Interview Bram Bout

Recently, EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals acquired Bioceros, a company in which Utrecht Holdings was a shareholder. Both companies profit from the acquisition, as does society. In the near future, six products, five of which are in the field of inflammatory and immune-mediated diseases, will be brought to market at competitive prices.

EPIRUS Biopharmaceuticals focuses on building a sustainable, profitable biosimilar business. Bioceros offered services on pre-clinical development of monoclonal antibodies and biosimilars. In addition, Bioceros used its proprietary CHOBC® platform to generate monoclonal antibody-producing cell lines and developed manufacturing processes till 50L scale. The acquisition of Bioceros enables EPIRUS to use the state of the art in-house lab facilities and expand their staff with experts in the field of cell line and process development. With this, product development will be accelerated and product quality and yields will be optimized. As a direct result of the acquisition, EPIRUS added three pre-clinical biosimilars to its pipeline. More new products may be expected later on.

Bram Bout, former CEO of Bioceros and now Site Head / General Manager of EPIRUS NL is very pleased with the acquisition. ‘To be able to give patients who suffer from rheuma or (auto) immune disease a high quality, cost effective alternative to their current medication, is what drives me,’ he says. ‘Through the acquisition by EPIRUS, we can now advance our biosimilar products to the market.’ The former Bioceros company will change as a result of the acquisition. ‘We will finalize our CRO activities and focus on the development of the EPIRUS biosimilar monoclonal antibody pipeline. In the near future, our staff will grow by 10 to 15 people, mainly in the field of downstream processing and analytical development.’

Spinning off Bioceros and letting the company flourish has also been made possible by Utrecht Holdings. ‘From the early days on, Utrecht Holdings has helped our company thrive. They supported us by financial investments in our company and, very practical with housing and supervising.’ Oscar Schoots – as member and in the last year the chairman of our Supervisory Board – was professional and constructive. ‘The role Utrecht Holdings played in structuring the deal with EPIRUS was important,’ says Bram Bout. ‘Having a business partner who really knows and understands your business, who has helped you during the hard times and stands beside you, is priceless.’