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Life sciences reagents, custom synthesis and manufacturing services company – Biosynth
Over the course of six decades, Biosynth AG has grown from a small but focused chemical company to a multinational life sciences reagents, custom synthesis and manufacturing services enterprise that is playing a leading part in driving pharmaceutical and biotech innovation by simplifying and de-risking the industry’s supply chains.
The Biosynth mission is to supply critical raw materials and services to the pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries, with a vision is to consolidate the highly fragmented and complex supply chain. Biosynth increases productivity of the pharmaceutical and diagnostics industries by improving availability and reducing time-to-market of new therapies and diagnostics assays, acting as a strategic partner to many leading pharma and biotech players.
Six decades of growth
Biosynth was founded in 1966 by Hans Spitz as Biochemica & Synthetica, a Zurich-based chemical company. By the 1970s, it had begun to produce and market its own products, developing its own research capabilities, rebranding to Biosynth.
Recognizing that North America was the world’s most important biopharma market, Biosynth International, Inc. was founded in 1980 as an Illinois-based subsidiary to serve the US and Canadian markets. Biosynth confirmed its growth in 1985 by moving from its original Zurich premises to a new purpose-built laboratory, warehouse and office complex in nearby Staad, which remains its global headquarters.
The 1990s saw three more significant milestones with the building of a new pilot plant in Staad in 1992, the achievement of ISO 9001 quality certification four years later, and the tripling of production capacity with the construction of a new technical laboratory, paving the way for Biosynth to become one of Europe’s first companies to gain cGMP manufacturing certification in Y2000.
By the time of its 40th Anniversary in 2006, Biosynth had become a business employing more than 60 people in Europe and America and that was poised for a new period of organic growth with the addition of a new logistics and quality control center (2009), expansion of its synthetics chemical laboratories (2011), addition of an eastern EU logistics hub at Bratislava in Slovakia (2016), and extension of its GMP manufacturing facilities for organic synthesis of active pharma ingredients the following year.
By this time Biosynth had merged with the innovative UK-based chemical producer Carbosynth Ltd to form Biosynth Carbosynth as a new world leader in carbohydrates, nucleosides, and enzyme substrates.
In 2021, Biosynth Carbosynth attracted a significant stake holding from the US-based global investment house Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), which has more than USD 900 bn of global assets under management, as part of an evolved vision of Biosynth as global life sciences tools platform. This set the stage for rapid structural expansion, with Eucodis Biosciences, Aalto Bio Reagents, Pepscan and vivitide (formed from Peptides International and New England Peptides) all joining the Biosynth family during 2022, and leading antibodies and antigens specialist Fitzgerald Industries added in April 2023, along with Cambridge Research Biochemicals (CRB), adding further expertise in peptide and antibody production. Also in 2023, Biosynth added bioconjugation services with the acquisition of the customized bioconjugation provider Celares GmbH.
Organic growth also continues with the formation of the new Peptides Division in 2022 and recent expansion of GMP manufacturing capacity in Lelystad. As well as our acquisition of Pepceuticals, specialist manufacturers of synthetic peptides and high-quality custom peptides, based in Leicester, UK. The addition of Pepceuticals enhances Biosynth’s offering of multi-kilogram GMP peptide synthesis and extends our support to clinical trials and commercial supply. Supporting all phases of the product life cycle from discovery to commercialization.
Multinational scientific business
Branding reverted to Biosynth in 2022, with ownership now distributed among multiple stakeholders including the Spitz family, KKR, Ampersand Capital and senior management.
Since 2004, Biosynth has been headed by Dr. Urs Spitz, son of founder Hans Spitz, as its CEO. Dr. Spitz heads a multinational board with a very strong emphasis on scientific expertise that includes Dr. Vicky Gibson as Head of Pharmaceutical and Diagnostic Products, Dr. Bruce Rogers as Head of Research Products, Harvard Business School graduate Ehab Alramahy as Senior Vice President in charge of Peptide Division and former life sciences strategy consultant Hans de Backer heading Peptide Operations. The company boasts a significant input from academic and industry experts, with Dr. Chris Lawson, a world-class expert in carbohydrates, and former organic synthesis and carbohydrate chemistry consultant Dr. Hansjoerg Streicher as Scientific Advisors.
Biosynth’s heritage and newly evolved structure positions the company at the leading edge of innovation, able to combine chemistry with biology and products with services to construct a leading-edge research product portfolio comprising more than one million products and end-to-end manufacturing services that encompass fine chemicals, peptides and key biologics as part of a one-stop-shop overall offer.
Biosynth’s Research Products offering focuses on small-scale research products, selling small quantities in large numbers to research customers across the globe, with heavy investment in a global network of manufacturing and distribution sites across Europe, America and Asia to ensure secure supply chains.
Biosynth Research Products Division focuses on supplying products that meet high-quality requirements for the regulated pharma and biotech industries that also benefit small research laboratory customers.
Its other divisions and business units focus on more customized, larger scale and more complex projects, including bulk offerings of research products.
Biosynth Complex Chemicals Division focuses on bulk and custom chemical manufacturing and supply projects, including those made by biocatalysis, nurturing long-term relationships with industrial clients. The division’s core expertise is anchored in being able to take on the most complex challenges in chemistry with unique ability to solve development and manufacturing problems. This involves multiple teams of synthetic chemists and production staff who are highly skilled and able to work very flexibly across different areas of the product portfolio.
The Biosynth Peptide Division was formed to deliver excellence in peptide design and synthesis at small and large scale, as well as GMP manufacture of peptides for customers. The teams have extensive experience in neoantigen peptides and library production and operate out of four sites in the US and Europe.
Finally, Biosynth Biologics is a rapidly expanding part of the business that works to complement the rest of the organization as a specialist business unit that concentrates on providing key offerings across in-vitro diagnostics, antibodies and epitope mapping.