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Switzerland Posts Biotech Gains in 2009

NEW YORK, May 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite a less than favorable global economic environment the Swiss biotechnology industry performed rather well in 2009, reports Mario Brossi, North American senior advisor for Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion.  According to the Swiss Biotech Report 2010 employment in the sector grew 6% to 19,071 while turnover reached CHF 9.3 billion*, a 7% increase over the prior year.

"The report notes that while the financing environment was challenging, Swiss companies were able to raise CHF 370 million in new capital, led by NovImmune's CHF 60 million in venture capital," Mr. Brossi said.  "BioMedInvest II raised CHF 100 million in new capital and Index Ventures EUR 350 million for early stage investment."

In other activity mondoBiotech floated its shares on the SWX Swiss Exchange, Evolva became public through a reverse merger with Arpida, and ESBATech in a transaction worth up to CHF 600 million was acquired by eye care leader Alcon.

"A measure of a country's ranking in a particular field is the number of patents filed per million of population," Mr. Brossi said.  "The World Patent Index reports that for Switzerland the number of biotech patents registered under this criterion is about 250.  This compares favorably with the U.S. (70), Japan (65), Germany (45), and Great Britain (40).  Much of the country's success in biotech is due to strong Federal support, its network of excellent research institutions and research-oriented industrial players."

According to the Swiss Biotech Report 2010 as of 2009 there were 327 biotech firms in the country, of which 65 are classified as suppliers to the industry.

Switzerland at BIO 2010

At the recently concluded BIO 2010 International Convention in Chicago, Swiss biotech was represented by 18 companies in the Swiss Pavilion and 9 pavilion partners including cantonal and regional economic development agencies, Swiss biotech clusters, the SIX Swiss Exchange, and the country's innovation promotion agency CTI.  Swiss presentations during the technical sessions covered monoclonal antibodies and white (industrial) biotechnology.  The Swiss Delegation was the 10th largest country delegation at BIO.

Further information at

*1 Swiss Franc (CHF) = ~U.S. $0.86

SOURCE Switzerland Trade and Investment Promotion
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