Switzerland is one of the most reputable and innovative biotech hubs in the world. Local companies hold leading positions throughout many sectors and thus attract capital, partnerships and talents from all regions. The basis for this success is a close-knit network between research and development, driven by renowned universities, highly-specialized SMEs and strong multinational corporations.

Increase your company’s visibility

The directory helps all biotech companies to get more visibility as Swiss Biotech Directory entries get top positions in Google searches. Take the advantage to list your company’s key data, and thus open up new business opportunities, as your company is better found online (e.g. in searches by key business or core competencies).

As a member of the Swiss Biotech Association you are entitled to present more information than non-members in the directory.

More about the Swiss Biotech Directory

Legal framework and policies in Swiss biotech

Swiss life sciences companies are impacted by specific national and international guidelines – non comprehensive selection is given here:

Code of Conduct of the Pharmaceutical Industry in Switzerland on cooperation with Healthcare Professional Circles and Patient Organization.

Pharma Cooperation Code (PCC)

Transparency is the key to the creation of confidence in relations with the general public and patients. That is why the European pharmaceutical industry intends in future to disclose the pecuniary benefits provided between the pharmaceutical industry and stakeholders in the healthcare sector.

On 24 June 2013, the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) adopted the new EFPIA Disclosure Code. On that basis, scienceindustries as the responsible member association of EFPIA in Switzerland drew up the Pharma Cooperation Code (PCC) which entered into force in January 2014. The partner associations Intergenerika, Interpharma and vips have also subscribed to the PCC.

What commitment have the PCC signatory companies made?
With effect from 2016, the signatory companies will disclose each year on their websites accessible to the public the  pecuniary benefits which they granted in the previous year (beginning with 2015) to professionals (primarily physicians and pharmacists) as well as healthcare organizations (in particular hospitals and research institutes).

Which benefits are disclosed?
The term pecuniary benefits as defined by the PCC means remuneration granted either directly or indirectly in connection with pharmaceuticals for human medicine available on prescription only. The disclosure includes payments made e.g. for consultancy and the provision of services, financial support for research and development in the healthcare sector and cost contributions for the attendance of professionals at events.

There are few exceptions from the obligation to disclose pecuniary benefits, e.g.:
• normal commercial compensation for professionals when pharmaceuticals are ordered and delivered
• delivery of pharmaceutical samples without payment to professionals within the limits of the official
• information and training materials of modest value
• payment for meals (including beverages)

How is disclosure effected?
To achieve a high degree of transparency, disclosure should take place individually, i.e. naming the recipients in person.
This requires the consent of the persons or organizations concerned to such disclosure. For this purpose, the cooperation agreements between the companies and these professional persons and organizations must be supplemented by suitable consent clauses. The companies are currently in contact with these stakeholders for that reason.

[Source: https://en.scienceindustries.ch/involvement/pharma-code-and-pharma-coope…

Federal Act defining research involving human beings for clinical (ClinO) and non-clinical (HRO) research

Federal Act on Research involving Human Beings

Legal provisions on research on humans can be found on several federal acts, the most important being:

Federal Act on Research involving Human Beings (Human Research Act, HRA)

The legislation on research involving humans came into force on 1 January 2014. Besides the Human Research Act (HRA), the legislation includes three ordinances:

The HRA regulates research involving humans (in particular clinical trials), research on human cadavers, embryos and foetuses, and research involving biological material and health-related personal data. All of these research projects must be authorised by an ethics committee. Clinical trials also need to be registered. The overall aim of the new act is to simplify certain processes: it standardises authorisation and registration procedures and reduces the administrative burden for research projects involving low risk for the participants.

The new legislation aims to protect the dignity, privacy and health of human subjects of research. The law also aims to create appropriate conditions for research involving humans, help to improve the quality of this research and foster greater transparency in this area.

Further information on the law and the main changes it involves can be found on the kofam (Coordination office for research involving humans) website: www.kofam.ch

The competent authorities for research on humans in Switzerland are the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (SFOPH) and Swissmedic.

Swiss Ordinance on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilisation (referring to Swiss and non-Swiss Genetic Resources)

Nagoya Ordinance on Access and Benefit Sharing

The Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-Sharing, which was negotiated within the framework of the Convention on Biological Diversity, regulates access to genetic resources and the fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from their utilisation. It therefore supports the implementation of the third objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity, and contributes towards the preservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of its components.

Switzerland has ratified the Nagoya Protocol on 11 July 2014. The Nagoya Protocol and the amendments of the Natural and Cultural Heritage Protection Act (NCHA) came into force on 12 October 2014. The Nagoya Ordinance (NagO) came into force on 1 February 2016. 

Together with the Nagoya Protocol and the provisions in the Federal Act on the Protection of Nature and Cultural Heritage (NCHA it forms the basis for the legal use of genetic resources from other countries. The Nagoya Ordinance (NagO) also regulates the access to genetic resources in Switzerland. The Nagoya Ordinance substantiates the provisions in the Nature and Cultural Heritage Act  for the implementation of the Nagoya Protocol in Switzerland and thus ensures greater legal certainty.

The Nagoya Ordinance defines obligations and responsibilities when doing research on genetic resources from Switzerland and other Nagoya parties, regardless if research is performed in academiy or industry.

For more information, consult:

Stakeholders in Swiss biotech

Industry associations

Swiss Biotech Association – association of Swiss biotech companies
Economiesuisse – Association of Swiss enterprises
Interpharma – Swiss pharmaceutical research companies
scienceindustries – Swiss society of chemial industries
Toolpoint – Competence center for life science tool
Vips – Vereinigung Pharmafirmen in der Schweiz
Swiss Testing Labs – association of swiss laboratories

Support in Switzerland

Euresearch – Swiss guide to European research and innovation
S-GE Export – Advice, contacts and new business opportunities for export-oriented SMEs 
SME portal – Establish an SME
Swiss Technoparks – Association of Swiss Technoparks
Simap – Information System on public pocurement in Switzerland

Support abroad

S-GE Invest – Marketing Switzerland a a business location abroad
swissnex – Connecting the world & Switzerland in science education, art & innovation.
Swiss Cham – Swiss Chambers of Commerce
Venture Leaders Biotech – The Swiss National Startup Team in Boston

International stakeholders

International associations

EuropaBio – European Association for Bioindustries
Enterprise Europe Network – business support network initiated by the European Commission
European Federation of Biotechnology – Association of European scientific and technical societies active in biotechnology

National industry associations

Canada: BIOTECanada
Germany: BIO Deutschland,  VBU – Association of German Biotech Companies / DIB – Deutsche Industrievereinigung DIB
Finland: FIB Finnish Bioindustries
France: France Biotech
Ireland: Irish Bioindustry Association
Italy: Assobiotec
Japan: Japan Bioindustry Association

Start-up and spin-off support

Private and public instiutions support the creation of start-ups and spin-offs – a selection of  contacts are provided here:

CTI Entrepreneurship – the Swiss federal training programme for startup founders.
CTI Start-up: The hands-on coaching program for business founders and young entrepreneurs
Fongit – Swiss startup incubator
IFJ – Startup Support & Business Plan Tool
Innosuisse Start-up Training Biotech – Business creation & business growth
SME portal – Establish an SME
StartBiz – Easily create a company online
seca – Swiss Private Equity & Corporate Finance Association
Venturekick – Kickstart your venture
Venturelab – Supports world-class startups

Technology transfer offers from Swiss universities

The Swiss Technology Transfer Association is the association of technology transfer professionals who are active in the transfer of technology from institutes of public research and education, university hospitals, and other not-for-profit research organizations to the private sector in Switzerland. They support academic researchers in the marketing of their technologies.