The entrepreneurial spirit of Ruud Santing

Starting your own company and ending up as a serious player in the global market. It’s the dream of many entrepreneurs, and one that came true for Ruud Santing. On the 12th of January 2016, fifteen years after starting Proxy Laboratories, he signed the takeover contract of his company Sinensis Life Sciences. Sinensis is acquired by Eurofins, world’s largest contract analysis supplier for the food, environment and pharma-industry. His overall feeling? Pride.

Ruud Santing, managing director of Eurofins Sinensis, is a born and bred pharmaceutical man. His job is at the core of his being. Why? Because it has meaning. “What really appeals to me is the human aspect. Medicines are products that benefit all people. Making sausages is also nice, but it’s a different league.”

Santing quickly became interested in the technological developments in life sciences. “Medicines are becoming more and more innovative and specialized. Personalized medicine and molecular biology make this field even more interesting. What really attracts me in my work is that I am involved in many different fields and can contribute to unique developments. For example, Sinensis has worked closely with BioMarin in the development of a molecular DNA bandage for young boys with Duchenne's disease. That really has an impact.” The concept of Leiden Bio Science Park with its many innovative companies contributes to that. “As a supporting company we play an important role in the acceleration of the developments in the pharmaceutical sector.”

For him, selling his company was the next logical step. With 20.000 employees and 200 laboratories in 39 countries, Eurofins is a leading player in the field of product testing and bio-analysis. “I am proud of this takeover, because the continuity and existence of the company that I once started and the conglomerate it has become, is secured. It is an acknowledgement of what I have achieved in the past 15 years.”

The takeover has taken a lot of effort to complete. The preparations took over a year. “In the past one bought a company by simply signing the deal on the back of a cigarette pack. Nowadays it is a much more complicated process, that mainly involves risk management. The first phase of attracting buyers and presenting your company is rewarding, but in the closing stages predominantly legal issues were discussed. In the last couple of months I had to read through roughly five contracts a day. A very demanding task.”

Ultimately, Santing is happy with the deal, and fortunately things are back to normal. New opportunities within the greater scope of Eurofins will be beneficial and exciting for the Sinensis laboratories. As for Santing’s own plans for the future, he says: “I’m looking forward to getting to know Eurofins and see how we can build a mutually beneficial relationship.”

Interview by Petra Pronk, photo by Manon Vonk

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