Editorials

The biotech industry as a model

04.05.2018 15:15

The Swiss biotech industry is in great shape, not least because new trends, such as digitalisation, can be implemented quickly.

Dear reader

How high do you estimate the Swiss pharmaceutical, chemical and biotech industry’s share of Swiss exports? In 2017, it was just under 45% – and astonishingly CHF 4 billion has been invested over the last few years in the construction of biotech production sites in Switzerland. These and other figures from the Swiss Biotech Report, published yesterday, show that the biotech industry has developed into one of the most important growth drivers in the Swiss economy.

The start-ups in this area also constantly make positive headlines at startupticker. Neurimmune will receive another $50 million from co-partner Biogen as part of the development of a drug for Alzheimer’s. And a second leading global life sciences group has made a find in Switzerland: Agilent has taken over Lausanne-based Genohm, which has developed a software suite for the management of life sciences laboratories.

Digitalisation has arrived in the biotech industry as the example of Genohm shows – and the industry association the Swiss Biotech Association has also acknowledged this, as yesterday members unanimously elected Sophia Genetics founder and CEO Jurgi Camblong to the board of the association.

Two interviews look at the background of support services this week. We talk to Marco Vencato about the new First Ventures programme, which provides money and coaching for students and graduates who want to start a spin-off, and Christoph Birkholz gives an insight into the current edition of Kickstart Accelerator. Applications are open for First Ventures and Kickstart Accelerator until the end of May.

And politics is also becoming more aware of start-ups. The canton of Ticino has passed a tax reform that relieves the burden on business angels and start-ups.

Furthermore, many activities are taking place on the corporate side. In Martigny, Groupe Mutuel is to set up a deeptech Accelerator, and Generali’s innovation garage is already in operation. We asked the start-ups housed there what benefits the proximity to insurance brings them. Fintech start-ups also made headlines this week: Monito has been awarded the Prix Strategis, and CashSentinel is expanding its focus on the payment of boat purchases with the help of a French partner.

Hurry if you want to apply for venture leaders Fintech: the deadline is 6 May. The registration deadline for the BaseLaunch programme is still running – until 14 May.

Have a good weekend
Stefan Kyora

Editor in Chief, Startupticker.ch

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