Debiopharm Group invests in Searchbox SA, a semantic search engine for professionals

Lausanne and Geneva – October 17, 2012 – Debiopharm Group™ acquires a minority stake in Searchbox SA.

Searchbox SA is closing its Seed B investment round, thanks to the support of existing shareholders, and welcomes new ones, such as Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm). These also include Michael Schmitt, formerly Engineering Director at Google. This new investment will allow Searchbox to continue growing and to finalise the online launch of its semantic search engine for professionals as of this winter.

“The entrepreneurial experience and success of our investors inspire and motivate us to go beyond our limits. This is reflected in our team, our ambition and in the development of the Searchbox product,” says Nicolas Gamard, CEO of Searchbox. “Having grown out of numerous exchanges with several companies, Searchbox helps businesses to connect with and have access to sources of information relevant to their needs. A good example is the recently launched Opportunity-Finder ( developed by Euresearch, it uses the Searchbox technology. This tool, the first of its kind in Europe, allows users to gain access in just a few clicks to all the information relating to European financing projects, such as project calls for tender and searches for technological and business partnerships. Other sources will soon be added, such as scientific publications and several patent databases.”

Since the company was set up in 1979, Debiopharm and its founders have always focused on continuous innovation, promoting entrepreneurship and the development of the Swiss economic fabric. As such, Debiopharm is committed to programs that foster entrepreneurship, especially venture kick, Eclosion, the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT) and the START competition organised by the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and the Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL).

“The start-up spirit is greatly valued by Debiopharm. We want to foster and sustain it by supporting other entrepreneurs over the long term,” says Thierry Mauvernay, the Delegate of the Board.
As part of its investment diversification, the Group encourages entrepreneurship by investing in active start ups in the areas of IT, sustainable resources and services to individuals.
“Today, thanks to the Internet, we have access to more and more information”, says Thierry Mauvernay. “It’s not the quantity but the accuracy of that information that counts. We are convinced of the added value provided by the Searchbox team and their semantic research engine, which help professionals make their searches more relevant.”

About Searchbox SA
Searchbox is a semantic search engine for professionals. It allows organisations of any size to connect, sort and filter all the sources of information relevant to them, whether those sources are private or public (i.e. intranets or extranets).

Founded in Geneva in 2009, Searchbox SA is involved in several research projects and already has numerous clients in Switzerland and abroad. Business partnerships have also been signed with Liferay Inc (an enterprise portal) and Lucid Imagination (a Lucene/Solr specialist), as well as with several solution integrators that distribute Searchbox.
For further information on Searchbox, please visit

About Debiopharm Group™
Debiopharm Group™ (Debiopharm) is a Swiss-based global biopharmaceutical group of companies with a focus on the development of prescription drugs that target unmet medical needs. The Group in-licenses promising compounds, develops them and then, towards the end of the process, out-licenses them to partners in the pharmaceutical industry for global sales and marketing. The Group finances the worldwide development of all its products independently.

In order to develop synergies with its core business, Debiopharm invests in start-ups, mainly in the field of molecular diagnostics due to the growing importance of personalised medicine, and also in other areas that give it the opportunity to promote entrepreneurship.
For further information on Debiopharm Group™, please visit