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DSM announces CEO succession

The Supervisory Board of Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, announces the upcoming succession of CEO Feike Sijbesma, who will hand over his responsibilities to his Managing Board colleagues Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze as Co-CEO’s in February 2020 and will support a smooth transition until May 2020.

Feike Sijbesma: transforming DSM for more than a decade   

After 20 years on the Managing Board and almost 13 years as CEO, Feike Sijbesma has decided to step down as CEO and hand over the company’s leadership, as he seeks to pursue other business and personal roles. Feike Sijbesma will formally hand over his responsibilities as CEO on February 15, 2020 to his successors, Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, and will remain employed by DSM securing a further smooth transition in the coming five months, until May 1, 2020. Feike will announce his new engagements and roles later.

Under the leadership of Feike Sijbesma, DSM has gone through a significant transformation, from bulk chemicals company into one which focuses on Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, generating Total Shareholders Return of about 400%. Over more than a decade DSM has significantly expanded its nutrition business, divested its non-core bulk chemical activities, and upgraded the materials portfolio. In addition to focusing on business performance and financial discipline, under Feike’s leadership, DSM repositioned itself into the successful science-based company that it is today: purpose-led and performance-driven, putting innovation and sustainability at the heart of the company and its strategy. Today, DSM is a truly global company with a diverse and engaged employee and leadership base, creating value for all stakeholders.

Feike Sijbesma: “It has been a huge privilege to serve DSM for such a long time. I am deeply grateful to our Board, all my DSM colleagues and business partners for working closely together and for their enormous commitment and contribution. I also thank our customers and shareholders for their trust and loyalty. And last, but not least, I am humbled for having been given the opportunity to serve society by creating value on three dimensions simultaneously: people, planet and profit. I will announce new engagements at a later moment and remain passionate driving solutions on global topics. I am proud that the Supervisory Board has chosen my Managing Board colleagues Geraldine and Dimitri, as my successors. Their appointment is well deserved and reflects the collaborative nature of our business, and I wish them every success for the future.

On behalf of all at DSM, Rob Routs, Chairman Supervisory Board: “We are very grateful for Feike’s tremendous contribution to DSM during his 32-year career at the company and most specifically his last 13 years as CEO. Under Feike’s visionary leadership, DSM transformed itself into a healthy, high performing, sustainable, and innovative company. Feike has demonstrated that a company can deliver financial and sustainability returns while creating value and purpose for all stakeholders. We all wish Feike the very best for his future.” 

Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze: continuing DSM’s journey    

After a thorough process and external benchmarking, including the advice and input from an international search firm, the Supervisory Board has decided to appoint both, Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, the two Managing Board colleagues of Feike Sijbesma, in a dual leadership as Co-CEO’s. Together they will maintain the focus on business performance, financial discipline, innovation, sustainability, and people, as DSM continues its journey. This dual leadership structure is rooted in the long history of collaboration between them, which has been keenly observed by the Supervisory Board and is expected to create a strong basis for continued profitable growth. In conjunction with their Co-CEO role, Geraldine Matchett will retain her responsibilities as CFO and Dimitri de Vreeze will hold the COO responsibilities. 

As Co-CEO’s, Geraldine will focus on financial management and capital markets communication, capital allocation, talent and culture development, as well as digital strategy and new ways of working. Dimitri will focus on operational delivery, SHE, customer centricity, driving growth and efficiency as well as innovation and R&D programs. Jointly they will be accountable for the performance of the company and will drive the purpose led, performance driven strategy and M&A agenda.

Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze have both demonstrated strong leadership while working with Feike Sijbesma in shaping the company over the years. Their skillsets are highly complementary, and their combined leadership will enable them to leverage their respective strengths within DSM’s collaborative environment.    

Geraldine Matchett joined DSM as CFO and Managing Board member in 2014. Dimitri de Vreeze joined DSM in 1990, has held multiple business roles and has been Managing Board member since 2013.

To facilitate a smooth transfer and continuity to the new Co-CEO leadership structure, the Supervisory Board will ask the shareholders at the AGM in May 2020 to re-appoint Chairman Rob Routs for a final two years term.

Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze: “It’s a great honor to serve DSM. We are excited to combine our mutual strengths as Co-CEO’s, to ensure the continuation of DSM’s successful journey, creating brighter lives for all, and to lead our innovative, science-based company that has sustainability at its core. We are convinced that together we can deliver continued success for the company. Feike has demonstrated remarkable leadership, and we look forward to building further on his legacy.” 

Rob Routs, Chairman Supervisory Board: “After careful consideration, we concluded we have the very best candidates in-house. Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze, together with Feike Sijbesma, have driven the transformation and successes of the business in a highly collaborative and effective way, creating considerable value for all stakeholders. The Supervisory Board has seen them working together and believes the Co-CEO structure will ensure the continued successful development of DSM, with profitable growth, delivering on its promise as an innovative science-based company with a positive impact on the world. Together, Geraldine and Dimitri have a wealth of knowledge and experience which they are keen to continue to combine to ensure DSM will remain a leading company. Since Geraldine and Dimitri have worked for so long closely together with Feike, and shaped our current strategy together, we will have a smooth transition in the coming period, and we look forward to continue working together with them.” Please click here for a recorded message by Feike Sijbesma, Rob Routs, Geraldine Matchett and Dimitri de Vreeze.

Source: DSM (pressrelease)

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Europese Commissie presenteert plannen voor miljardenfonds tech startups


De Europese Commissie heeft plannen aangekondigd voor een investeringsfonds dat zich richt op start-ups die met ‘deep tech’ bezig zijn. HollandBIO is blij dat biotechnologie ook voorbijkomt in de groep veelbelovende technologieën die daarvoor in aanmerking zou komen. De plannen voorzien in een lancering in 2021 en een startkapitaal van €3,5 miljard euro, maar moeten nog wel verder vorm krijgen tijdens onderhandelingen met lidstaten over het nieuwe budget van de Europese Unie. Het fonds zou onderdeel worden van de European Innovation Council (EIC) en krijgt een mandaat voor investeringen in kostbare en risicovolle technologieën.

Momenteel verschaft de Europese Unie al grants aan techbedrijven via het European Investment Fund (EIF), maar die gaan vaak voorbij aan risicovolle ondernemingen. Jean-Eric Paquet, General Director for Research & Innovation van de Europese Commissie, geeft aan dat traditionele venture capital fondsen meestal ook niet instappen in de vroegere fases bij deze risicovolle en kostbare ondernemingen, terwijl zulke bedrijven juist dan ook kapitaal nodig hebben om te bewijzen dat hun technologie werkt. Het investeringsfonds beoogt hierop in te spelen en bij te dragen aan het dichten van de ‘valley of death’ via equity en grants.

Bron: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-11-23/eu-plans-3-9-billion-fund-for-startups-in-valley-of-death

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AGILeBiotics wins Investors Forum 2019

AGILeBiotics is the winner of the Investors Forum 2019, which took place at the Dutch Life Sciences Conference in Leiden on November 28th. During the conference AGILeBiotics has introduced its drug pipeline emphasizing the pre-clinical candidate TOFRAMICIN, a novel antibiotic candidate in development against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacterial infections. With their plenary pitch, the startup successfully reached out to potential co-investors in order to close the Series A round in near future. The investment will bring TOFRAMICIN into clinical development and closer to patients suffering from deadly hospital-acquired infections.

Source: AGILeBiotics

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Nederlandse biotech valt in de prijzen

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Het regende prijzen voor de Nederlandse biotech, vorige week tijdens de uitreiking van de European Lifestars Awards. Tijdens de jaarlijkse ceremonie staan de mooiste successen, doorbraken en baanbrekende deals van Europese life sciences prominenten centraal. Biotech toppers van eigen bodem beklommen het podium (Onno! Jan! Erik!), en zelfs meer dan eens.

Galapagos sleepte maar liefst drie awards in de wacht: voor ‘Deal of the Year’, samen met Gilead, voor ‘Clinical Trial of the Year’, en voor CEO Onno van de Stolpe, die gekroond werd tot ‘CEO of the Year’. Erik van den Berg, CEO van AM-Pharma en Jan van de Winkel, CEO van Genmab scoorden als runners-up een mooie “Highly Commended’. Genmab nam daarnaast de award voor ‘IPO of the Year’ in ontvangst. Tot slot bemachtigde Forbion de award voor ‘Venture Capital Firm of the Year’.

Een mooie bevestiging van wat we bij HollandBIO al lang wisten: Nederland is dé hotspot voor life sciences. Alle winnaars: van harte gefeliciteerd, en keep up the good work!

Klik hier om naar de website van de European Lifestars Award te gaan.

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BioscienZ wint Breda Startup Award


BioscienZ is de trotse winnaar van de Breda Startup award 2019. De startup heeft de oplossing voor de alsmaar groeiende vraag naar eiwitten en vleesvervangers: met hulp van biotechnologie kan BioscienZ heel efficiënt eiwitten fermenteren uit suikerbieten en aardappelen. Ook kan het bedrijf kippenei-eiwit produceren, zonder dat daar een kip voor nodig is. BioscienZ is bezig met het ophalen van financiering voor de bouw van de Protein Brewery: een conceptfabriek die 5.000 ton eiwit kan produceren.

Lees ook:

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Invest-NL is een feit

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De kogel is door de kerk: de Nederlandse overheid mag investeringsfonds Invest-NL oprichten. De Eerste Kamer stemde vorige week in met het wetsvoorstel. Het fonds gaat investeren in risicovolle activiteiten van ondernemingen die bijdragen aan maatschappelijke uitdagingen, aan economische vooruitgang, en/of de doorgroei van start-ups en scale-ups. HollandBIO zet zich in voor een plek voor de life sciences binnen Invest-NL. De activiteiten van biotech bedrijven sluiten immers naadloos aan op deze doelstellingen.

Bovendien is er ook een duidelijke noodzaak: hoewel de Nederlandse life sciences sector overloopt van potentieel, laat de markt het op een aantal punten afweten. Zo is er gebrek aan kapitaal in de start-up fase en zoeken biotech bedrijven in de scale-up fase vaak tevergeefs naar grotere financieringsrondes. Het resultaat is dat de ontwikkeling van een life sciences bedrijf stagneert, dat een onderneming in financiële nood raakt, of dat het voor een appel en een ei opgekocht wordt door een internationale speler. Met extra investeringen voor start-ups en scale-ups kunnen we deze gaten in het financieringslandschap overbruggen om onze sterke kennispositie te verzilveren in maatschappelijke én economische waarde.

De inzet van HollandBIO is dat Invest-NL een brug gaat slaan tussen publieke regelingen en private investeerders in de Nederlandse life sciences. Zo kan het fonds als vliegwiel dienen voor innovatie. Het resultaat: Nederlandse biotech bedrijven kunnen met nog meer slagkracht werken aan innovatieve oplossingen voor maatschappelijke uitdagingen en bijdragen aan economische vooruitgang.

Lees hier meer over het debat in de Eerste Kamer over Invest-NL

Lees hier meer over het marktfalen in het Nederlandse life sciences financieringslandschap

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MSD verdubbelt biotechproductie in Oss

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MSD, het grootste geneesmiddelenbedrijf in Nederland, verdubbelt de komende jaren haar capaciteit voor biotechproductie in Oss. De uitbreiding is nodig vanwege de wereldwijd groeiende vraag naar behandelingen tegen diverse soorten kanker. Met de vergroting van de capaciteit en de nieuwe faciliteiten kan MSD vanuit Oss geneesmiddelen leveren aan de rest van de wereld.

Nederlands tintje aan wereldwijde kankerbestrijding

Kanker is één van de grootste uitdagingen van onze tijd. In Nederland krijgen elk jaar ongeveer 116.000 mensen kanker (1). Wereldwijd overlijden ongeveer 1 op de 6 mensen aan de ziekte (2). Er zijn verschillende soorten behandelingen voor verschillende vormen van kanker, zoals doelgerichte therapie, chemotherapie en immuuntherapie. MSD richt zich vooral op immuuntherapie. MSD Nederland is – vooral in Oss – nauw betrokken geweest bij de ontwikkeling van immuuntherapie en speelt daar dus nog steeds een belangrijke rol in met biotechnologische productie.

16 miljard dollar

De investeringen in Oss maken deel uit van een meerjarenprogramma waarmee MSD 16 miljard dollar investeert om productiecapaciteit en -faciliteiten over de hele wereld uit te breiden. Binnen Nederland wordt op dit moment op de locaties van MSD in Haarlem, in Oss en in Boxmeer (diergezondheid) volop gebouwd.

Passie en trots

“Met nieuwe high tech faciliteiten en meer productiecapaciteit gaat Nederland een belangrijke bijdrage leveren aan de bestrijding van kanker. Met deze uitbreiding tonen we onze betrokkenheid bij de behandeling van kanker en dat doen we uiteindelijk voor al die patiënten”, vertelt John Glavas, directeur van MSD Oss Biotech. “Ik ben trots op onze medewerkers die elke dag met passie en trots aan deze behandelingen werken.” De uitbreiding is daarnaast goed voor de BV Nederland. MSD heeft momenteel 6.000 medewerkers in Nederland en is actief op het gebied van ontwikkeling, klinisch onderzoek, productie, verpakking en distributie.

1) KWF Kankerbestrijding https://www.kwf.nl/kanker In Nederland krijgen jaarlijks ongeveer 116.000 mensen kanker.
2) WHO, factsheets, key facts cancer, 12 september 2018 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/cancer Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018. Globally, about 1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer.

Bron: https://msd.nl/msd-verdubbelt-biotechproductie-in-oss/ 

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Wistar Collaboration with LUMC to Advance Research Education

Wistar’s VP of Institutional Advancement Dr. Anita Pepper met with Dutch dignitaries and scientific and academic leaders in the Netherlands to formally endorse the Wistar-Schoemaker International Postdoctoral Fellowship in partnership with Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), to bring recent Ph.D. graduates trained at LUMC to Wistar to advance their research education.

This program will expand the Institute’s international partnerships in research and education and promote scientific exchange between investigators in the Netherlands and the United States, opening new opportunities for global collaboration.

The Wistar-Schoemaker Fellowship honors the legacy and accomplishments of the late Dr. Hubert J.P. Schoemaker, a visionary pioneer in biotechnology and a native of the Netherlands, who was the co-founder of Centocor, now Janssen Biologics, with Dr. Hilary Koprowski, Dr. Vincent Zurawski, and Michael Wall. Centocor was located in the Philadelphia suburbs and advanced the Institute’s seminal research in monoclonal antibodies into a commercial platform, becoming one of the most exciting biotechnology companies of the late 1980s and 1990s. 

Schoemaker also built Centocor facilities in the Netherlands in what is now the Leiden Bio Science Park, one of the top five science parks in Europe that today hosts LUMC.

The Wistar-Schoemaker International Postdoctoral Fellowship is set to reprise the historical collaboration between Wistar and the Dutch biomedical research arena, and was inspired by Schoemaker’s passion for mentoring the next generation of scientific leaders.

In a homecoming of sorts, Dr. Schoemaker’s wife Anne accompanied Dr. Pepper during the visit to Leiden. Mrs. Schoemaker was instrumental in the process of establishing the Wistar-LUMC partnership and the Fellowship.

Caption: Dr. Pancras Hogendoorn, dean of the Leiden University Medical Center, and Wistar’s Dr. Pepper at the official ceremony to sign off on the Wistar-Schoemaker International Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Source: Wistar

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A bustling BIO-Europe for the Dutch Biotech community

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Last week, nearly 4500 attendees from all over the world gathered in Hamburg for BIO-Europe, the premier partnering conference for the biotech industry. This conference’s edition welcomed a strong delegation of almost 190 Dutch biotech entrepreneurs.

The well-visited Health~Holland Pavilion was one of the eye-catchers of the exhibition floor – a not-to-miss landmark featuring the Netherlands as Europe’s most attractive and innovative biopharmaceutical environment. The Pavilion served as the central information point for international visitors with questions regarding the Dutch business and innovation climate and life sciences & health sector. At the Hospitality Reception on Tuesday, the Health~Holland Pavilion formed the exhibition’s epicenter. During the best-visited happy hour of the conference, the Dutch Loyens & Loeff bike was raffled.

With this successful edition behind us, we already look forward to BIO-Europe in Paris, March 23 – 26 2020. More information will follow soon.

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Biosana and A*STAR to advance continuous biomanufacturing

BiosanaPharma and A*STAR’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI) have signed a research collaboration to bring continuous biomanufacturing to the next level. Biosana’s proprietary 3C process will be used as the model for:

  • Downscaling of continuous processing to facilitate fast-track process development for innovator and biosimilar monoclonal antibodies (mAbs)
  • In-line and at-line process analytical monitoring of continuous process to bring parametric release closer to reality
  • Modelling of continuous processing for easy scale up and
  • High throughput process development of Biosana’s mAb antibody candidates to validate the achievements

The parties will establish a Joint Laboratory for Continuous Biomanufacturing located at the Centros building in Biopolis, Singapore, where staff from both parties will collaborate to mature and optimize the continuous process. Biosana will incorporate a local entity to support the collaboration.

To address the current challenges of diverse product pipelines and competition from biosimilars, companies are looking for highly flexible and cost effective manufacturing processes, traits that continuous biomanufacturing can offer. Continuous biomanufacturing can directly lower the costs of mAb therapeutics to benefit patients and reimbursement bodies.

Ard Tijsterman, CEO of BiosanaPharma commented “We are very happy to start this Joint Laboratory in collaboration with BTI. In the past years we’ve been working with BTI, we are impressed by their dedication, expertise and enthusiasm for our joint process development activities. We look forward to mature our 3C technology in order to increase accessibility and affordability of mAb medicines”.

“We are pleased to be a partner in setting up this Joint Laboratory, leveraging BTI’s expertise in bioprocessing science and engineering. This affirms our commitment to work with international enterprises to develop innovative biomanufacturing solutions, meet the demands of the global biopharmaceutical industry, and add to the vibrancy of Singapore’s R&D ecosystem”, said Professor Lam Kong-Peng, Executive Director, Bioprocessing Technology Institute, A*STAR.

Source: BiosanaPharma