New future for Sanquin Plasma ProductsNews
All the formalities relating to the agreement reached in October between Sanquin and an international consortium of investors have now been completed. This means that Sanquin Plasma Products (SPP) and Plasma Industries Belgium (PIBe) - Sanquin's subsidiaries that produce plasma-derived medicines – can now join with investors to focus on the future. Sanquin Blood Supply Sanquin retains an interest and a priority share in SPP and also supplies a board member.
The agreement secures the availability and production of plasma-derived medicines in the Netherlands for the future. Together with its strategic partners, SPP and PIBe can grow, modernise their production facilities, and develop new products.
The need for scale
SPP and sister company Plasma Industries Belgium (PIBe), based in Amsterdam and Brussels respectively, use advanced biotechnological methods to create medicines from blood plasma that improve the quality of, or even save, lives. In recent years, takeovers and collaborations in the plasma world have led to the emergence of a number of very large, globally operating players. These achieved cost savings and a scale that a national plasma-derived medicine manufacturer such as SPP cannot match. In order to maintain a plasma facility in the Netherlands, SPP must therefore grow. This requires a partnership.
Future for plasma in the Netherlands
Chris Lamb, CEO of BioSolutions LLC and new Managing Director of SPP: "This is an important agreement with Sanquin who remains a shareholder and important partner. We are committed to providing high-quality, life-saving medicines to Dutch patients as well as to expand SPP's international reach through innovation and investment.
Tjark Tjin-A-Tsoi, Chairman of Sanquin's Executive Board: "We at Sanquin are happy that SPP has a future and can grow in this way. We can thereby make more life-saving and life-improving medicines, for less money, with proportionately less plasma. Not only will knowledge and infrastructure be retained in the Netherlands, but donations of plasma will also be utilised to the maximum." Tjin-A-Tsoi emphasises that this will enable the Netherlands to become less dependent on the international market, where there is scarcity.
The consortium with which Sanquin has reached agreement consists of a group of international investors with extensive experience in the biomedical sector and the marketing of plasma products. These are BioSolutions LLC (plasma pharmaceuticals), Epstein Capital and Fortissimo Capital (growth capital), OBF investments (investment arm of one of the largest blood banks in the USA), and Mesola Inversiones S.L., a combination of Latin American pharmaceutical companies (experts in plasma pharmaceuticals). With their knowledge of the sector and the international market, SPP can quickly make the necessary efficiency improvements and increase its market share outside the Netherlands.
As of 1 January 2021, Sanquin has a priority share in SPP, which gives a decisive voice on corporate governance issues with an impact on the Dutch provision of plasma-derived medicines. Sanquin therefore retains an interest in SPP and also supplies a board member. Due to a clear legal and organisational separation between SPP and the rest of Sanquin, including the blood bank, this does not affect other organisational units.
Donors and patients
The collection of plasma remains entirely in the hands of Sanquin Blood Bank on a not-for-profit basis. SPP processes the plasma into plasma-derived medicines, which it continues to supply to Dutch patients. Sanquin, together with its partners, is fully able to continue the production of medicines in the Netherlands, and with new vigour. And this will improve the lives of many patients. "That's what everyone ultimately cares about," says Tjin-A-Tsoi.