Biotech companies thrive in Switzerland
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Swiss Biotech Report 2023 shows sector weathers global disruption well and continues to play a leading role driving global healthcare innovation
- Record revenues of CHF 6.8 billion (USD 7.5 billion)
- Fundraising of CHF 1.3 billion (USD 1.5 billion) exceeding pre-COVID 19 levels of 2019. CHF 0.78 billion by public companies, CHF 0.55 billion by private companies
- 47 new approvals by Swissmedic
- R&D investment again increased to a record level of CHF 2.7 billion (USD 3.0 billion)
- Ecosystem continues to strengthen and attract – 20% of European biotech companies now headquartered in Switzerland
- Employment continues to rise to new record level – FTE’s in Swiss R&D biotech companies increased in 2022 by 7.2%
- Swiss Biotech Association celebrates highlights of 25 years of Swiss biotech R&D achievements
During 2022, Switzerland’s biotech industry again showed its resilience by adjusting to geopolitical disruptions while continuing to play a key role in driving global healthcare innovation. The Swiss biotech companies overall recorded revenues of CHF 6.8 billion. Meanwhile, the industry was able to raise more than CHF 1.3 billion, with CHF 0.78 billion collected by public companies, and the remaining CHF 0.55 billion being raised by private companies. Encouragingly, R&D investments again increased to a new record of CHF 2.7 billion. The latest edition of the Swiss Biotech Report launched today by the Swiss Biotech Association, in conjunction with EY and eight other partner organizations, provides an analysis of the 2022 biotech funding as well as other 2022 key ratios and statistics compared to prior years. It emphasizes major achievements of Swiss biotech innovation and the contribution of Switzerland in developing effective solutions to global challenges.
«The record R&D investments of more than CHF 2.7 billion demonstrate that Swiss biotech companies continued to invest heavily, despite global uncertainties and an overall more difficult funding environment in 2022. And while global investors have been investing more selectively than during the Covid pandemic, Swiss biotech companies have been able to attract more than CHF 1.3 billion new funds, which reflects that both Swiss and global biotech investors continue to recognize the investment opportunities on offer,» comments Michael Altorfer, CEO, Swiss Biotech Association.
«The global biotech sector, like many other sectors, was impacted in 2022 by geopolitical challenges, which dried up or reduced some sources of funding. However, Swiss biotech companies also showed considerably agility – MoonLake completed a successful CHF 140 million NASDAQ SPAC transaction and Kinarus a reverse merger on SIX Swiss Exchange. In addition, Molecular Partners, VectivBio, Idorsia and many other companies accessed significant funds through alternative non-dilutive avenues of funding, for example large licensing and collaboration arrangements and sale and leaseback transactions,» adds Frederik Schmachtenberg, EY Partner and Global Life Sciences Lead for Financial Accounting Advisory Services.
Key Findings in the 2023 Swiss Biotech Report
The Swiss biotech industry again generated record revenues of CHF 6.8 billion, compared to CHF 6.7 billion in 2021. This was driven by significant collaboration and licensing deals, where Swiss biotech companies often successfully partner with large pharma companies, and product sales boosted for companies including Idorsia, ObsEva, EffRx Pharmaceuticals, Relief Therapeutics, NLS Pharmaceuticals, Basilea and ADC Therapeutics.
Listed companies received CHF 780 million: VectivBio Holding (CHF 177 million), ADC Therapeutics (CHF 166 million), MoonLake Immunotherapeutics (CHF 140 million), Basilea (CHF 75 million) and BioCartis (CHF 65 million). The largest portion of the private capital, in total CHF 550 million, was raised by CDR-Life (CHF 72 million) and ImmunOS Therapeutics (CHF 71 million). Despite the tough economic environment, two companies were newly listed on SIX Swiss Exchange in 2022: Kinarus Therapeutics and Xlife Sciences; the latter of which was the first company to list on the newly launched SME stock exchange segment Sparks.
In addition, the Swiss life science ecosystem continued to strengthen. By the end of 2022, 20 percent of European biotechs had chosen Switzerland as their headquarter location, citing as decisive factors the central location, modern infrastructure, business friendly environment and diverse talent pool. The Swiss Biotech Report features several of such case studies.
Another welcome development was the creation of Swissmedic’s innovation office at the end of 2022 – a new concept designed to achieve faster access to innovative medicines.
Swiss Biotech Success Stories Awards for outstanding achievements
To recognize outstanding achievements, the Swiss Biotech Association again honoured companies with the Swiss Biotech Success Stories Awards. At this year’s Swiss Biotech Day, Sophia Genetics and Humabs BioMed/Vir Biotechnology, are the recipients. Their awards are also celebrated with additional highlights of Swiss biotech R&D achievements from the last 25 years on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Swiss Biotech Association.
Sophia Genetics has developed a powerful decentralized software platform, SOPHiA DDM, for analysing patient data across different modalities and generating actionable insights. In 2022, the company announced that it had hit the milestone of one million genomic profiles analysed.
Humabs BioMed/Vir Biotechnology is a pioneer in the discovery, engineering, and early development of human monoclonal antibodies to fight infectious diseases from Ebola to COVID-19. As a wholly owned subsidiary of Vir Biotechnology, Humabs BioMed continues to innovate utilizing its investigational monoclonal antibodies. Phase II data readouts are expected in 2023 for three advanced development programs in flu, hepatitis B and hepatitis D virus infection.
Source: Swiss Biotech Association Report