Overview of the Darholding Group
The Darholding Group is one of the largest upstream network of technology corporations in the CEE region.
The group focuses on developing and commercialising disruptive and innovative products, technologies and services, in fields related to chemistry and life sciences. Its portfolio companies operate in the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and cosmetic industries, and we have so far created disruptive innovations in microfluidics, flow chemistry, formulation in nanotechnology, and space chemistry.
Darholding’s main activity is to finance and manage the creation of disruptive innovations and incubate and scale them until their corporate value multiplies by tens of millions. We then find an industrial partner to extend the business further. Following our exit, we redirect the proceeds to provide capital for new projects. Throughout the growth process we sometimes involve PE investors, or we invest in exciting projects that arrive from our wider business network.
Our activities in detail
Financial operation and fund management.
The main function of the company is to support the financial growth of the portfolio companies. The Darholding team also deals with the transactions, whether attracting capital for the companies, executing exits, or investing in outside projects. Darholding was established in 2006 as part of the first exit, when ComGenex - the CEE region’s leading high-throughput screening company - was acquired by Albany Molecular (AMRI), the NASDAQ-listed industry leader. Since then, several new corporations have been founded (see them here) , some of which have acquired significant PE capital and private placement in the magnitude of $30million+. Our latest exit took place in 2017 when Nuformix - the Cambridge, UK-based company with proprietary co-crystallization technologies - was listed on the London Stock Exchange via a reverse takeover.
Supporting and incubating innovation.
Two companies ensure these functions within the Holding: the DHG Service Center supplies all back-office services, while Innostudio provides breakthrough innovations to the network. Although each company has its own development team, sometimes the innovation comes from here.
Corporations that actually realize the innovations and reach the market are entered into the flow chemistry market, the life science market, the untouched space chemistry market, and the nanotechnology were applied for nanoformulation reached the cosmetics, agro-chemistry and pharma industry.
Collaborations for innovation
With our collaborative mind, companies in the group have been able to reach high-level industrial partnership and alliances with the TOP 10 pharmaceutical agro-chemistry companies, including Pfizer, Sanofi Aventis, GSK, Lilly, Takeda, Abbvie, and Bayer.
In addition, high-level R&D collaborations have been established with the University of Cambridge, MIT, Boston University, Harvard, the Florida International University, the Tokyo Technology Institute, the Frauenhofer Institute, the University of Graz, the University of Zürich, and others.
Examples of disruptive innovations created by Darholding Group companies
- Artificial intelligence for drug discovery: first approaches for predicting metabolites and retrometabolites with CompuDrug in 1986
- Solution-based library synthesis for combinatorial chemistry, with ComGenex in 1993
- H-Cube, with ThalesNano in 2003
- NanoActive technologyTM - which increases bioavailability by 10-100x - by NanGenex in 2009
- And SpeedynanoTM by Agrothetis in 2011
- Initiating space chemistry by ThalesNano and ComZat in 2014, partnering with the American Chemical Society