Analysis shows Switzerland has become the chosen headquarters for 20 per cent of European biotech companies. Out of a total of 265 companies that have settled in Switzerland, 63 of them are in the biotech sector, making it the second most significant industry after ICT. This trend is confirmed by statistics from the Swiss federal government in 2022.
A notable aspect is that 23 US companies have established themselves in Basel, Geneva, Zurich, or Lucerne, with several of them being biotech companies that independently market their innovative therapies without extensive support from large pharmaceutical companies. These companies select Switzerland as their European hub.
In preparation for their European launch, emerging biotech companies, responsible for an impressive 65 percent of the molecules in the research and development pipeline in 2022, have made collective decisions regarding infrastructure. These decisions encompass factors such as the engagement model, geographic footprint and structure, degree of centralization, and extent of role specialization.
Switzerland’s appeal to European biotech companies can be attributed to several reasons. Firstly, it offers a business-friendly environment that attracts these companies. Additionally, the country possesses a strong talent pool, including individuals with relevant launch experience at big pharma or other commercial-stage biotech companies. Swissmedic plays a crucial role in supporting innovation and accelerating the approval process for new drugs, even before they are ready for commercialization. This contributes to strengthening Switzerland’s research hub.
Swiss-based biotech companies enjoy a 25 percent higher availability rate for their medicines in European markets compared to the average biotech launches of the past five years. This has led to a growing interest in the Swiss ecosystem from biotech companies, particularly in the last decade. Here also, Swissmedic plays a crucial role in enhancing the Swiss research hub by providing support for innovation and expediting the approval process for new drugs well in advance of their commercialization.
With the assistance of Swissmedic, Switzerland fosters controlled and swift global access to promising products for drug developers through collaborative partnerships with international counterparts. This ensures that patients can benefit quickly from safe and high-quality innovative therapies.