Sun Genomics | Sets up European subsidiary in Fribourg (Switzerland)
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1st establishment of a US company in Western Switzerland without prior in-person meeting
A first for the canton of Fribourg (Switzerland) and presumably for Switzerland: in the midst of the pandemic, San Diego, California-based company Sun Genomics established a subsidiary in Fribourg without prior site visits. This settlement was “virtually” completed because of the coronavirus crisis (COVID-19), which made mutual visits between the USA and Switzerland impossible. Therefore, all contacts, initiated by the Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa) representative in Southern California, took place exclusively by email and video conference over more than a year. The Swiss Integrative Center for Human Health (SICHH) on the blueFACTORY site, whose laboratory will perform analyses and other services for the US company, was the decisive factor in choosing Fribourg as its new European base. For Sun Genomics, which offers personalised probiotics for intestinal health, Fribourg is the first location outside the US.
The initial contact between the Fribourg Development Agency (FDA) and the US company took place in 2020 through the Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa), the investment promotion agency for Western Switzerland. Sun Genomics was looking for a partner laboratory in Europe that, in addition to the gut test of the stool samples, could also ensure the entire supply chain for the tests, logistics, operations and data management.
Headquartered in San Diego, California, Sun Genomics is active in the field of gut health. Founded in 2016, the company specialises in made-to-order probiotics based on an individual’s gut microflora. This is determined using a special testing procedure of the stool sample. This approach ensures that customers receive a fully personalised probiotic that can be maintained in the form of a subscription. To date, the company has generated sales almost exclusively in the US. Sun Genomics expects to create around 15 new jobs and invest 2 million Swiss francs in the canton of Fribourg over the next five years.