2021 milestones at Biopôle
A retrospective by Nasri Nahas, CEO at Biopôle SA
As I look back at a year on our campus full of unveilings, announcements, events and reports, one thought stands out as being the most significant: our community has never been so vibrant. My team and I work every day to create the special sparkle needed to enable innovation through collaboration, but when going through the different milestones of the past 12 months, I am frankly impressed by the dynamism of our community, despite the pandemic. With more than 120 organisations working in life sciences, including start-ups, multinationals, foundations and research organisations, Biopôle keeps growing and the activity of its members couldn’t be livelier. This year, around 30 companies joined our campus, and we can clearly see an increase in companies active in digital health and biotechnologies.
In 2021, funds raised by Biopôle-based companies since inception reached CHF 1.77 billion, assisted by HAYA Therapeutics, who joined Biopôle in 2018 and – only three years later – raised CHF 18m
, and ADC Therapeutics, who have entered into a financing agreement with HealthCare Royalty for up to US$325m
. The success of this community is led by a powerful collaborative spirit that is shared between our members: six out of ten CEOs say they are already collaborating on projects with other members of the community.
After successfully launching the StartLab incubator
back in 2018, and having shaped and reworked its offering, we were delighted to welcome Superlab Suisse
to our community in May. Superlab offers a complementary service to StartLab’s, as well as giving an opportunity for our start-ups to grow in a more private setting. Cellestia Biotech, Tigen Pharma and HAYA Therapeutics are among the first companies to move into the new labs.
This year, we also launched the Biopôle Start-up Fund
. I am particularly proud of its popularity and touched by how this fund tackles some of the real problems encountered by our members. And since start-ups represent a large percentage of the companies hosted on campus, we have developed a programme to make sure that they get the contacts they need when they need them: BMS, Clinique La Prairie, CSL Behring and, most recently, Swiss Medical Network
have all decided to jump at this opportunity to expand their innovation network.
You will find below a selection of the news that you should catch up on before entering 2022. While on the verge of the new year, and with 2021 drawing to a close – with all its challenges and surprises – you can be sure that my team and I will be endlessly devoting every effort to making your journey at Biopôle a success: we will accompany you, however it suits you, for the duration of your stay.
I wish you all a lovely end-of-the-year holiday and a new year full of love and joy for you and your families.
The news you shouldn’t have missed in 2021