In a recent podcast with Malcolm Lui, BioAgilytix’s President and CEO, Jim Datin, sat down to discuss the exciting trends and projected growth in large molecule development, and how BioAgilytix is growing in kind to support the increased need for specialized bioanalysis to accelerate these innovative therapies to market.
You can see the podcast in its entirety here, and we’ve also included some key highlights from the discussion below:
Lui: What does BioAgilytix do, and how does it differ from the competition?
Datin: “When you think of the pharmaceutical world, it’s commonly defined as small molecules vs. large molecules. Small molecules are older drugs, like chemical entities, which would be screened for different chemical libraries to come up with drugs like aspirin. Our projects are more complex. We’re working with living cells to cure diseases. Our testing focuses on biomarkers, immunogenicity, cell-based assays, and pharmacokinetics (PK).
Our focus is to help pharmaceutical and biotech companies get their life-saving drugs to the market quickly and safely. We’re obsessed with customer satisfaction and helping our customers—particularly in the large molecule bioanalysis space—to get projects for the next cures for cancer, eye diseases, heart diseases, HIV, and other critical illnesses to the marketplace.”
Lui: BioAgilytix has been named an Inc. 5000 Fastest-Growing Company five times in the last 6 years. What are some of the external drivers behind your growth?
Datin: “One big external factor is the trend towards large molecule bioanalysis. Twenty years ago when I left a large pharma company, 1% of the global pipeline was focused on large molecules. Today, that number just exceeded 50%, and it’s expected to be over 70% in the next five years. The focus is now much more on precision medicine, custom therapeutics, and large molecule drugs, which can effectively target previously untreatable diseases. We’re at the forefront of that trend, and we’re clearly one of the world leaders.
The second trend has been the growing demand in outsourcing. A lot of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies don’t have a team of experts or scientists on staff to do what we do. They’d rather find a partner like us that they can entrust their valuable assays to, and that they can look to turn up and turn down depending on what the volume or need is.
Finally, as we are inquisitive, we’re looking to acquire other companies in the industry today that can supplement and expand our capabilities. We’ve recently been acquired by a large firm in Europe—a private investment firm—that has set aside significant capital for us to expand. You’ll see us adding additional services and geographical coverage just to be able to support our global customers.”
Lui: How about the biggest internal growth drivers?
Datin: “I think it all comes down to people. We always say that our IP is our people. We have a world-leading scientific team with strong leadership. These are renowned scientists who are shaping the bioanalytical best practices in the industry. They are highly sought after, and they’re experts in the industry.
We’re also obsessed with customer satisfaction. We put the customer first; it’s at the top of our pyramid. But equally important is ensuring that our employees have an amazing experience here and that their engagement is positive. Our employee retention rate is around 93%, and that is the best in our industry to my knowledge. It also shows with our customers; 99% of our customers continue to place work with us year after year and grow. They want us to take on more, and as a result, we’ve had to expand our facilities and expand globally and geographically to meet our growing customer demands.
Last year alone, we hired over 120 new employees worldwide. Today, we have employees from over 40 different countries, which I think is a real strength of ours—the diversity that we’re able to find in the best scientists and leading industry experts who share a similar passion for science and who want to come work with us and make a real difference in the world.”
Lui: What is the value your customers get from working with BioAgilytix?
Datin: “We really work with our clients on individual solutions that are best for them. We have over 30 different platforms in leading-edge technologies that we can leverage depending on what the outcome is and the need, and we customize our methods to what they’d like to see done and what we think will have the best chance of success. It’s our employees and their expertise that make the real difference and create the value there.
Ultimately, we’re helping customers get their drugs to the marketplace so they can be approved by a regulatory agency, whether it’s the FDA in the US, the EMA in Europe, or other regulatory agencies around the world. We’re helping them bring that molecule or compound from pre-discovery, before it’s in demand, all the way to getting it approved so it can be sold commercially on the marketplace and help save millions of lives.
In fact, of the 18 large molecule drugs approved by the FDA last year, BioAgilytix worked on 8 of them, which is pretty amazing; of the 40% of all the biologic drugs that came out last year, we had some input to get those drugs to the marketplace.”
Lui: If BioAgilytix were to have a billboard somewhere, what would be your billboard message?
Datin: “‘We enable the breakthroughs of tomorrow, today.’ When you think of all the scientific breakthroughs that are occurring—and the ones that are going to be coming out in the future—we enable a tomorrow for those breakthroughs today by helping the pharmaceutical and biotech community bring their products to the marketplace safely and quickly.”
To hear more from Jim, access the full podcast here. You can also reach out to him and our other team members directly to continue the conversation with a discussion on your own bioanalytical project needs.