cardiovascular, central nervous system and anti-cancer medications. Their range covers a successful combination of original and generic products, with the original products Mildronate® and Ftorafur® and more than 100 different generics. Currently, Grindeks produces 25 active pharmaceutical ingredients.
  • PharmIdea is the only company in Latvia, providing sterile and freeze-dried drugs manufacturing at a world class quality, which is granted by the GMP certificate and various successfully passed international quality inspections.
  • MolPort was created in 2006 to help scientists accelerate drug discovery by streamlining locating compounds and their suppliers and handling the ordering process. Our goal is to help scientists focus on their research, not on searching and procurement.
  • Silvanols Ltd. is Latvian pharmaceutical company with expert knowledge in developing and producing food supplements, medical devices, cosmetics and OTC medicine using natural ingredients for 25 years with the purpose of bringing the healing powers of nature to people all over the world.
  • Olainfarm has 40 years of experience in the production of medical, chemical and pharmaceutical products and produces around 60 types of medicines and some 30 pharmaceutical agents.
  • Valmieras stikla šķiedra is currently one of the largest glass fiber manufacturers in Europe with more than 50 years of experience.
  • Latvian Biomedicine Research and Study Center is developing a prototype vaccine against Lyme disease.
  • Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis is an inventor and co-inventor of 18 original approved drugs and more than 70 original preparation methods of known medicines.
  • BGI is the world’s largest genome sequencing centre, it is building a genome sequencing machine production facility in Latvia and plans to develop an entire life science park.
  • Biosan is one of the global leaders in the preparation and analysis of life science samples. Its equipment can be found in hospitals, food and water laboratories, dairies and wherever samples must be prepared for further analysis.

Industry statistics

  • Our long rooted chemistry traditions dates back to 19th century. Also during Soviet Union times we were at the forefront of development of important pharma products, including globally renowned medicine Meldonium.
  • We believe in export. We are constantly increasing export trade volume not only to Russia and CIS countries, but also USA, Japan, Canada and far east countries.
  • In our industry we have pharmaceuticals, chemicals and chemical agents, rubber compounds, paints, varnishes and construction chemicals, detergents and cleansing products, cosmetics and general consumption product. Out of this portfolio pharmaceuticals are the leading export products making up 37% of the total industry exports.
  • 83% of the manufactured chemicals and pharmaceutical products are exported.

Employment and education

  • If you are studying chemistry and other life sciences in Latvia, well, lucky you! The companies will literary fight for you and your skills! There are around 1000 companies in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Latvia.
  • Also there will be a place for all enthusiasts of chemistry and biomedicine in our small but powerful country as number of employees in chemical and pharmaceutical companies are constantly increasing and currently exceeding 13k. 
  • We always like to compete with our neighbours; that is our thing! And, yeah, we beat them in this one! We have more people working in the pharmaceutical industry than our neighbours – Estonia and Lithuania.
  • We are able to see both sides of the story and we can successfully merge northern European culture and work ethic with business knowledge and experience in working with Russia and CIS countries.

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