Unique business model to boost and accelerate Biopharma
Strong innovative drive, prominent academic environment and a long tradition of Life Science place Uppsala as an attractive location to establish an innovative and unique business model. Phase2Phase, a small company, founded by two close friends with big ideas, fosters the development of Biopharma even further.
The birth of a new idea
When one of the founders, the CEO and senior consultant Svante Almkvist studied Molecular Biotechnology at Uppsala University back in the mid-nineties, he had a feeling that he one day would be back to the place that had set a soil for his ideas. “It was such a great time and I have very fond memories of so many people and places; Polacksbacken, Engelska parken, Kemikum, Ångström Laboratory, BMC, Café Uroxen!”, remembers Svante. After graduation, his path continues to his hometown Stockholm, when he excepts the position as a lab engineer at Pharmacia & Upjohn. “The very first person I met on the introductory lab tour was a young gentleman, with his feet comfortably positioned on the lab bench, and a very positive, confident and energetic persona. We became instant friends and he was the one, who four years later, was the toastmaster at my wedding.”
And now, two years ago, Andreas Gretander and Svante, founded Phase2Phase, a company with a unique business model.
Biopharma to get the best services
Focusing on the future of Biopharma, the company provides consulting services. The services are focused on CMC (Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls), which is currently a highly demanded competence.
“Whereas our niche, consulting projects, provide a foundation for our business, we also aim at developing our second tier. This can be described as a business stream aiming at investing in early projects and at the same time having the potential to provide some of the key resources needed for those projects. An accelerator or incubator!”, explains Svante Almkvist.
The close friends and now business partners have both realized that there is a shortage in their field of resources with significant background and experience in CMC biologics, with focus on clinical and commercial manufacturing. They saw the opportunity for a consulting firm, with the potential of filling several gaps at future customers. “Biopharma was more or less a no-brainer, since this is where we have our background, i.e. within recombinant protein and mAb process development and manufacturing”, adds Almkvist.
According to the senior consultant, Phase2Phase looks bright in the future. Expansion of the business is on the way! “The projects are out there, and we have more to do than we are currently staffed for. Finding the right people is key to our success, but this is also challenging. However, with our network and experience in the area, we are confident in finding the right people. With that said, in February this year, we were fortunate enough to recruit Joke Rotticci-Mulder as our first employee. With her background from downstream purification process development at a Swedish CMO, Joke is the perfect match to me and Andreas, strengthening our company in that direction”.
Bridge the gap
Phase2Phase provides services to a wide variety of customers: all the way from small, virtual companies, to large public biopharmaceutical companies. The services are mainly within CMC biologics, which includes e.g. Sourcing of CMO’s, CMC Project Management, Tech Transfer Project Management, but also more specialized assignments such as gap analyses and due diligence. Their competence and experience can serve as a bridge to overcome the obstacles of the future.
“Several of our clients, who are early in their development, are really skilled in science but often less experienced in scale-up and regulatory-/GMP-requirements when proceeding towards TOX/First in Human studies. This is one area where we can help. Another area is the sourcing of CDMO’s (contract development and manufacturing organization)”, clarifies Svante.
“We have over ten years of experience in both finding the right partner, asking for the relevant stages of work, as well as negotiating a good deal with the CDMO. The future looks bright. We are steadily developing both our consulting as well as our investment businesses”, resonates the CEO.
Uppsala BIO fosters the Biopharma future
By becoming a strategic partner with Uppsala BIO, Phase2Phase has come into contact with several interesting projects, most of them taking their first steps on their potential way into Testa Center. “Uppsala BIO has proven to be a very important asset in promoting the growth of a strong and sustainable life science sector, not only in Uppsala. With their collaboration e.g. with Umeå Biotech Incubator and also their recent expansion into the south of Sweden I hope we will see even more projects flourish in the future”, says Svante. And the future of Biopharma is yet to be created.
It’s an undisputed fact that Biopharma products have surpassed the conventional pharma projects for several years back. While recombinant proteins have been in the game for quite some time, we have also seen several antibody projects emerging. “I think both the recombinant protein and mAb projects will continue to flourish, and at the same time, we will see even more ATMP’s and DNA vaccines reaching the market” predicts the consulting expert.
At the same time together with his friend and partner Andreas Gretander and their new colleague Joke Rotticci-Mulder eagerly working on creating the future of their own company.