‘Incubator’ steps aside as Danish probiotic start-up seizes control

By Shane STARLING contact

- Last updated on GMT

Biocare Copenhagen: “As a company, we are now ready to begin a new phase.”
Biocare Copenhagen: “As a company, we are now ready to begin a new phase.”

Related tags: European union

After a few years of rapid growth the part owners of nascent Danish probiotics specialist Biocare Copenhagen have bought out the private and public investors that birthed it in 2012 for an undisclosed sum.

Biocare Copenhagen has quickly built share in about 35 countries where branded products feature its strains catalogued by the Danish National Hospital about 20 years ago. The business claims its strains appear in 65% of the Danish probiotic supplements and medical nutrition market, quite a feat when it is considered that the world’s two biggest probiotic ingredient firms are Danish (Chr Hansen and DuPont-Danisco).

The firm’s management, led by CEO and part-owner Soren B Thomsen and director, part-owner and COO Jesper Gantzel, acquired shares from the R&D firm Borean Innovation, along with the Danish Agency of Science Technology and Innovation​ (DASTI) to take full control of the firm.

Gantzel told us the two early investors were “innovation incubators and always planned to exit within about five years.”

Borean Innovation is one of four Danish innovation incubators approved by the DASTI under the Ministry of Higher Education and Science, said Gantzel.

“The incubators provide professional counselling, pre-seed and seed capital for entrepreneurs and new innovative enterprises.”

Aside from European markets where the firm has made gains despite a European Union crackdown on gut, immune and other health claims in probiotics that has contributed to an overall market slowdown, the firm is present in Asia and north America with its digestive health-focused strains.

Moving on

Borean Innovation CEO and director Thor Jespersen said the time was right to let the firm loose.

"We are incubators and investors that are proud to have been part of Biocare Copenhagen’s development,” ​said Jespersen.

“It has been amazing to see how the technology, the right management team and venture capital has been transformed into a successful business.”

Gantzel added: “Borean innovation has ensured that we have been able to stay focused on the company's development by being a valuable sounding board when decisions had to be taken, and by conducting a series of administrative tasks.”

“As a company, we are now ready to begin a new phase.”

Biocare Copenhagen commercialised probiotic technology developed by the Copenhagen University Hospital and is also active in yeast and lactic acids.

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