Swiss Biotech Represents Switzerland at BIO 2006, Launches Annual Report

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Swiss Biotech, the leading biotech consortium of Switzerland, will represent the country at this year’s Bio2006 in Chicago. With its annual report 2006 just off the presses, Swiss Biotech’s appearance highlights the many advantages of Switzerland as a thriving location for research, development and financing of Biotech and Life Sciences and intends to open a gateway for Swiss biotech companies to the global marketplace.

Stiftung Greater Zurich Area Standortmarketing

At this year’s Bio2006, the annual fair of the Biotech Industry Association in Chicago, the biotech industry of Switzerland is represented by Swiss Biotech. Swiss Biotech is an alliance of the four leading biotech locations of Switzerland, the Geneva-based BioAlps, BioValley Basel, Biopolo Ticino and the Greater Zurich Area, known as Zurich MedNet. Hailing from four different regions of Switzerland, the multilingual umbrella group also counts the SWX Swiss Exchange and the Swiss Biotech Association as its members. With close ties to private enterprises and the financial industry, Swiss Biotech represents the 138 current core Swiss biotech companies, in addition to pharma and agribusiness companies such as Novartis, Roche, and Syngenta, and biotech suppliers.

Swiss Biotech Report 2006 shows Switzerland is a biotech hotbed

Just in time for the Bio2006, Swiss Biotech has published its annual report Swiss Biotech Report 2006. The data gathered in the report shows that Switzerland’s biotech performance has generated an impressive track record once again:

  • Switzerland has held the leading position in biotech density, i.e. biotech companies per capita
  • In absolute numbers of biotech companies, the country has consistently been ranked sixth in Europe and in the top ten worldwide.
  • Switzerland ranked second in Europe in terms of revenue and market capitalization
  • Roughly 15,000 employees in Switzerland’s biotech sector created a turnover of almost $6 billion in 2005
  • Approximately $1.1 billion have been invested into R&D in 2005
  • A constantly increasing influx of investment (over $200 million in 2005) has established Swiss biotech among the top three destinations for venture capital in Europe.

Favorable business and tax conditions for biotech and the success stories of global industry leaders like Serono or Actelion, SMEs like Prionics and numerous start-ups such as Glycart, have turned Switzerland into a veritable biotech haven. Says Alice Huxley, CEO of Speedel: “Switzerland is an excellent location for any entrepreneur looking to build a successful biotech business.” Companies such as Isolagen, Biogen Idec or Amgen have relocated their headquarters to Switzerland and helped establish the country as a hotbed for biotech and life sciences along the lines of prime industry locations like Massachusetts and California.

Symbiosis of scientific excellence, technology transfer and financial industry

According to the Swiss Biotech Report 2006, Switzerland has been able to create a symbiotic biotech environment that successfully combines three critical areas of the biotech business:

  • Leading edge scientific expertise of prestigious universities (e.g. the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zürich) and highly-skilled specialists
  • High degree of cooperation and technology transfer between academic institutes and private sector R&D labs (e.g. through the nationwide “SystemsX” initiative and the advanced Swiss biotech network featuring over 40 science parks)
  • Proximity to the Swiss financial industry (e.g. SWX Swiss Exchange, over 40 VC and private equity funds, and various incubators)

The financial sector is an especially strong pillar of the Swiss biotech symbiosis. The SWX Swiss Exchange has Europe’s highest biotech capitalization and is the continent’s most international marketplace. More than a quarter of the world’s moveable assets are managed by Swiss financial institutions, many of which are located in Zürich and Geneva. The worldwide significance of the Swiss financial centre and its long tradition in life science investments constitute the basis for Switzerland's status as one of Europe's prime IPO locations for biotech companies. With its provision of ready access to risk capital and private equity, Switzerland is also a promising pre-IPO environment, offering start-ups and spin-offs excellent growth conditions.

Swiss Biotech at the Bio2006

Swiss Biotech is located at the Swiss Pavilion in booth no. 1133. Join us for one of our seminars and events (International Seminar: Switzerland, Sunday April 9, 1:35-2.25pm, room S404B&C; The US Market: Opportunities and Challenges for Foreign Companies, Monday April 10, 2-3.30pm, room 405A; Swiss Biotech Welcomes World Cities Alliance, Monday April 10, 4-5.30pm, at the Swiss Pavilion, Booth 1133). More information: http://www.swissbiotech.org

About Swiss Biotech

The Swiss Biotech label was created in order to bolster the Swiss biotech scene at home and abroad and to ensure a uniform image. Swiss Biotech is a consortium of the Swiss biotech regions Bioalps, Biopolo, BioValley Basel and the Greater Zurich Area / Zurich MedNet. Further members of this marketing alliance are SWX Swiss Exchange and the Swiss Biotech Association. http://www.swissbiotech.org

About the Greater Zurich Area AG

The Greater Zurich Area AG, a nonprofit organization, is the marketing association for the Greater Zurich Area business region. It recruits international companies abroad and assists them with setting up companies and making investments in the Greater Zurich Area. Its sponsor is the “Stiftung Greater Zurich Area Standortmarketing,” a public-private partnership that was established in November 1998. Since that time, its membership has grown to include the cantons of Aargau, Glarus, Graubünden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn and Zürich, the cities of Zürich and Winterthur, and several businesses. http://www.greaterzuricharea.ch

For further information, and to order the Swiss Biotech Report 2006, please contact:

Lukas Huber, Director Zurich MedNet and VP Swiss Biotech,

Greater Zurich Area AG, Limmatquai 112, 8001 Zürich / Switzerland

Tel.: +41 44 254 59 08

Marc Neumann, International Media Relations, Greater Zurich Area AG, New York

Tel: +1 212 427 7185

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Lukas Huber
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