With 174 biotech companies and 63 biotech suppliers, Switzerland has the world’s highest per capita biotech density.
Biotechnology Sector in Switzerland
With 174 biotech companies and 63 biotech suppliers, Switzerland has the world’s highest per
capita biotech density.
In 2010, the Swiss biotech industry generated a turnover of CHF 9.2 billion and had a workforce
of over 19,000.
Switzerland maintains a leading position in the global pharmaceutical and biotech
industries. The city of Basle is a European centre of “big pharma”, and the country’s strong
biotech industry is nearing maturity.
Switzerland is an advanced pharmaceutical market. Per-capita expenditure on drugs is among
the highest in the world. Consumption centres around patented pharmaceuticals, with
Switzerland providing a ready market for cutting-edge therapies. Meanwhile, high levels of out
of-pocket expenditure have resulted in the development of a mature and competitive consumer
The Swiss market comprises a spread of company types, ranging from “big pharma” and other
larger-sized biopharma companies to small-to-medium sized companies and start-ups. In general,
Swiss companies are open to international partnerships and cooperation.
Because of the strengths of indigenous industry, opportunities for British companies are mainly
in areas of scientific/technological collaboration, and supply of services:
ξ Human Life Sciences (new compounds and molecules, drug delivery technology)
ξ Rising interest in nutraceuticals
ξ Contract Research Organisations
ξ Instrumentation, systems and equipment
Latest export opportunities – Biotech
Latest export opportunities – Switzerland
Getting into the market
Biotech and pharma companies enjoy a favourable regulatory and administrative environment in
Switzerland. Product registration cycles are short and innovative drugs, biotech products and
services enjoy easy access to the markets.
Switzerland has good contractual relations with the European Union and in many cases
legislation is harmonised.
Swiss companies typically have considerable financial strength and invest significantly in R&D.
They are global in their outlook and favourable to international business relationships.
More about doing business in Switzerland
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
in country - or contact your local international trade team.
ξ Eleanor Baha, British Embassy – UKTI Geneva. Tel: +41 (0)22 918 24 21 or email:
ξ Marie Gow, British Embassy – UKTI Geneva. Tel: +41 (0)22 918 24 78 or email:
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
For a detailed listing of events in Switzerland please consult www.swissbiotech.org/events/
Latest events – Biotech
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters