Dr. Ulrich Kosciessa


Our Success Story

photonamic GmbH was founded back in 2002 as a majority-owned subsidiary of medac GmbH, a Germany-based pharmaceutical company. medac formed photonamic in order to perform research and development with 5-aminolevulinic acid (5-ALA) as a target molecule for a variety of medical applications. Since its foundation, photonamic remains engaged in this field in addition to potential additional photosensitizers.

Five years after its founding, photonamic gained approval for its first product within neurosurgery in 2007 as a result of the close collaboration with medac GmbH. Various additional approvals followed this first marketing authorisation in Europe through a centralized procedure. Until today, approvals have also been achieved in Japan, Korea and Australia, and in 2017 in the US through collaborations with local partner companies.

In the field of dermatology, photonamic managed to gain approval for its second product in Europe, which in the meantime has also been approved in Australia and is under evaluation for various other territories. During the course of photonamic’s development it became clear that a variety of the projects were outside the scope of its parent company, medac. This finally led medac GmbH to divest the photodynamic business activities for the purpose of strategic focus. In a stepwise approach, SBI Holding in Tokyo in January 2016 finally acquired 100 % of photonamic GmbH.

The SBI group, with a strong footprint in the finance world, also has its core activities in the biotech field, and was very committed to further develop 5-ALA. Thus, substantial amounts invested in this business area.
Apart from pharmaceutical applications, the benefits of 5-ALA in the areas of cosmetics as well as food supplement were and still are of interest of the SBI group.

The team of photonamic with initially 7 employees back in 2002 rapidly grew, especially after the acquisition through SBI Holdings. In August 2018, photonamic moved from medac’s premises into its own modern offices in Pinneberg and has in the meantime grown to a size of more than 20 employees.

In addition to its strong activities in research and development, photonamic also invested into commercializing its assets via partners, and by also establishing own marketing and sales infrastructures in certain territories.

With its ambitious goals, photonamic will further explore and develop applications for 5-ALA within the SBI group, generating clinical benefit for patients as well as innovative applications in the field of cosmetics and food supplement while maintaining its high quality standards.