Biotech Matchmaking

As Europe’s largest medical biotech market, Germany continues to attract foreign investment thanks to its many established companies and dynamic start-up sector. Gradian ­Diagnostics’ recent acquisition of ­Molzym is a fine example of international matchmaking, facilitated by Germany Trade & Invest.

November, 2020

Last February, the recently established U.S. holding company Gradian Diagnostics acquired Molzym, a leading microbial molecular diagnosis company founded in Bremen, in northwest Germany, in 2003.

A leader in the development of innovative solutions in biological research and the diagnosis of infectious diseases, Molzym’s team includes 20 doctors, researchers, technicians and laboratory specialists. Gradian plans to double Molzym’s staff and expand the company’s export business.

Bremen-based biotech company Molzym has extensive expertise in molecular biology and a wide range of products and services in microbial analysis. © Gradian Diagnostics/Molzym

Molzym develops solutions for molecular microbiology research and routine microbial pathogen diagnostics relied upon by leading hospitals and laboratories around the world. The company recently reported that several European and Asian centers have started a collaborative study to use the company’s Micro-Dx and SepsiTest-UMD diagnostic tests to identify co-infections in Covid-19-positive patients early on.

Molzym’s founder Michael Lorenz says the two companies “are a perfect match – we share the same values and pursue the same goals.” Being part of Gradian will allow Molzym to accelerate its growth and gain a foothold in the U.S. market, he adds. “Our customers will benefit, our staff will benefit, our current and new partners will benefit – a fantastic result all around.”

Gradian president Alex Malbran says the group’s goal “is to deliver best-in-class solutions that help hospitals and labs with the challenges and opportunities they face today and in the future.” With Molzym on board, he says, Gradian “is in a better position to improve molecular diagnosis for a broad range of customers.”

Gradian Diagnostics CEO Gabriel Tirouflet joins with Molzym founder Michael Lorenz. © Gradian Diagnostics/Molzym

Gradian was formed in 2018 with the aim of acquiring medtech companies with validated products around the world and expanding diagnostic solutions. Molzym is Gradian’s first acquisition. The Vienna-based business angel network primeCROWD backed Gradian’s purchase of Molzym with EUR 2 million – the largest single investment ever for the company.

“We see Molzym as an absolute technological leader,” primeCROWD said in a statement about the partnership. “With our investment, this leadership should now be used above all to scale up considerably in the relevant markets.”

primeCROWD added that Gradian’s experienced leadership, including CEO Gabriel Tirouflet’s “good relations to the French market, coupled with Alex Malbran’s important connections in the USA and Latin America,” convinced the company to present Gradian and Molzym to its investor network.

Biotech in Numbers


2019’s record spending in Germany’s medtech market – the largest in Europe and third largest in the world


Export rate of Germany’s manufacturing medtech companies

Source: GTAI / BVMed

Molecular Coupling

When Gradian met Molzym …

Germany Trade & Invest (GTAI) began advising Gradian in 2018 and accompanied its entry into the German market. CEO Gabriel Tirouflet says: “Gradian benefited from [GTAI’s] advice and network – hard to get for us as we don’t have access to the right people otherwise.”

He adds that the German government and Bremen officials were also instrumental in providing networking opportunities and orientation. “Gradian’s acquisition of Molzym was a connection from which both sides could benefit and which offered considerable growth opportunities,” says GTAI’s biotech expert Gregor Kemper. “We are pleased that we could contribute to this positive outcome.”

With more than 50 offices in Germany and abroad, and a network of international partners, GTAI promotes Germany as a business location, assists foreign companies setting up in Germany and supports German companies launching in foreign markets.