Swiss Biotech Day (SBD) is an annual event taking place at the heart of Swiss pharma industry – Basel for more than 10 years. A two-day conference brought together Swiss and international biotech professionals and companies. The main topics were related to the position of the biotech industry in Switzerland, its influence beyond its borders and to the trends in the biotech industry. Besides concurrent sessions there was also a very well organized partnering platform to schedule 1-on-1 meetings with the other delegates, as well as country presentations.
The main takeaway of the conference is that small molecules are still very popular and that there are still many being developed. There were pitching sessions where biotech startups pitched their drug candidates to the audience, among which there were many investors.
A related takeaway is that Europe in general lags behind in the development of new therapies, such as ATMPs. USA and China, particularly, are far more advanced in cell and gene therapies. Many delegates expressed the opinion that the continent needs to invest more into ATMPs which also bring higher added value.
Overall, the conference seems to be more oriented towards investors and clinical or late discovery stage biotech startups. I did meet some very interesting people and hopefully this will result in fruitful collaborations. More importantly, it was also an opportunity to meet old and new friends.