Batavia Biosciences focuses on accelerating the transition of novel biological medicines from laboratory bench to the clinic with improved success and lower cost. This can be antibodies, recombinant proteins, vaccines, or gene therapy vectors. Menzo Havenga provides us with an insight into his role as CEO for this dynamic and dedicated company.

The development of a novel biological drug on average takes about 15-20 years. Acceleration of the research phase of the process is key as to date every minute two children succumb to malaria, four people to AIDS and more than ten people due to either cardiovascular disease or cancer.

The world is thus in dire need of novel and affordable medicines, be it antibodies to fight cancer, recombinant proteins to treat for instance coagulation diseases or vaccines to battle deadly pathogens. Batavia Biosciences, and her sponsors, are committed to develop safe and effective drugs as fast as possible. The role of President & CEO at Batavia Biosciences in general covers four major responsibility areas, including:
• Long-term Company and innovation strategy
coupled to mission and vision.
• Public relations
• Business development, partnerships, merges
and acquisitions.
• Financial performance of the company

Prior to my role at Batavia Biosciences, I had the privilege to work with best in class researchers and entrepreneurs including Dinko Valerio, Dick van Bekkum, Jaap Goudsmit, Hartmut Michel, and Kees Ekkers at companies and semi-government organizations such as Max Planck Institute, IntroGene BV, Crucell Holland BV, and TNO. I am a scientist by training as I graduated Cum Laude from the University of Nijmegen (KUN), and I obtained my PhD degree from the University of Leiden (LUMC). I published more than 90 scientific publications in peer-reviewed, international scientific journals and I am co-inventor on more than 35 awarded patents in the field of life sciences.

In 2010 I launched Batavia Biosciences together with my business partner, Christopher Yallop, as we believed that the life sciences market was in need for a knowledgeable, full-fledged R&D organization  that can help its clients solving issues that inevitably
arise in the early phases of biological drug discovery. Also, both Chris and I recognized the need to develop novel technologies in order to speed up the process of bringing novel biological medicines from bench to clinic. Needless to say we are very proud that within 6 years we have been able to build from scratch an organization with more than 75 employees, with infrastructure in Europe and USA, gross revenue exceeding 10 million Euros, and most importantly, a committed, highly educated (more than 40% PhD) and experienced R&D staff (more than 14 years’ experience in the industry on average). In addition, we have effectively used our surplus cash to develop our portfolio of novel technologies including STEP®, SCOUT®, and SIDUS® which already fuels further company growth.

The market in which Batavia Biosciences operates is a fast growing market (20% CAGR; 65 billion US dollar annually) and there is constant pressure on the pharmaceutical industry to innovate. In this dynamic climate being first to market is key. The selection
of a trusted outsourcing partner is critical to ensure that every penny is well spent and no valuable time is wasted. Batavia Biosciences is recognized as trusted party drawing on its outstanding experience, knowledge and ability to adhere to strict timeline and budget. As such the company has been growing in part on retaining client confidence and securing funding for on-going and future projects. Next to working with internationally operating large pharmaceutical industry and biotech companies, Batavia Biosciences is also privileged to work with governmental organizations such as the National Institute of Health and Department of Defence as well as charity organizations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. These organizations focus on novel product development as well as ensuring product availability for those in need and not sufficiently supplied or served. The funds and grants for these programs are equally unaffected by global crises or stock market fluctuations.

How have we been able to grow our organization so quickly and able to attract such diverse clients? At Batavia, it is believed that this perhaps seems simple in strategic design but is complex in the execution leaving no margin for error. It is clearly a combination  of at least four diverse factors including (i) a vast international network in industry, academia and governmental organizations brought by the executive management of the company, (ii) a unique offering in terms of technology that allow biopharmaceuticals to be produced quicker, cheaper, and more robust, (iii) a well experienced R&D organization that knows the challenges from first-hand experience and is able to provide realistic and practical solutions , and (iv) a professional support organization as regards IT
security, legal, finance, quality, and human resource management.

For any company active in a dynamic field like life sciences, innovation is key to our existence and thus the biggest challenge for Batavia Biosciences is to consolidate its position as technological and industry front runner. This means that at some point we will need to attract external capital in order to further accelerate the development of technologies. Also, we have the clear ambition to expand our services offering which will require significant future investments. The company aims to grow its gross revenue base to 50 million Euros by 2025 or a 20% market gain year on year. Although ambitious, we believe we have built the basis to allow such growths owing to our unique technologies, our motivated and experienced staff and our strong organization.

We have formulated a clear company vision i.e., “to significantly contribute to the ease of human suffering from disease by improving the success rate in the translation of candidate biologics from discovery to the clinic”. This vision, together with dynamic, empowered management and the provenance of a young and successful start-up attracts talented people that share the core values of Batavia Biosciences. Finding and retaining such people is without any doubt the most important asset the company needs to secure as it is their know-how and enthusiasm that uniquely positions Batavia Biosciences and allows the company to flourish.

Company: Batavia Biosciences

Email: [email protected]

Web Address:

Address: Zernikedreef 16, 2333CL Leiden, The Netherlands

Telephone: 31 (0) 88-9950600