Healthcare and life sciences in Switzerland
'One of the top firms in Switzerland', Bär & Karrer Ltd. fields an experienced team in healthcare and life sciences, where it covers a broad spectrum of matters. The department has expertise in M&A, commercial agreements, patent litigation and distribution of drug-related matters. Notable key clients include Novartis and Sandoz, and the team also counts other public and private institutions among its clients. The team is also well versed in regulatory matters and representing clients before relevant agencies; Markus Schott's practice focuses on such mandates. Philippe Seiler is the name to note for transactions, while Markus Wang specialises in IP and marketing and distribution issues.
Markus Schott; Markus Wang
Other key lawyers:
Philippe Seiler; Raphael Wyss
‘The firm has strong business understanding and the lawyers of the firm are very responsive and understand when there is an urgency. The firm’s expertise in several areas of law is huge and it is one of the top firms in Switzerland.’
‘Markus Schott has great experience and knowledge in pharmaceutical law and related law areas. He has deep business understanding and responds immediately when an emergency comes up. He is a high caliber professional and one of the top lawyers.’
‘Very responsive team, pragmatic approach, always the right expert on the hand, good communications between the experts. ’
‘Markus Wang: Very pragmatic approach, practice oriented and thinking out of the box.’
‘Markus Schott: neutral advice, keeps overview over complex situations.’
‘Key strengths : Subject Matter Expertise.’
‘Highly professional team with subject matter experts for all key areas.’
Vir Biotech/Humabs Biomed
Swedish Orphan Biovitrum AB
Galderma Skin Health S.A
Colosseum Dental Group
- Successfully defended Sandoz Pharmaceuticals in preliminary injunctions proceedings initiated by ICOS Corporation and Eli Lilly (Suisse) at the Swiss Federal Patent Court concerning a dosages patent.
- Advised EQT on the acquisition of Galderma Skin Health from Nestlé for a total consideration of CHF10.2bn.
- Advised Patinex and BZ Bank on the sale of NovImmune to Light Chain Bioscience.
The team at CMS is jointly led by Patrick Sommer and senior associate Marion Wyler, who have backgrounds in competition and corporate law. The life sciences and healthcare group often works in collaboration with the firm's international network, which enhances its ability to handle cross-border matters. The team's offering also includes the handling of administrative and court proceedings, advising on financial benefits, as well as compliance mandates. Alain Raemy is experienced in competition and general contract law.
Patrick Sommer; Marion Wyler
Other key lawyers:
Bayer (Switzerland) AG
Synlab Suisse SA (and its subsidiaries)
Kieser Training AG
Mobile Health AG
Bruker Switzerland AG
- Advising and representing Bayer Schweiz in proceedings before the Swiss Federal Supreme Court regarding alleged vertical price-fixing of drugs traded over-the-counter.
- Advising Kieser Training on drawing up and implementing its worldwide franchise concept.
- Advised Bruker on the acquisition of PMOD Technologies, a provider of research-use-only software for pre-clinical and molecular imaging.
The healthcare and life sciences practice at Homburger combines the expertise of a multi-disciplinary group of practitioners; together, they advise an impressive portfolio of national and international companies from the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, among others. Dieter Gericke is the key contact for corporate matters and transactions in this space, while Andri Hess advises on patents and patent litigations. Gregor Bühler has experience in regulatory and IP matters. Competition expert Marcel Dietrich, Frank Gerhard and recently promoted Luca Dal Molin are also key members of the team.
Dieter Gericke; Andri Hess; Gregor Bühler; Marcel Dietrich
Other key lawyers:
Luca Dal Molin; Daniel Häusermann
‘Comprehensive approach from global and cultural to technical/practical proposals made by a team that works together well. Completely clear right from the beginning on the timeframe, steps and cost. Delivers as planned and on time.’
‘Business-driven, understands the biotech world.’
‘Dieter Gericke, sharp analytical skills and focussed; strategic contribution; understands the business playing ground.’
‘Daniel Häusermann, sharp lawyer with in depth knowledge of corporate law to navigate and solve any complex matters and projects.’
‘Able to explain clearly the cultural and technical aspects; Sharp, committed and easy going.’
‘The team is very approachable, reliable and responsive with attention to detail in a balanced manner. The firm has a great network and they are on top of the latest developments and those to come.’
‘The individuals are open minded, flexible and their “we get it done” approach. They are quick in understanding business needs and setups and have a good market understanding. Clear communication avoids misunderstanding and they are not too shy to come forth with things that need further clarification.’
Johnson & Johnson
Santhera Pharmaceuticals Holding
Zur Rose Group
Strides Pharma Science
- Advised Novartis on the sale of a sterile drug product fill and finish facility to Lonza.
- Advised Cerberus Capital Management and Covis Pharma on the sale of Covis Pharma to Apollo Global Management.
- Representing Edwards Lifesciences in mitral valve repair patent infringement lawsuits before the Swiss Federal Patent Court.
The well-established life sciences practice at VISCHER is sought after by a range of players in the industry, including pharmaceutical companies, start-ups and investors. Covering the healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotech and cosmetics sectors, the team handles contentious and non-contentious regulatory and patent matters as well as financing rounds and M&A transactions. Stefan Kohler enjoys a strong reputation among his peers and has experience in IP and technology law. He jointly leads the practice with Basel-based Matthias Staehelin, who is well versed in capital markets, venture capital and agreements in the relevant field. Christian Wyss, also in the Basel office, is noted for his knowledge in R&D, technology transfers and license agreements.
Stefan Kohler; Matthias Staehelin
Other key lawyers:
DCS Pharma AG
Numab Therapeutics AG
Immunos Therapeutics AG
EraCal Therapeutics AG
T3 Pharmaceuticals AG
Kuros Biosciences AG
Straub Medical AG
Philip Morris International
- Advised Numab Therapeutics on its China-partnering deal and CHF15m Series B investment with Sunshine Guojian.
- Advised Anokion on its acquisition of Kanyos Bio, Inc. and a $40m Series B financing round.
- Advised ImmunOs on a CHF15m Series A financing round to complete first-in-human trials.
Kellerhals Carrard's team is 'characterised by its excellent cooperation with each other and with clients', which makes cross-departmental collaboration run smoothly. A particular area of expertise is dispute resolution, where the group represents national and foreign companies as well as doctors and hospitals in litigation and arbitration proceedings. The team's offering also includes regulatory advice and compliance matters, as well as financing and M&A transactions. Thomas Eichenberger in Bern leads the team and is also well versed in tort and product liability law. Basel-based Claudia Götz Staehelin is noted as a 'highly experienced litigator and a superb advocate with excellent strategic skills'. Nicolas Mosimann, Christoph Zimmerli and Jean-Luc Chenaux are key contacts in Basel, Bern and Lausanne, respectively. Oliver Brupbacher from Novartis joined the Basel office in August 2020.
Other key lawyers:
Claudia Götz Staehelin; Nicolas Mosimann; Christoph Zimmerli; Jean-Luc Chenaux; Oliver Brupbacher; Claudio Helmle
‘The team is outstanding. Its knowledge in pharmaceutical is exceptional, given the background and long-standing experience as in-house executives. The team is able to understand company’s internal processes and needs and adapt it very well to legal strategies and solutions.’
‘The Kellerhals Carrard group includes partners with strong experience within life sciences companies, and they bring a practical results-oriented approach to counseling and representing clients. The Kellerhals lawyers are very good at helping clients achieve their business objectives within the law, and effectively defending clients when their actions have been challenged; such an approach adds real value.’
‘Claudia Götz Staehelin manages to be both intellectually rigorous and practical at once, and calmly approaches even the biggest crises. She asks hard questions and digs for not just “right” answers, but the best answers. She is a natural leader.’
‘Oliver Brupbacher brings a thirst for innovation and a command of the intricacies of Swiss-US legal interactions that makes him immensely valuable to any cross-border or multinational dispute team; he is also thoughtful and thorough, and seeks out practical solutions.’
‘Kellerhals Carrard has a long lasting track record of profound knowledge of the Healthcare and life science sector and provide timely legal advice and have a profound knowledge also on the related proceedings in this field. ’
‘Thomas Eichenberger has a profound knowledge in the field and is THE expert to go to in the field of Swiss Healthcare and Life sciences law. ’
‘The team is characterized by its excellent cooperation with each other and with the clients and is able to conduct all types of litigations at any time. It is quick to react, efficient and delivers solutions that are waterproof.’
‘Claudia Götz Staehelin is a highly experienced litigator and a superb advocate with excellent strategic skills. She is a sharp tactician, always looking a few steps ahead strategically. Given her background, Claudia has a great reputation for her deep industry and business understanding. She has particular experience in handling large compliance investigations and cross-border proceedings, and Claudia is excellent in including not only the legal aspects in the case strategy, but also aspects beyond that, such as reputation and real crisis management.’
Roche Pharma (Schweiz) AG
Gilead Sciences Switzerland Sàrl
Vifor Pharma AG
Arctos Medical AG/Walter Inaebnit
- Advising Gilead with respect to a regulatory and reimbursement question regarding the medicinal product Remdesivir that is indicated to treat Covid-19.
- Acted as lead legal advisor to IQVIA on its investment within the course of BC Platforms AG’s series (financing round).
- Advised Amazentis on several corporate law and contractual matters, on its various private equity financing rounds and on its strategic partnership with Nestlé Health Science.
Lenz & Staehelin fields an experienced team with specialists from different areas. The group is regularly instructed by healthcare providers, academic institutions and companies operating in the pharmaceutical, medical devices, biotech and diagnostics sectors. The practice is headed up by teams in Zurich and Geneva: IP and regulatory specialist Thierry Calame, corporate practitioner Stephan Erni and dispute resolution expert Harold Frey are the names to note in the German-Swiss office, while Xavier Favre-Bulle, Andreas Rötheli and Guy Vermeil take the lead in the latter. Counsel Lara Dorigo is also a key advisor and litigator.
Thierry Calame; Stephan Erni; Harold Frey; Xavier Favre-Bulle; Andreas Rötheli; Guy Vermeil
Other key lawyers:
Peter Ling; Lara Dorigo
‘Extremely efficient, full of knowledge, strong communication skills: all the good aspects I could ever think of are shown by Lenz & Staehlin.’
‘The team’s work is excellent and the team and was highly regarded by the attorneys working on the related cases pending in other jurisdictions.’
‘Thierry Calame and Lara Dorigo are extremely knowledgeable about all the aspects of the law, and they engage and work well with subject matter experts. They provide excellent advice, and gave advanced and detailed instructions. They also worked extremely well with the other legal teams handling the related matters in other countries, which was very important due to the multi-jurisdictional nature of the case.’
Alpha Health Group
Manufacture Modules Technologies
Merck & Co., Inc.
Revance Therapeutics, Inc.
- Representing claimant Abbott against Edwards Lifesciences in a patent infringement litigation regarding the manufacture and distribution of the PASCAL transcatheter heart valve repair system.
- Represented Merck & Co in trade mark infringement litigation involving domain names, company names, social media and email addresses.
- Representing the owners in the sale of the Ardentis group to Columna Capital for an amount between CHF50m and 100m and the subsequent reinvestment by the sellers of part of the sale proceeds in the Ardentis group.
Meyerlustenberger Lachenal Ltd impresses with a broad and innovative practice, which takes on novel mandates such as blockchain pharmaceutical use cases. The team's workload includes dispute resolution, commercial agreements, pricing negotiations and regulatory matters, in addition to transactional work. It has a mixture of national and international life sciences and pharmaceutical companies on its client roster. Practice head Simon Holzner's specialisation is in IP questions, an area in which Michael Ritscher and Kilian Schärli also focus. Ulrike Ciesla also holds a PhD in chemistry. Further names to note include Nadine von Büren-Maier and associate Louisa Galbraith.
Other key lawyers:
Nadine von Büren-Maier; Michael Ritscher; Kilian Schärli; Ulrike Ciesla; Louisa Galbraith
‘MLL has an experienced pharma litigation team unique amongst its peers in that its approach is innovative.’
‘Michael Ritscher is highly experienced and knows everybody in the industry – other European litigators and a whole host of judges. He is easy to work with and works well with teams from other jurisdictions.’
‘Kilian Schärli is an up and coming young partner starting to make his mark in the team.’
‘Ulrike Ciesla is an extremely experienced patent attorney. Her experience and technical know-how really adds another layer to the team.’
‘The team is highly organised and handles litigation (IP) very well. They have a superb reputation with clients as well as with the courts. ’
‘Michael Ritscher is brilliant and always on spot.’
‘Kilian Schärli: super enthusiastic and dives deep into all areas of technology.’
‘Simon Holzer is a very knowledgable speaker.’
AstraZeneca AB (Sweden)
AstraZeneca (Switzerland) AG
Bayer Pharma AG
Cellprotect Holding AG
cereneo Schweiz AG
CHOCOSUISSE, Association of Swiss Chocolate Manufacturers
Gilead Sciences, Inc.
H. Lundbeck A/S (Denmark)
Lundbeck Schweiz AG (Switzerland)
Kantonsspital St. Gallen (KSSG)
MaKe WeBo AB
Mundipharma Medical Company
Psychiatrische Dienste Aargau AG
Spital Männedorf AG
Swiss Cosmetic Association (SKW)
- Successfully defended and enforced Gilead’s Swiss SPC for the combination of tenofovir disoproxil and emtricitabine in litigation concerning the validity and scope of SPCs for combination products.
- Advising one of the largest groups of hospitals in Switzerland with respect to its data protection compliance with respect to the introduction of a new clinical information system.
- Assisting Modum with providing innovative distributed ledger technology solutions for the entire supply chain in the life sciences sector.
Schellenberg Wittmer Ltd's core strengths lie in transactional work, including M&A and joint ventures, IP and technology transfers, and licensing; as well as dispute resolution, where the team has expertise in patent litigation, product liability and related arbitration proceedings. In addition, the firm's regulatory practice was bolstered by the arrival of Lorenza Ferrari Hofer, who joined from Pestalozzi in September 2020. Practice head Philipp Groz is also well versed in IP and unfair competition. Other names to note include David Mamane and Pascal Hubli. The team not only acts for life sciences and pharmaceutical companies, but also for companies in the tobacco, food and beverage industries.
Other key lawyers:
Lorenza Ferrari Hofer; David Mamane; Peter Picht; Pascal Hubli
‘Lorenza Ferrari Hofer is a very learned and competent professional.’
Catalent Pharma Solutions
CSL Behring AG
Ascensia Diabetes Care
Shire International GmbH
Procter & Gamble
Ascencia Diabetes Care
AOP Orphan Pharmaceuticals AG
Nutra Essential OTC, S.L.
- Advised a Swiss Orphan drug company on various issues, including on the termination of a distribution agreement with a Swiss drug manufacturer, and on a plan to introduce a generic version of a previously distributed product in the market.
- Advised Santhera on various multi-jurisdictional licensing deals, including its global licensing and development agreement with Polyphor.
- Assisted a US producer of Cannabidiol (CBD) products with various aspects of CBD regulation in Switzerland.
Baker McKenzie delivers 'strong life sciences and IP expertise around the globe'. The team is instructed by international companies from across the industry, including pharmaceutical, biotech and medical devices companies. Under the lead of capital markets specialist Matthias Courvoisier, the group advises on transactions, commercial matters, compliance and regulatory matters. Peter Reinert also covers competition and employment cases, and associate Julia Schieber is the key contact for IP issues.
Other key lawyers:
Peter Reinert; Serge Pannatier; Julia Schieber
‘Strong Lifescience and IP expertise around the globe out of one hand – great accessibility and best tailor-made solutions for us as a company, our technology and our investors in light of the respective current market environment. ’
‘Matthias Courvoisier is outstanding in terms of expertise, to go mentality and very smart in dealing with authorities and banks. Kind of excellent holistic style and very pragmatic.’
‘Julia Schieber: a trusted legal advisor of choice in life science licensing ontracting; passionate, diligent and always a very smart solution provider.’
‘Worldwide, fast, competent and dedicated.’
‘Julia Schieber is very smart, motivated, competent and dedicated.’
‘We benefitted from the team’s extensive experience negotiating a variety of contract structures in the life sciences. The timely execution of tasks, the accessibility and the willingness to accommodate unusual working hours really made the Baker McKenzie Healthcare and life sciences practice stand out.’
‘Julia Schieber is extremely reliable, accessible and hard-working. She can draw from her considerable experience in the life sciences space to help the client navigate the unique complexities of establishing each partnership.’
Actelion Pharmaceuticals AG
Baitella Holding AG
Bausch Health Corporation
HBM Partners Ltd
Cell Medica Ltd
Cosmo Pharmaceutical NV
Basilea Pharmaceutica AG
Sanofi Aventis (Suisse) SA
The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations
NLS Pharma AG
Curasept A.D.S. S.r.l.
Zur Rose Group
- Advised CSL Behring on a strategic partnership with Thermo Fisher.
- Advising Takeda on its integration with Shire in Switzerland from a regulatory, corporate and employment perspective.
- Advised Numab, one of the leading Swiss biotech companies, on a number of transactions including the research and option agreement with Ono Pharmaceutical and the global research and option agreement with Eisai.
The broad life sciences practice at BianchiSchwald LLC advises healthcare groups, clinics and professionals on various topics, covering approvals, contract negotiations and dispute resolution, among other areas. Marc Metzger handles transactions and distribution agreements and leads the practice jointly with Geneva-based Thomas Goossens, who is well versed in private equity-related mandates. Stefan Scherrer is another name to note.
Marc Metzger; Thomas Goossens
Other key lawyers:
Thomas Schmid; Stefan Scherrer
‘Reactiveness and strong experience in the field.’
‘Thomas Goossens is easy to work with, detail-oriented, available and has great practical knowledge in the field of biotech financing and corporate law and a good knowledge of the industry.’
‘The revision of healthcare contracts is very timely and efficient.’
VAMED Management und Service Schweiz AG, Zihlschlacht-Sitterdorf
Rehaklinik Zihlschlacht AG, Zihlschlacht-Sitterdorf
VAMED Health Project Schweiz AG, Zihlschlacht-Sitterdorf
Calypso Biotech SA
Correvio International Sàrl
Rehaklinik Dussnang AG
Reha Seewis AG
Widex Hörgeräte AG
WS Audiology AG
bloom Hörakustik AG
- Advised Rehaklinik Zihlschlacht and VAMED Health Projects Schweiz on the construction of a second rehabilitation clinic in Switzerland.
- Advised VAMED Management und Service Schweiz in the purchase of all the shares of a mid-sized rehabilitation clinic specialised in cardiology.
- Advised Rehaklinik Dussnang on the construction of a clinic in Switzerland, acting as legal adviser to VAMED as well as Rehaklinik Dussnang.
The team at Bratschi Ltd puts an emphasis on its regulatory practice, for which it is regularly instructed by therapeutic products manufacturers, laboratory services and medical services providers. The group is jointly led by pharmacist Ursula Eggenberger Stöckli in Bern and Felix Kesselring, who joined the firm in January 2020 from CMS. The department also covers dispute resolution, including administrative and court proceedings, commercial agreements, financial benefits and compliance matters.
Ursula Eggenberger Stöckli; Felix Kesselring
‘Bratschi Ltd is a long-established firm based in Switzerland, which provides a broad range of legal services. The members are dedicated to their clients and go out of their way to provide a professional and personal service. They’re responsive and highly knowledgeable as well as determined to achieve their client’s objectives and form a tight knit team putting the client’s needs first.’
‘Felix Kesselring is very dedicated and has excellent knowledge of the law and the industry. He is very service oriented and I really enjoy working with him.’
‘A very mature, competent, reliable and straight-forward business partner with high customer and problem-solving oriented approach.’
‘Felix Kesselring has a profound interest in the client’s problems and commercial goals and is able to provide legal solutions quickly ready to be implemented. He has the ability to explain complex legal issues with simple words. He is extremely motivated and always goes the extra mile’.
‘Felix Kesselring’s approach is simple: he makes the client’s project happen by providing high-quality legal solutions. He is an excellent problem-solver. Felix Kesselring is highly skilled and unquestionably has an outstanding legal expertise. He also has an in-depth industry knowledge especially in the Life Sciences and Healthcare sectors based on first-hand and industry working experience. His advice is, therefore, excellent value for money.’
‘High quality, the air of a boutique, with a personalized approach.’
‘Ursula Eggenberger is highly rcommended. She and her team offer an extraordinary expertise and industry knowledge in the field of pharma and life science. This in combination with many years of experience and many successes, also when it comes to legal cases with authorities, means an invaluable added value for the customer.’
Gilead Sciences Switzerland LLC
Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics Ltd.
Sigma Aldrich Production GmbH
CSL Behring Ltd.
Kantonsspital St. Gallen
- Advised Gilead Sciences Switzerland on early access of Remdesivir against Covid-19 in Switzerland.
- Advised Smith & Nephew Orthopaedics on several liability claims.
- Advised CSL Behring on the implementation of a production plant for immunoglobulins in Switzerland.
Geneva-based law firm Mangeat Attorneys at Law LLC acts for life sciences companies, medical devices manufacturers, healthcare institutions and professionals. Its scope encompasses mainly commercial, regulatory and contentious work, including malpractice cases. This is also the speciality of counsel and practice co-head Sara Dousset; in addition, she advises on data privacy matters. Fabien Aepli is the key contact for corporate and contractual issues.
Sara Dousset; Fabien Aepli
‘Ability to understand the health issue, and put adaptations and optimizations in place to respond to legal constraints and complexities.’
Edwards Lifesciences SA
Otsuka Novel Products GmbH
Omega Fund IV, L.P.
- Advised Edwards Lifesciences on all commercial matters to assist the client in coping with a workload increase for its legal team in all EMEA regions.
- Assisting Aptissen in relation to license and distribution agreements for its medical devices.
- Representing a doctor in criminal and disciplinary proceedings arising from alleged medical malpractice.
Pestalozzi has expertise in a broad range of healthcare and life sciences matters, covering M&A, asset purchases and venture capital and private equity transactions; regulatory and compliance matters; product safety and liability; and dispute resolution. The team, which is led by Christian Roos and Franz Schubiger, is regularly instructed by medical devices and pharmaceutical manufacturers and distributers, service providers, investors and non-profit research organisations. Lorenza Ferrari Hofer left in September 2020.
Christian Roos; Franz Schubiger
Other key lawyers:
Astellas Pharma Europe
Johnson & Johnson group of companies
Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Inc.
Promethera Biosciences SA
University Hospital Zurich (USZ)
Wenger & Vieli LTD's practice covers the full spectrum of life sciences matters, including pricing and reimbursement, advertising, market access, dispute resolution, competition, data privacy and product liability matters. The team is active for national and international companies as well as start-ups, in particular from the pharmaceutical sector. Department head Frank Scherrer is a dedicated practitioner in this area. Beat Speck in Zug is mainly responsible for transactions.
Other key lawyers:
- Assisted a Swiss pharmaceutical company with the successful appeal proceeding against a price decrease decision.
- Advised a pharmaceutical company on the successful appeal before the Swiss Federal Court against the restriction of an indication of a pharmaceutical product by Swissmedic.
- Advised a pharmaceutical company regarding the setting up of a patient support programme considering various aspects, including data protection.