Last year was once again a success for Switzerland’s biotech industry. Not only did the number of companies increase, but growth was also recorded in sales, liquidity, exports and research investments. These are findings from the latest Swiss Biotech Report, which was presented by consulting firm EY on Tuesday.
The sector in Switzerland consisted of 249 biotech developers and 63 suppliers last year, which is in both cases an increase on the previous year. The number of employees also rose by around 4 percent to over 14,300. In 2018, sales in the biotech industry were up 6 percent to total 4 billion Swiss francs.
Capital investment in listed biotech companies saw an especially striking increase. They raised 1.26 billion francs overall in 2018. This figure was above all attributable to a few companies receiving major investment. Companies mentioned in the report include CRISPR Therapeutics, Idorsia and Polyphor. Privately held biotech companies received investment of 357 million francs. Of capital investment and sales generated in 2018, around 30 percent then went into research.
EY presented its latest report at the Swiss Biotech Day. In the context of this event, the Swiss Biotech Association honored several companies with Swiss Biotech Success Stories Awards in recognition of outstanding achievements across the biotech industry. Three of the five winners stem from the Greater Zurich Area. The first was Biogen, a biotech pioneer that serves its markets outside the USA from Baar ZG and is also currently expanding in Luterbach SO. Second, Roche Glycart, a company with headquarters in Schlieren ZH that is regarded as a pioneer in antibody engineering for cancer immunotherapy. And third, Vifor Pharma from Glattbrugg ZH, a leading company offering therapies for the treatment of kidney diseases.
Alongside the award ceremony, individuals, companies and foundations were nominated for the coming Swiss Biotech Success Stories Award 2019/2020. The nominees include Helsinn from the Greater Zurich Area as well as three foundations, namely Venture Foundation, Venturelab and Venture Kick.