Spin-out company sold for 444 million Danish kroner – University of Copenhagen

Spin-out company sold for 444 million Danish kroner


Professor Kristian Helin and his researching group at BRIC.


EpiTherapeutics and since Gilead.

The result:

A biotech company that is working to translate cutting edge cancer research to drugs. In 2015 the company was sold for 444 million to a large American company.

The history:

In May 2015 was the seven year old biotech company EpiTherapeutics sold for 444 million Danish kroner to the American pharmaceutical giant Gilead. EpiTherapeutics expires from research by Professor Kristian Helin and his researching group at Biotech Research and Innovation Centre (BRIC).

Helin is one of the brightest and most reputable researchers in cancer biology. Not just in Denmark but worldwide. For nine years he was Head of Research at The European Institute for Oncology in Milan. Over the last eleven years he has been Head of BRIC at University of Copenhagen.

It is not only the academic records that fill the ambitions for the 52-year-old professor and molecular biologist. He finds a particular value to translate strong basic research into actual use.

- It is one of the things that you dream about when you work with the same area for several years. Seeing your work make a difference, even outside the world of research, says Helin.

For Kristian Helin it means the world to translate his research to develop new drugs that fights cancer. It is a goal which he worked his way toward with close interaction with the industrial research environments which ultimately led to the establishment of EpiTherapeutics in 2008.

- We started the business with help from University of Copenhagen, because we also have a commercial focus. I believe that when you see the opportunity to create something based on research, which can be used, and in this case perhaps cure sick people, then you should pursue it, says Kristian Helin.

With the sale to the American giant the research behind EpiTherapeutics is now moved a big step closer to the design of the specific drug which Helin dreams about.
Retiring Director of EpiTherapeutics Martin Bonde said after the sale:

- I am very happy to be in charge of the team that has taken shaggy research and translated it into something very concrete in the form of a drug candidate and some value, as one of the world's leading companies have wanted to pay for.