Sugar High

The small German biotech company with a sweet future

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Brain harnesses naturally occurring substances to use in industry, from chemistry to cosmetics and food. Advocates say it offers manufacturers a way to reduce costs while protecting the environment.

  • Facts


    • Experts predict that the share of biotech products in the chemical industry will double to 20 percent by 2020.
    • Brain first went public in February 2016. Since then, Brain shares have risen 70 percent.
    • Brain’s main strength is its so-called toolbox of nature. This is a library of more than 100,000 microorganisms and natural substances.
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Hard at work on the future: A laboratory at the Brain campus in Zwingenberg. Source: Brain

It was a bumpy start. A little over a year ago, on February 9, 2016, Brain, a small biotech company from Zwingenberg in the western German state of Hesse, went public on the Frankfurt stock exchange. But the move ended in success: Investors who bought shares at the time have been rewarded. The stock has gone from an issue price of €9 to €15.20 today. That’s a 70 percent gain.

Brain operates in the growth market of industrial biotechnology. The company sells enzymes and other microorganisms to industry, for uses in, for example, the production of bioethanol, the fuel derived from biomass. Brain’s products also extend the shelf life of food products and make laundry detergent clean more effectively at lower temperatures.

It is a growth industry: According to industry forecasts, the share of biotech products in the chemical industry is likely to double, to 20 percent, by 2020.

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