Peptone, a biotechnology startup from the United Kingdom, settled in the Greater Zurich Area in spring 2022. The site in Bellinzona in the Swiss canton of Ticino is now the company's research and development hub. Peptone, founded in 2018, specializes in the development of novel therapeutics against Intrinsically disordered proteins (IDP) for cancer and inflammatory diseases, to name a few. Peptone's approach stems from experimental biophysics, supercomputing, and machine learning. The company's new laboratory facilities based in Bellinzona are the world's largest and most advanced of their kind.
Peptone's investment in Bellinzona follows a 40 million dollar funding round completed in April 2022. The company plans to create up to 20 new jobs in their new Swiss hub by the end of 2023, and around 30 highly specialized qualified employees will be working in interdisciplinary teams in Bellinzona.
Founder and CEO Dr. Kamil Tamiola states that the potential for mental and physical growth was paramount in the location selection process. Switzerland came out top because of its distinctive research culture and growth-supporting capacity of the Greater Zurich Area. Tamiola comments: "We are on a constant lookout for the best researchers worldwide who want to work in our Swiss lab." He adds that recruitment is greatly facilitated by the unparalleled quality of life in the canton of Ticino. Plus, getting in and out of major cities such as Milan, Turin, Zurich, and Basel is a breeze. The company also hopes to benefit from the region's emerging biotech cluster, which Tamiola describes as well connected with numerous opportunities for interaction. The world-renowned Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Bellinzona is particularly crucial. Peptone already has many connections to the IRB and plans to develop these even further in the future.
Tamiola recounts how the company was welcomed with open arms when it settled in the area. The local authorities helped Peptone to search for suitable lab spaces, which were a high priority for the R&D-intensive company. Peptone occupies two floors of the Fabrizia building in the very heart of Bellinzona. Kamil Tamiola says: "When we weighed in all the things that we learnt about Bellinzona, it became obvious that the capital of Ticino was the place to be. The R&D conditions are excellent in Bellinzona."
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