No one knows how BioAgilytix delivers premium science better than our employees. For that reason, we’ve been interviewing members of our Scientific, Quality Assurance (QA), Quality Control (QC), and Business Development teams to hear their stories about life at BioAgilytix, and help you learn how they contribute to our success.
In this Q&A session, we get to know Daniel Cohen, Business Development Director, Mid-Atlantic and Asia, at BioAgilytix, as he discusses how his work has changed and evolved as the company has grown over the last six years.
What initially drove you to join the BioAgilytix team?
Before I joined BioAgilytix, I was working as a financial manager for a logistics company in Tennessee, where I had gone to school for Business. The job was interesting and I learned a great deal, but I knew that I didn’t want to work in finance forever and ideally wanted to be with a company in a more innovative industry. When I decided to start applying for jobs, I knew a few people who were working at BioAgilytix, and was very interested in the opportunity to work within the pharma and biotech community. The company was growing and I felt they were in such an interesting niche market of large molecule bioanalysis. It’s exciting to think about how much the company has evolved since I joined; at the time I came on board, we had less than 40 employees, and now we have more than 200 globally.
How has your role changed since you joined BioAgilytix?
I started at the company doing entry level business development, but my position quickly evolved from there. In the early days, I mainly scheduled initial conference calls between prospects and BioAgilytix’s founder, Afshin Safavi, and then passed interested prospects onto more senior BD team members. Afshin gave me a lot of freedom to pursue any opportunities that I felt would be a benefit to the company, and as I proved myself I was given more responsibility. Within a year and a half of being in that role, I was able to maintain all of my own accounts. Over the last six years my role has continued to expand, giving me the opportunity to manage all U.S. territories and others in the BD department, and to go after big deals for the company. Several years ago BioAgilytix really turned its focus to global expansion. This provided me with the opportunity to increase our presence in Europe, working closely with Afshin and also Dominque Gouty, and we were very successful during this time. Today I manage business development for all of Asia along with the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic regions in the USA.
It has been interesting that the way I position BioAgilytix has changed as well. We used to have to battle the perception that we were a small company, but now leading pharma and biotech companies are seeing us as a premier player with significant resources and expertise. I’m now able to show potential clients that when it comes to large molecule studies, there are not many other CROs that can compete with us in terms of the number of scientists actually dedicated to this area of bioanalysis.
What opportunities do you see coming for BioAgilytix in the industry?
Historically we’ve been known for our biomarker capabilities and those projects have always been a logical entry point for customer engagements, but more and more I’m seeing prospects coming to us with challenges involving NAbs and cell-based assays. I think that is a huge opportunity for us, because our scientists are experts in these areas and can really add value to those customers’ projects. In fact, the level and quality of our scientists’ expertise has always been BioAgilytix’s differentiating factor, since the time I joined and it still holds true today. Almost every time a prospective customer speaks to our scientists, I can immediately sense them feeling more confident and comfortable in our capabilities because the deep level of knowledge we can bring to the table becomes clear.
How would you describe BioAgilytix’s company culture?
As a company, we are team- and goal-oriented in everything we do. We have to be because we are working in such a complex industry with tight timelines and stringent regulations, but there is still a sense that no one is willing to cut corners. We’re all truly committed to getting these important therapeutics into the market, and want to make sure our projects are executed as perfectly as they can be. I thoroughly enjoy collaborating with my colleagues across disciplines. It’s a rewarding industry to work in because we are innovating and impacting patients’ lives, but what makes it even more worthwhile for me is the fact that I also get to work with a great group of people every day.
Interested in hearing from other BioAgilytix team members? You can also read our Q&As with Matt Bray, Scientist and Bioanalytical Project Manager; Christine Ford, Corporate Compliance Manager; Jessica Rohrman, Scientist II and Bioanalytical Project Manager; and Angela Daniels, Quality Specialist IV.