Anacura, a Belgian biotech company, sells stem cell business to Boehringer Ingelheim

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Ghent, Belgium, 27 July 2020 – GST, the stem cell specialist for horses and pets within the Anacura Group, has been acquired by Boehringer Ingelheim. The acquisition follows two years of successful cooperation. Research and production will continue in Anacura’s labs, close to Ghent, Belgium. The current management and staff will play a crucial role in the implementation and further development of stem cell technology within Boehringer Ingelheim.

The stem cell pioneer Global Stem cell Technology (GST) became part of the Anacura Group in 2014, founded and led by Griet Nuytinck. The local investment company Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV) also invested in GST.

GST develops stem cell therapies for the treatment of orthopedic and metabolic diseases in animals. The company was the first to obtain an authorization from the European Authorities and marketed the very first veterinary medicine based on stem cells worldwide.

Griet Nuytinck from Anacura explains: “Integrating GST into our group in 2014 was more than a financial investment in a startup. We provided the company with professional support from our experienced Biotech business environment. At a time when stem cell therapy was still an unexplored and unclear area, GST was able to focus on developing effective and standardized products. Through clinical studies, the company very quickly obtained registration from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and market authorization for the first-ever stem cell product ‘Arti-cell Forte®,’ which treats joint inflammation in horses. Boehringer Ingelheim was responsible for the distribution in Europe. Today’s acquisition by Boehringer Ingelheim opens up opportunities for the development of new products and to bring them to market all over the world!”

“After a very successful collaboration of two years, we decided to acquire GST. The expertise and state-of-the-art stem cell products will help us to offer even more innovative solutions to our customers,” explains Jean-Luc Michel, Head of Global Strategic Marketing, Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health.

Griet Nuytinck adds, “Under the wings of Anacura, GST has grown into a scale-up company with a well-developed technology platform and a solid pipeline of new, innovative products for veterinary applications. The acquisition of GST gives Jan Spaas (CEO GST) and his team every opportunity to further develop the stem cell platform within Boehringer Ingelheim, while continuing to embed innovative stem cell research in our laboratories in Flanders. We could not have wished for a better scenario”.

“The acquisition of GST by a global player such as Boehringer Ingelheim is a strong recognition of the potential of GST’s stem cell platform in particular and Flanders’ position as a global biotech leader in general,” adds Roderick Verhelst, Senior Investment Manager at PMV and Director at GST.

More information

Anacura (
Anacura is an independent laboratory group of more than 200 dynamic employees, active in various areas of healthcare. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies call on our services because of our thorough R&D and GMP experience and our expertise and assistance in the drug development process.

Doctors and patients appreciate that we put them personally at the heart of our services in an ethical and high-quality manner. Numerous innovative projects are responsible for the sustainability and growth of our organization.

The main activities of GST are research & development and production of veterinary stem cell-based products and their biotechnological applications. As a basis for stem cell therapies, GST uses highly potent stem cells from blood of mammals. GST thus translates regenerative medicine into clinical applications. GST is globally ranked within the top 10 start-ups in animal health.

PMV is a do-it-yourself company that is shaping the future of the Flemish economy. PMV finances promising companies from the very start, up to and including growth and internationalization. PMV offers tailor-made financial solutions to all entrepreneurs with a solid business plan and a strong management team. It does so with capital, loans, and guarantees. In addition, it realizes projects with and for the government, as well as other partners that are important for prosperity and well-being in Flanders. PMV has a portfolio of 1.2 billion euros under management.

Boehringer Ingelheim (

Making new and better medicines for humans and animals is at the heart of what we do. Our mission is to create breakthrough therapies that change lives. Since its founding in 1885, Boehringer Ingelheim is independent and family-owned. We have the freedom to pursue our long-term vision, looking ahead to identify the health challenges of the future and targeting those areas of need where we can do the most good.

As a world-leading, research-driven pharmaceutical company, more than 51,000 employees create value through innovation daily for our three business areas: Human Pharma, Animal Health, and Biopharmaceutical Contract Manufacturing. In 2019, Boehringer Ingelheim achieved net sales of 19 billion euros. Our significant investment of almost 3.5 billion euros in R&D drives innovation, enabling the next generation of medicines that save lives and improve quality of life.

We realize more scientific opportunities by embracing the power of partnership and diversity of experts across the life-science community. By working together, we accelerate the delivery of the next medical breakthrough that will transform the lives of patients now, and in generations to come.

Click here to access the Boehringer Ingelheim’s press release on the transaction.