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  • Writer's pictureGuillermo Serrano

Fermenting a profit out of biotechnology

At Checkpoint, we have started coverage of ADL Bionatur this week, not only a unique play into the bio-based economy but also it is one of the fastest growing companies in the Spanish listed markets.

ADL Bionatur is the result of a merger between two biotechnology groups with an appetite to seize on the opportunity for growth in the industrial and healthcare biotechnology space.

This company brings a formidable vertically integrated fermentation capacity platform of some 2,100 m3, backed by a 50 strong R&D team of scientists. In addition, a division of Proprietary Products involving an Animal Vaccines and Therapeutics (recombinant proteins and probiotics), a Pharma API division (beta-lactam API’s) for the sterile injectable market, and a separate technology platform area that produces reagents (protein purification). Last but not least, a high value added R&D services division involved in laboratory testing using the Zebrafish animal model through toxicity and efficacy assays.

Three major macro drivers on the ADL Bionatur side:

  1. Demographic: better nutrition and healthcare are behind growing life expectancies around the world. During the last 25 years, average life expectancies have risen by some 5 years in Europe and the US, whilst in other regions, such as in Africa the increase has been of 9 years. The lengthening of life expectancies is also in itself a source of additional demand for nutritional and healthcare solutions.

  2. Economic: the discovery of new strains and genetic engineering is making posible that fermentation based products become effective substitutes for a chemical synthesis or refining solution. Examples like Omega3 and Pachouli where fermentation based production bypasses fishing, in the first instance, and agriculture, in the second, at a lower costs and with superior qualities.

  3. Environmental: A strong driver behind industrial biotechnology consists on the replacement of harmful chemicals or CO2 emitting hydrocarbons by replacing them with renewable sources. Government regulations are increasingly supportive of industrial biotechnology derived products.. 


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