As a student of medicine in the 1980s, Viktor Růžička, born in Moravia, emigrated and finished his studies in Germany. He returned to our country after the Velvet Revolution, however, and in 1992 established his BioVendor company in Brno, a city he had known well from his days as a student.


Development needs to be financed somehow

The idea behind the BioVendor sales company was to import foreign products for diagnostics in medicine and for natural sciences. “At the beginning, we focused mainly on specialized products from biochemistry, immunoanalysis, and similar fields, as we were afraid that we’d never be successful in the mainstream,” says Růžička about its beginnings.

After 5 successful years, the time came for the company to develop its own products. After all, that was what Růžička wanted to do from the very beginning but couldn’t for lack of a reliable source of funding. Financial support from the sales department in 1995 made it possible to create the first teams for development, production, and later for quality assurance of its own laboratory diagnostics products.

“The idea was to create a system able to develop and create assays, i.e. tests to identify the concentration of newly discovered molecules that we think could be important for science or pharmaceutical research. There weren’t many companies like this here at the time,” Růžička explains the main idea behind establishing the development department at BioVendor.

These days, BioVendor can provide you with any material you need for laboratory diagnostics. “I always dreamt about creating this thing called a one-stop-shop in other disciplines,” says Růžička about how BioVendor gradually managed to provide products for disciplines such as pathology, molecular genetics, microbiology, bacteriology, virology, serology, immunoanalytics, and many others.

While the sales department focused mainly on importing products to the Czech Republic, the development and production department dealt predominantly in exporting its products, which it still does today.

Growth skyrockets after being acquired by Siemens

On its way, the company got lucky several times. Around 1998, BioVendor became a distributor for DPC (Diagnostic Products Cooperation) from the USA, the fifth biggest company doing immunoanalytics for identifying various hormones, tumour biomarkers, antibodies to pathogens, and drugs. BioVendor made DPC number one in immunoanalytics on the Czech market and – thanks to representing it – the company quickly grew.

In 2006, the company was purchased by DPC Siemens. At the time, the distribution of products by DPC brought about one half of BioVendor’s sales. “We were lucky to be allowed to continue representing this branch of Siemens in the Czech Republic,” adds Růžička. Less than one year later, Siemens acquired Bayer Diagnostics, another big company dealing in diagnostics. BioVendor thus started to represent Bayer as well, effectively doubling its sales. Several months later, Siemens made another deal when it acquired Dade Behring, a major player focused mainly on the identification of specific proteins and drug levels. BioVendor remained the Czech distributor for this discipline as well, which turned it into the number one company selling equipment for laboratory medicine with annual sales of over a billion Czech crowns.

Patent for identification of microRNA

Another significant milestone was the purchase of a licence and intellectual property rights to generally identify microRNA, a new large group of molecules with diagnostics potential so profound that the scientists who discovered it were awarded the Nobel Prize. Coincidentally, BioVendor purchased this licence from Siemens. Today, it works hard to sell this method to clients all over the world. It’s been rather slow but Růžička expects it to improve soon.

“It turned out that blood plasma contains thousands of microRNAs that play a role similar to protein analytes and markers. This increases the already huge number of analytically-relevant molecules that are signs of a disease,” says Růžička on the significance of newly-discovered molecules that may indicate an attack of a malignant growth on the organism and may help reveal endometriosis or Down syndrome in a foetus. The truth is, however, that there are thousands and perhaps even millions of potential more applications for this knowledge.

Happy beginnings without any challenges

When asked about any difficulties, Růžička only smiles and says: “I consider the beginnings of doing business happy times without any challenges. I really do.”

The challenges have been coming only in recent years. Czech hospitals have been integrated into regional holdings while elsewhere in the world laboratories have been consolidated. Also, the laboratories started buying each other, so their number has been decreasing and their power has been increasing, which effectively puts pressure on prices. According to Růžička, a period of margin erosion began and continues today. “Market consolidation can only be overcome by bigger volumes of work,” he adds.

Also, the legislation has become more and more complicated in recent years, which is another problem which, among other things, makes it harder to collect blood samples. This makes researchers less eager to measure new parameters of new patient groups, which Růžička considers unexpected: “I used to think that these activities would only increase in number.”

Developers need an awful lot of patience

Today, the BioVendor group consists of several companies, one of them being TestLine Clinical Diagnostics dealing in the development and production of kits to identify antibodies to pathogens. For several years now, TestLine has been working on a system to identify tens to even hundreds of antibodies to pathogens from a single drop of blood. “Here we should be the first in the world, as at the moment nobody else has an assay to identify antibodies to 44 nuclear antigens,” adds Růžička.

BioVendor itself has been developing its own automatic system for immunoanalysis. “Once we have it, we are likely to climb one level in the hierarchy of companies in terms of autonomy and dominant position on the market.”

Růžička admits that new ideas would hardly ever come if he didn’t spend several hours a day reading professional journals. “I stopped doing this about six months ago, but before that I used to spend the time from around 3 to 9 every single morning reading journals in order to stay in the loop.” He sold his share in the company several months ago, so now it is up to the new management to overcome the challenges of setting up new development processes.

At the same time, however, he is convinced that BioVendor has a great chance of becoming a multiregional and multinational company, especially if the automatic immunoanalyser project succeeds. With this tool, the company will gain a portfolio hardly any other firm can boast. Also, he considers the microRNA field very promising. “With some other acquisitions in the future, the company could make it among the top 10 in its industry. I think this is realistic,” Růžička says, bringing his story of BioVendor to a close.

28. 11. 2019
Photos: BioVendor

More articles

PBS produces aircraft engines for the whole world Do Business

PBS produces aircraft engines for the whole world

One of the oldest engineering plants in Europe started out producing machines in #brnoregion for the textile industry over 200 years ago. Over the centuries, it’s become the best i... READ MORE
A strong vision boosts a company’s efficiency  Do Business

A strong vision boosts a company’s efficiency

Companies with an unclear, unspecific, or no vision at all are less efficient. And vice versa. READ MORE
UNIS develops control systems for the largest aircraft engines Do Business

UNIS develops control systems for the largest aircraft engines

One of the first businesses established in #brnoregion after the Velvet Revolution was originally an IT company. Yet as time went on, it gradually started to specialize in construc... READ MORE
Kinali Do Business


KINALI robotic systems can improve or even replace people’s imperfect eyesight in industry. Thanks to machine vision and AI, they don’t miss any scratches on pressed plastic parts ... READ MORE
Madfinger Games Do Business

Madfinger Games

The urge to do things their own way has placed Madfinger Games, a studio developing games for mobile phones, among the very best in the world. Titles such as Samurai, Shadowgun and... READ MORE
World from Space Do Business

World from Space

It all started with two excited postgraduate students and an unrealistic dream of using the data from outer space. Today, however, World from Space is a company which helps communi... READ MORE
LIKO-S Do Business


They’ve built the first green production hall in the world and thus became experts on green roofs and walls. LIKO-S is one of the largest European producers of interior partitions,... READ MORE
Survio Do Business


In 2007, Ondřej Coufalík and Martin Pavlíček established a predecessor of today’s survey platform Survio. It’s been a long, bumpy road, but now over 2 million users from all over t... READ MORE
Safetica Technologies Do Business

Safetica Technologies

Companies in over 95 countries protect their data using the Safetica DLP program from #brnoregion. READ MORE
Bender Robotics Do Business

Bender Robotics

“If you can put electronics into it, our company can make it.” Stanislav Věchet READ MORE
A good address for innovation business Do Business

A good address for innovation business

More and more people are calling #brnoregion a Metropolis of Science, the centre of research and development, and a great place for all the active people whose ideas change the wor... READ MORE
CF Plus Chemicals Do Business

CF Plus Chemicals

He fell in love with chemistry as an eleven-year boy when he found a book named Experiments without Explosions in the library. Today, Václav Matoušek is in charge of CF Plus Chemic... READ MORE
SAP Labs Czech Republic Do Business

SAP Labs Czech Republic

“We want people to always associate finance and SAP enterprise application software with Brno. That’s our vision for the future,” says Martin Janáček, MD at SAP Labs Czech Republic... READ MORE
Kentico Software Do Business

Kentico Software

“From Day 1, I wanted to do business on an international level and sell software all over the world. That’s one of the reasons our very first customer was from the USA,” says Petr ... READ MORE
Jiří Očadlík Do Business

Jiří Očadlík

"If people don’t come together, new quality will never be created" READ MORE
DATAWEPS Do Business


“If you are a customer and buy products in online stores, then you come across our services without even knowing it. And if you are a retailer or a producer selling products online... READ MORE
NenoVision Do Business


“It was incredibly hard to imagine that this weird thing (which hadn’t been working properly yet) would one day become an actual product and work perfectly. That people would buy i... READ MORE
We support entrepreneurial spirit! Do Business

We support entrepreneurial spirit!

A secondary school leaving certificate, or a university degree is a great achievement for most students. They ploughed through their studies, they sailed through the tests, they ar... READ MORE
FLOWMON Do Business


„What was originally an academic spin-off has become a successful global company, helping protect computer networks against cybernetic threats and DDoS attacks in over 35 countries... READ MORE
Bastl Instruments Do Business

Bastl Instruments

“Czechs should be proud of their DIY past. The effort to restore respect for it and make the best of this heritage was the driving force of our business,” says Ondřej Merta, the CE... READ MORE
Czech Republic spearheads speech research Do Business

Czech Republic spearheads speech research

“We were there at the inception of this success. Customers all over the world use our technologies,” says Petr Schwarz, the founder and current CTO of Phonexia. READ MORE
Would you like to start your business? Do Business

Would you like to start your business?

Great to hear! In that case you could use these 10 brief advices. READ MORE


RedHat, Honeywell, or NetSuite. And Kiwi, Y Soft, or Safetica. These are very successful companies based in Brno. The list of leaders and their achievements is much longer and beyo... READ MORE
GREYCORTEX – A startup? Yes and no Do Business

GREYCORTEX – A startup? Yes and no

Even though GREYCORTEX celebrated only two years of existence in May, the work on its main product started a long time before. In the area of Internet security, GREYCORTEX are lead... READ MORE
Sewio Networks: With a sense of wireless Do Business

Sewio Networks: With a sense of wireless

“We recognized the potential of wireless technologies in Industry 4.0 in time, so our sensors – among other things – help improve safety in factories.” READ MORE A rocket from #brnoregion Do Business A rocket from #brnoregion

​“How to handle our rapid growth – that’s the biggest challenge we’ve had to face. Currently, we have almost one thousand employees in the Czech Republic, and together with their c... READ MORE


„We have sped up the arrival of fire fighters and rescuers in up to a third of accidents. Through us they can share important information, communicate effectively and coordinate th... READ MORE
The devices by PSI are used all over as well as beyond the planet Earth Do Business

The devices by PSI are used all over as well as beyond the planet Earth

Photon Systems Instruments from a small village in #brnoregion has been developing and producing devices for research of plants for over twenty years now. READ MORE
Enantis: Out of University Lab into Business Do Business

Enantis: Out of University Lab into Business

Interesting conclusions of university research do not necessarily end up in academic files. They often become the driving force in business. One of the ways to introduce the scient... READ MORE
#brnoregion is a startup paradise Do Business

#brnoregion is a startup paradise

#brnoregion is undoubtedly a startup paradise, as shown not only by its 200+ existing active startups, but also by the 2019 Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report which has marked Czech... READ MORE
This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Learn more