Established in 1982, Genius is arguably the oldest health care biotechnology company in South Africa, if not the African continent, with a track record of investing in research and development work that led to successfully commercialising South Africa’s first biosimilar product, Repotin, a recombinant human hormone known as erythropoietin (EPO).

Genius focuses on health care applications and more specifically on the production of biopharmaceutical products. Biopharmaceutical products include such therapeutics as hormones, protein-based drugs and antibodies.

Genius is a research and development biopharmaceutical group of companies which includes the following operational business units:

  • Immunotherapy dendritic cell vaccine technology (DCV)
  • Erythropoietin production, registered as Repotin
  • Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) product development
  • Integrated Bioworks (IBW) reagents


The divisions are engaged in product development which are at different stages and the progress is as follows:

  • Regulatory preparation and process validation phase for the production of EPO, a biosimilar drug used to treat anaemia caused by kidney disease
  • Developmental work on DCV for cancer immunotherapy and non-communicable diseases such as extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis
  • Further developmental activities at the Ribotech facility for a second biosimilar drug called Recogen, a G-CSF used for the treatment of neutropenia
  • Production of protein-based reagents used mainly in research laboratories and industrial applications.


The outlook for Genius and their value proposition is based on a long-term vision and value-add that is linked to defined milestones.

Unlike other typical investments in other sectors, Genius works to achieving milestones in their developmental stage, hence a five-year strategic plan to the year 2020 was implemented with clear deliverables and strategic actions for each strategic lever as well as detailed clear time frames.

  • The cell culture division is currently manufacturing EPO and is undergoing regulatory preparation with “mock-runs”
  • The DCV project is preparing for phase 1 human clinical trial in breast cancer patients and performing pre-clinical trials on X‑DR tuberculosis
  • Further development work for the production of a second biotech drug for humans


The following prospects have been identified:


  • For Repotin production, processes, updates and regulatory framework are to be completed by 2018
  • Secure funds to complete final filling solutions for recombinant products for both Repotin and Recogen
  • Further research and development work in order to continue to production phase
  • Begin the phase 1 human clinical trial in breast cancer patients and pre-clinical work on other diseases
  • Integrated Bioworks to generate revenue from the sale of laboratory reagents and increase its product offering
  • Based on the phase 1 trial results – accelerate the listing of Genius to obtain the necessary capital to complete phase 2 and 3 trials


  • Optimise and increase the production output of Repotin so that it is able to meet market demand by 2020 and introduce additional formulation strengths to enter the oncology market
  • Introduce an additional range of recombinant and biologically derived products through a licensing agreement with an international partner
  • Partner with a South African multinational pharmaceutical company to secure a sales and marketing channel for local and international biological markets
  • Plan and prepare to list Genius on a foreign stock exchange


The Genius Group has two state-of-the-art medium-sized biopharmaceutical laboratory facilities, one in Cape Town and the other in Centurion, Pretoria.


Detailed information about Genius’ business model, stakeholders, risks and governance is available on the website at