The Swiss biotech sector again drew unprecedented levels of investment interest in 2021. Capital investments reached CHF 3.33B (USD 3.53B) in spite of the fact that R&D was focused mainly beyond COVID-19.
According to the Swiss Biotech Report presented at the Swiss Biotech Day 2022 in Basel, the sector experienced record levels of financing last year, making 2021 Swiss biotech’s second-best year in terms of financing.
Although Switzerland’s life sciences sector did help to combat COVID-19 with two Switzerland-based companies contributing to effective SARS-CoV-2-specific therapeutics, Humabs BioMed/Vir Biotechnology and Molecular Partners/Novartis, the R&D investments made by Swiss biotechnology companies were mainly centered on other therapeutic areas last year.
The CHF 2.56 billion (USD 2.71 billion) in research investments went to immuno-oncology, neurology and emerging fields such as cell-based therapies, along with data-driven business models to enable the development of digital therapeutics or personalized medicine.
With respect to revenues, the Swiss biotech industry generated CHF 6.7B, compared to CHF 4.9B in 2020.
«Last year, we expressed some caution that the COVID pandemic might take its toll and that the Swiss inclination not to intervene in the free market, and to avoid providing direct government support for venture-based startups and small/mid-sized R&D companies, could backfire and weaken the innovative power of Switzerland. However, record levels of financing in 2020 and 2021 suggest that not only Swiss, but global biotech investors continue to recognize the attractiveness of investment opportunities on offer,» said Michael Altorfer, CEO, Swiss Biotech Association.