On this episode of Molecular Moments, BioAgilytix Chief Scientific Officer Jim McNally chats with the company’s President & CEO about the exciting new updates that are putting BioAgilytix at the forefront of biotech on a global level. From multiple acquisitions to a new investor that sees the bigger picture, Datin shares how these opportunities came to be and what major deciding factors came into play when finalizing the acquisitions. The two biotech companies acquired MicroConstants in San Diego, California and 360biolabs in Melbourne and Brisbane Australia, are leaders in bioanalysis, and both are aligned with the BioAgilytix core values: Integrity, Customer Experience, Accountability, Respect, and Employee Experience. They also discuss BioAgilytix’s new London-based investor Cinven, which will create the opportunity to grow BioAgiliytix through additional acquisitions, building additional campuses, ensuring state-of-the-art equipment at all locations and the opportunity for professional development.

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President & CEO Jim Datin Talks Company Culture, Core Values, and Global Growth!: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

President & CEO Jim Datin Talks Company Culture, Core Values, and Global Growth!: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Announcer:
Welcome to the Molecular Moments podcast.

Jim McNally:
Welcome to the latest episodes of Molecular Moments. I'm Jim McNally, chief scientific officer for Biologics, and our guest today is none other than Jim Dayton, a longtime and fearless president and CEO. Welcome Jim to the podcast. Good to have you here today.

Jim Dayton:
Thanks, Jim. Great to be with you.

Jim McNally:
So we've had a lot of exciting news for biologics over the summer and fall. Thankfully, Biogen has appeared in the news for all the right reasons. A number of acquisitions, a new major investment partner in the company. So one of the reasons why we invited you here to talk about it was to really share some of the exciting news and provide some color to all the things that have been going on for biologics over the past three or four months here. We've been part of the acquisition of two companies Micro Constance in San Diego, California, and 360 Bio Labs in Melbourne and Brisbane, Australia. These two new additions to our company Ad Booth Service Lines and geographies to biotech analytics, which already had the three locations in Boston, Durham and Hamburg. So maybe let's start with Michael Constance and talk a little bit about what is now Biogen San Diego and here from your perspective, why this was such a terrific fit for us, both culturally and strategically. And what does this now enable us to do for our customers?

Jim Dayton:
That's perfect, Jim. We've known Michael Constance for over a decade. In fact, the company has over 23 years old. They're one of the leaders and regulated by analytical work. They're based in San Diego. Certainly one of the largest, if not the largest, LC Ms lab on the West Coast. We've wanted to have a West Coast facility to be close to the biotech community. Southern California is exploding in a positive way with new biotech companies. They had a very strong leadership team, and culture was a deciding factor for us to move forward. We're thrilled with the the company, the opportunity that allows us to expand into the LC-MS marketplace to add additional site to support not only the California biotech, but a lot of our global customers that want to have a site there. And early on, it's proved to be very fruitful as we're looking to expand the facility. We've added a lot of new platforms that we can talk about and the leadership team people like Dave Beguelin, David Johnson, John Micheletti, a very strong team and it's an interesting opportunity when you take a founder led business and you start putting strong recipes in place when you can harmonize and the best idea can win. It's like an entrepreneurial spirit. The company has really surged and done well.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, you know, from working with the micro consultants, the Bioanalytical San Diego team now for a few months, it's easy to see the cultural alignment really a strong fit of their scientific team with our scientific team. Integration has gone pretty smoothly, at least from my perspective for sure. Feels like we're already collaborating well. What's been your read on the the way that we've been able to integrate the San Diego services into our work and progress on bringing them into the larger bio analytics family?

Jim Dayton:
Great question. So Michael Constance was historically known as a very high science shop for small molecule by analysis over the last couple of years, they've expanded into large molecule. In fact, one of the fastest growth areas for them right now is large molecule LC-MS. They've got a great team, good bones, good footprint. They've supported nearly 6000 regulated studies, over 2000 methods and over 1500 validated assays. They have a lot of platforms that Biologics doesn't have or didn't have in the past. They are one of the leaders in quantum. We've helped them expand and add five new psychic's 7500. They are implementing as we speak or be traps. And their goal is to be a worldwide leader that we can put them as a subject matter expert for LC-MS. We've also been able to harmonize yes hopes, particularly on the large molecule side and a lot of our clients that we were doing work with, particularly in California, would like a local lab. So I think there's an opportunity for them to service a lot of the California clients and for us to move assays back and forth.

Jim McNally:
Let's talk a little bit about the small molecule business there. You know, I've been a customer of biologics before joining the team here. I've always thought about Bioanalytical as really being a leader in large molecule bio analysis and PK and immunogenicity and biomarker work. We've certainly done work in the small molecule space, predominantly in the biomarker sort of pharmacodynamic effects of small molecules. But this does open a door to us to really grow in the small molecule space and expand into that. Customer base, so do you see biologically moving significantly away from large molecule, or is this just something new that we're offering to expand our service to customers?

Jim Dayton:
Well, large molecule is clearly our core focus, and that will stay as our core focus moving forward. I think it allows us to expand. We've had a lot of customers want us to be more of a one stop shop buyer to support their entire biomedical needs. And as you know, Jim, there's a lot of opportunities with small molecule like ADC as an example where it allows us to have further services that we've not had or been able to offer those in the past. There's also a lot of strategic value to California. Certainly, there's a rich, diverse population there. There's a great talent pool in the San Diego area. It allows us to help build out the large molecule capabilities for them as well. And capacity has been tight in the industry, so we find this very complementary. We're in a process right now, as you know where we're cross-fertilization, where we're moving some of our scientists around. In fact, we had two of our scientists go to Hamburg, Germany, last month where they're spending time to help share some of the best practices that we've got. And post-pandemic, I believe that we're going to have a lot of people signing up volunteering to go to San Diego as it's a great location and they'd love to spend as little as a month or potentially a year or more. They're working to help us learn from each other and that environment.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, I tell you, you know, with the two new locations in San Diego and Melbourne, I think we're going to have a lot of scientists that are looking for warmer locations during the winter. At the very least, I know I'm going to be one of the ones that's signing up for that trip to Melbourne at some point here,

Jim Dayton:
Although it's funny to say that we just had. We're in the process of moving somebody from San Diego to Boston who has said that they would love to spend a year in Boston and cross fertilize. And so I think it's going to go all over the place depending on what people's interests are.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, you know, as a reformed Southerner myself, I'm happy to come to the colder temperatures, but it's nice to escape for a week or so to get to a warmer location during the those harsh winter months, for sure.

Jim Dayton:
Well, certainly having a site in Melbourne which we can talk about, you'll have a lot of opportunities then, won't you?

Jim McNally:
Yeah, absolutely. So I want to keep talking a little bit about San Diego here and then start transitioning into the Melbourne discussion. It's interesting, you know, as part of the diligence we did as going through the process of looking at the company, we spoke with a lot of the customers of San Diego and found a lot of feedback that honestly, it's exactly what we hope our customers would have said about legacy. Bioanalytical talked about strong science, a real, customer oriented experience for them. How did they align culturally with bioanalytical and sort of maintaining the standard of customer experience we're looking for?

Jim Dayton:
It's a great question. You know, Jim, we've been fortunate to merge or acquire some founder led businesses, and I'll just back up. Ipm was one of those in Europe that the company had been around over 20 years and one of the leaders in immunogenicity. And it was very important for us to make sure that we were aligned culturally, putting the customers first performing great science, not making sacrifices. One of the downsides, sometimes that the founder led business is that they don't have the resources or capital to expand or keep up as much. And that's been the case with San Diego, where they had done great business. They were just taking care of current customers. They weren't in a position to expand or grow the marketplace as much. They are having a very strong year with new customer additions, adding new services, but they were constrained. And so when biologics comes along, we can provide capital expertise, help them to expand. And they're seeing that right now by adding all the new equipment and services and people us helping them recruit. I know we've brought on over a dozen people in the first month just to help them expand, and so they share our our same focus and prioritization on customers to delight the customers produce great science and now they've got capital to expand the facilities, the platforms, the capabilities. And I think that's what has made this one special that we're so aligned culturally.

Jim McNally:
You know, it's interesting that you mentioned sort of historically how Biogen has acquired other companies. One of the things that's always interesting is acquiring these new companies always results in growth of those sites and those teams, more people, larger footprint, upgrades of equipment. This is not one of those situations where you're just acquiring a location. You want to grow that business. The whole point of this is to expand capabilities and expand the bioanalytical footprint, right?

Jim Dayton:
That's a great comment. I know looking back at a couple of the acquisitions or mergers, IBM had about 20 some people when we acquired them just over five years ago. And today, Hamburg is north of 100, and that number will likely double over the next couple of years. Cambridge Biomedical was about 50 people just a couple of years back in Boston, and they're going to be approaching 100 people and their capacity has grown by well over 60 percent with the renovation that we just did. I expect like San Diego, to double over the next couple of years to better support the continued growth. We're in an industry right now where there's enormous growth in large molecule, and the proteins of molecules are getting a lot more complex and it's very complementary between small and large and clearly that more trending towards large molecule these days. But I think it's complementary to have both capabilities, and you're going to see that with Melbourne as well, where that they're going to be adding another campus to be able to support that moving forward.

Jim McNally:
Great. So let's go ahead and transition and talk a little bit about 360 Bio Labs, Melbourne and the Brisbane locations. A lot of commonalities, sort of as we think about M&A activity. But why don't you tell us a little bit about 360 from your perspective of what the fit was there? What are the unique aspects of 360 that add to our already pretty extensive capabilities?

Jim Dayton:
Sure. We are really excited with 360, and it's a bit of a coincidence that it happened. Similar time pertains to to Microcosms. 360 Biolabs is the largest contract research lab in the Australia and New Zealand marketplace and a very comprehensive suite of diagnostic services, therapeutic vaccine and diagnostics development. Their primary focus in Australia, as you know, is phase one clinical trials. There's enormous synergies and benefits to start a molecule or clinical trial in Australia. The Australian government offers tax incentives that can be in excess of 40 percent a rebate make it one of the most cost effective places in the world. There are highly tied in to the regulatory systems and great communication between the FDA, the AMA and the Australian agencies. They have had tremendous success with phase one clinical trials. I know 360 today is working on nearly 90 of those projects as we speak today, and it's a bit of a coincidence with the pandemic because 360 is one of the worldwide leaders in virology. They have a BSL three capability, deep virology, immunology, expertise, and as a result, they've done a tremendous amount of work to help address the pandemic by working on many of the vaccines that are out today.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, their suite of COVID specific assays and support is really amazing, but it's not just limited to that sort of growth there. Virology space really deals with a lot of respiratory viruses, so investigations into antivirals and vaccine work. So they're really well positioned for this new world that we live in with a heightened concern around viral pandemics and things that clearly we're all familiar with that have affected us over the past year and a half here. Some interesting things about their founders that have stayed with the business that are our partners in this now. You want to talk a little bit about AML and andJ as part of the new team that are leading us in 360?

Jim Dayton:
Sure. So Alastair, treffen, and Ludeke and Mel Prior, three very talented founders that divided up responsibilities and have been working together for many years. They are based in Melbourne. Melbourne is one of the biotech hubs within that region. A large growth area in Australia itself is is a large growth area. The three of them have worked well and they've partnered with the Burnet Institute and others to provide phase one clinical trials. They've just recently added, as you mentioned, added a new site in Brisbane to support further clinical trials in Northeast Australia, and the founders have shared with us that their capabilities have grown. They're going to need further expansion, so we're going to be providing the capital and resources for them to add a second Melbourne campus next year that are already underway. For that, they've had an extensive search. And any time you go to acquire or merge with a new company, you want to be at an add something you want to learn. You don't want it to be a one way street. And with this team, we have found that we're going to be adding new services, geographies while keeping culture, which is at the very top of our food chain sound and fit in, very similar to what we enjoy here today, focusing on very high customer satisfaction, focusing on employee development and making 360 an employment destination for Asia-Pac.

Jim McNally:
So you see that business growing also pretty extensively in the coming days, weeks, months, years and so on to really expand that phase one footprint there that eventually would spread globally into our other U.S. and Europe. And base sites, correct?

Jim Dayton:
That's right, Jim, as you know, in the U.S., we do a fair amount of preclinical work, and when our sponsors are looking for a partner where they can put phase one clinical trial, we're going to do everything we can to help a lot of that be based in Australia. And likewise, we're going to cross validate those assays. And when it's time to move them to phase two, we think there will be a tremendous opportunity to move to one of our many sites around the world to be able to do that where you've got scientists speaking to each other on a regular basis, sharing best practices. We think it's going to create an environment of collaboration in where we can be offering customers a choice, where when they've done preclinical work with us, they don't need to switch to a different lab. They can start with 360 knowing that they're going to have a pathway all the way through commercialization where we can continue to work with them in Australia. What a great environment. Urban, diverse population facility, strong clinical recruitment and we think it will be very complementary.

Jim McNally:
Yeah. Couldn't agree more. And we've already started to see an interesting partnership between Melbourne and San Diego because of some common platform, their relationships around LC-MS work and some other things that they have in common. That's already been a benefit, including starting to see our first Phase one programs that are now becoming later stage that are coming to the larger bioanalytical family in the US.

Jim Dayton:
Yeah. And who wouldn't want to take advantage of world class virology immunology experts? And they also have both small and large molecule. They have LC-MS capabilities, and there could be a natural fit to have those moving back and forth between San Diego and Melbourne. They also have a world class central lab to be able to handle some of these large clinical trials storage capabilities. And as I mentioned, they've become a leader in vaccine and antiviral work, and we're going to be expanding our site here in North America next year, and we're going to be learning from them. We think they're best in class right now.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, that's an interesting opportunity for both the Durham and Boston sites and Hamburg. So continued expansion in all three of those sites to give us complimentary service redundancies. So a lot of expansion there. You've mentioned a couple of times we've talked a little bit about the importance of cultural fit. Let's talk a little bit about that because I think it's interesting, especially in this day and age. You see a lot of consolidation of crows. It's important to us. I think that we have that cultural fit, that deep love of science, and I think the interest in making sure that our customers have a good experience with this too. How important is cultural fit for you as we bring new people, new locations into biology, politics,

Jim Dayton:
Culture is really important. Certainly, you can go to different geographies and locations around the world, and we've encountered some where we've looked at different acquisitions that may have been very attractive financially, but there wasn't a meeting of the minds with the management team. We're never going to sacrifice quality. We don't want anybody to ever take shortcuts. We want people to be highly focused on producing great science and meeting customer expectations. We've gotten close to other partnerships that could have been bigger or in other geographies, but we thought it would be too difficult to align on culture in our core values. I think most people here know our core values are incredibly important, and I'll just take a moment and we call it eye care I for integrity. We're in a regulated environment, and everything we do focuses around integrity, making sure that our documentation and how we go about things is done well. See for customers at the end of the day. We're very fortunate to partner with. We're approaching 700 different customers right now around the world. We've been fortunate that a third of all the biologics approved by the FDA or other large agencies have come to our shop and we want to make sure that we can help our customers get those therapeutics to the marketplace quickly and safely. A4 accountability to each others and our customers just to meet timelines to make sure we're producing great science are for respect.

Jim Dayton:
One of my favorite ones, we're blessed to have people working at biologics from over 50 countries now around the world. It's pretty amazing. We'll be approaching a thousand employees here soon and tremendous employee retention, and I think a lot of that comes through respect for each other. And then finally, as E, which is also incredibly important, and that's the employee experience in making biologics an employment destination. You know, we're in a very tight labor market these days and we try to hire the best and brightest from around the world and empower them, give them the tools and resources to be successful. And we've been fortunate that over a third of all of our employees that we've hired over the last couple of years have come from other employee. Pearls, people that are working here that enjoy what they do and that are happy to recommend world class talent from all different facets. And so when we go out to look to acquire or partner or merge with other companies, we want to find a similar culture, even if it's been a founder led company in the past and they haven't had resources and we can make an immediate impact so long as they share our core values. That's going to be probably the most important factor for us moving forward.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. I think just in a healthy scientific environment, you have to have all of those sort of five core values to make sure that you can adequately challenge and assess each other, but do it in such a respectful way that you can all agree to either agree or disagree at the end of it and then move on to the next item. Healthy scientific debate probably something we need a lot more of throughout the world at times, so. Well, Jim,

Jim Dayton:
You do a great job. I know you pull together a lot of our leaders every week on a weekly call. When you think about it, if you're approaching a thousand employees and some of the very best and brightest from around the world. And these are employees, as you know, most of our average tenure. They've had 12 years post schooling experience, so half of them are advanced degrees. And when you can challenge each other and encourage debate, and if you've got an interesting opportunity and you need expertise, my gosh, I don't know, have any place in the world that you could go where you could have hundreds of people that can contribute. And that's why we've solved some of the toughest challenges out there. And I know you've put a policy in place, Jim, where best idea wins in an open environment where it's safe to have debate and open dialogue and we can learn from each other when we've acquired or merged with these companies. It's not about trying to put the biologics footprint in all sites. We're learning a tremendous amount from these sites. San Diego, one of the world leaders in small molecule right now and El LC-MS in Australia, one of the world leaders in virology, that we're going to be back integrating a lot of what they do so well into our many sites around the world right now.

Jim McNally:
I definitely think that one of the great things about the biologic culture as a whole and our new family members, as I love to refer to them as we're all in this together, I think we all have the same idea of trying to serve our customers, serve their patients. And at the end of the day, we just want to deliver the best quality work for them. So as long as we're all aligned on that, it's kind of hard to go wrong. I feel incredibly fortunate to have such a deep bench of scientists that really contribute across the board. It's just amazing. Even before the new additions, and now we're going to be roughly a thousand people by early next year, and it's just amazing what we're all learning from each other going forward.

Jim Dayton:
It's a stimulating environment when you can get that brainpower in a room or on a team or Zoom call, and you can have an open dialogue about science and where things are going. A lot of young scientists want to go to biotech. They want to be in the forefront of innovation, but I'm not sure where you could go to work on what we're working on, and today we're working on around 6000 active projects. Think about the molecules that we're touching in the future drugs within cell and gene therapies within rare disease orphan diseases. It's just amazing the experience and the learning environment that people can learn from. I know we have a buddy system here where people, particularly some of the new hires, get assigned a buddy, and I try to meet and greet many of our new employees on a monthly basis. And I sit down with them again at three, six and 12 months formally to ask what they enjoy and what we can do better. A couple of themes that I keep hearing back from them is just how much stimulation there is and how much they enjoy learning from their peers and being able to share fresh ideas and be in the forefront of science. You know, a lot of people used to go work at Big Pharma in the past for a career. It was a stable platform and it's unusual. We've attracted a lot of people from some of the major pharma companies around the world recently, and they're coming here because of the stability, because of the stimulation, because of the future growth prospects. And it's an exciting time to be at biologics.

Jim McNally:
One of the great things about being in a CRO, working in such a wide array of programs and clients and disease areas and drug modalities. One for sure. You're never going to be bored. There will never be a time where you can say, Wow, I'm just working on the same thing over and over and over. That's not going to happen. And honestly, for I think a lot of people for career growth, breadth of experience is ultimately what will eventually get you there. Being able to say I'm not pigeonholed, I've worked on so many different things. It gives you a broader respect for the drug development process and just overall how these therapeutics go from the earliest design phase all the way into. Clinical studies and approvals. Nothing more exciting than saying that our teams worked on so many drugs that have been approved over the past few years.

Jim Dayton:
It's so right. And for a lot of people, Jim, it's a lot more than just a job if we've all had family members impacted by some serious disease. I know I was just talking with one of our employees in the past week who was pretty open that they were here today because of work we did to help get a therapeutic approved. It really hits home when you can first hand work on thousands of projects as a company and find a way that a third of all the approvals come through our shop. It is really meaningful to people here.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, especially this time of year. It's always nice to be able to go home and have that solid answer of what exactly is it that you do for a job and when you can talk about I get drugs approved for rare diseases or pediatric patients or oncology really kind of settles in and lets you know the meaning of what you're doing. So before we move on to talk about our new investors, since then, we're not really done with merger and acquisition work. Are we here? We're always looking to grow and expand. So maybe just a little bit of forward looking from you around. Maybe what's next for biologics?

Jim Dayton:
Happy to. So the first objective when we're putting two companies together, you want to make sure that we're all aligned on cultures and priorities and taking care of employees and making sure that we serve as customers as good or better moving forward. So I don't want to artificially force something on that. And we've just done two very successful acquisition integrations with microcosms now Biologics San Diego and with 360 Biolabs this past year. In the future, we are going to be looking to add additional services. There are many services that we're looking to expand into now that we're targeting, and we're having active discussions with dozens of companies right now who would like to be part of the biologics family where we could add some capabilities. And there are still are some parts of the world that we don't fully service or support yet. And our customers have asked us to be based in those geographies and support them in different countries. So I think in an average year, you can expect to see us target or hopefully close one to two additional acquisitions per year. We are going to be continued to expand and add new services and bolster up current services. We one of the fastest growth areas for us as a company today is our CMC GMP business supporting global pharma customers and biotech, and you're going to see us leverage incremental investments and acquisitions in that area as well.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, I think the two key things that really drive us, right, what's good for the customers and what's good for bio analytics. We really pay close attention to what our customers are looking for to add those new service lines and locations. And I think you can see that very clearly with the acquisition of San Diego and Melbourne, for sure. Ok, great to discuss the M&A activity both past and future. The other exciting news that kind of came down the pipeline a few weeks ago was our brand new investor sin bin. Maybe let's start a little bit with what was biotech analytics looking for as a new investor and what's so exciting about having sin bin as our new partners?

Jim Dayton:
Happy to. We are very excited, Jim. You know, we look back. Our company was founded in 2008, and in 2013 we brought in private equity. We brought in riverside partners and they were a great partner to help us build and grow. And then in 2018, we brought in Cabeca and Co BPR syndicated and brought in other investors along side them as well. It allowed us to expand. It allowed us to buy MicroConf since 360 Cambridge Biomedical and modestly expand facilities. We are reaching a point now where we needed to expand again, both globally and through acquisitions and current facilities. So we started a process this past spring to go look for the right partner, and a lot of this gets back to culture again just to make sure that we are aligned with somebody that was not going to be looking to take shortcuts. That was going to allow us to focus on customer satisfaction, investing in the building, investing in people. And we were fortunate that there were dozens of companies out there who expressed an interest in us. We ended up choosing sin bin.

Jim Dayton:
And for those of you that don't know, Sin Bin is one of the most established and highly respected private equity firms that are headquartered in London. They've been around for over 45 years, although they have offices in nine sites around the world, including New York and the U.S. and all throughout the world. Today, they manage in excess of twenty two billion euros. That's over twenty five billion dollars, and they have just been tremendous. We're working with. Alex Leslie, Matt Norton and Phil Cathcart, these are folks that in our initial meetings with them, they did a tremendous amount of due diligence on the marketplace, on our capabilities. They came to us with a lot of great ideas on further investments that they thought we could be making to add new services, some further acquisitions, and they have been highly supportive for us to continue to build out facilities at additional campuses. We want to make sure that we're state of the art labs in all locations. And I think you're going to see some exciting announcements come out over the next couple of months from that.

Jim McNally:
So this isn't Simmons first time in the health care service industry either, right? They are still learning a lot about biology clinics, but they know the space for sure. Tell us a little bit about their prior experience here and what they've been doing in the health care space previously.

Jim Dayton:
Absolutely. And that was a big factor for us. So health care is one of the primary sectors in which sin bin invest in, and they've been very successful in that space. It makes up about 30 percent of their capital deployed out of their last three funds. They certainly know the CRO space well. They were the majority owner in Med pace, based in Cincinnati that they took public and clarion. Ilario was a combination of bio clinica and A.R.T.. They also are the majority owner in Sin Lab, which is the largest pan-European clinical lab business as well as in retainer. It's a provider of cold chain logistics to the pharmaceutical and biotech space, so they certainly know the space. They did an extensive diligence on us and approached us proactively. They have shared with us and they're in here again this week that they've challenged us to come back and say, All right, we want you to be a one stop shop to the biomedical industry. What are your customers want? Tell us what additional services they want. What additional geography should we be looking to build out? How do we build world class labs? And we're targeting a lot of those investments right now, and it's nice when you're new, investor says we'd like you to think bigger and go out and get the best talent you can in the industry. Go out and hire the worldwide leaders in these spaces. And we've just done that. We've been fortunate enough to bring in a new leader of cell and gene therapies, leader for cell for CMC, GMP Biomarkers is going to be an area that we expand in tremendously, both externally and internally. So they clearly share our shared culture and mission, and we're looking forward to partnering with them.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, I mean, they are growth minded, right? They're absolutely looking to turn biologics into that one stop bioanalytical shop that you mentioned along with expanding into other adjacencies, right? It's been amazing discussions with them already.

Jim Dayton:
Yeah. And Sylvan has a very strong network in Europe, so I expect to see us add additional sites and capabilities in Europe and other parts of the world. They're very focused on meeting client expectations. The fabric for biologics stays the same same management team. We're going to be adding new headcount as the company grows. Same business, same mission. Now, with more opportunity and capabilities to expand and in an international environment.

Jim McNally:
So in a nutshell, just more capabilities for our customers and better opportunities for them to grow along with us, right?

Jim Dayton:
Yeah, absolutely. The sky is going to be the limit for our ambitious, talented employees. We're at a point now here we are, where we're going to be looking to hire several more hundred employees, highly talented scientists from around the world. Seven is going to be continued to be supportive for the facility, expansion, further acquisitions and you'll see some of those announcements coming out soon. And they share our vision to globalize the business, share best practices, and they've had a high tracker of being successful. Some of the companies I mentioned and most of their companies after a couple of years of investment, they have IPO those companies and I think you may see that at some point for us in the future as well.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, that's exciting opportunity for sure. So when you think about send, then in the private equity space, they're a little different than maybe some of your typical private equity groups. They definitely have a long term view here. They're not looking at a quick turnaround. What's their vision of biotech analytics as they've shared with you for us to five years down the road, whatever horizon you want to point to?

Jim Dayton:
That's a great comment. So a lot of the private equity or private investment firms focus on financial result in the one of the reasons we chose to invest. And they said, Hey, let's look long term from a customer's perspective and an employee's perspective, we don't want to manage to to quarterly financial statements. Let's focus on what that five year plan looks like and how do we become the worldwide leader in the biomedical space? What are the missing pieces that we can either build internally, which as an example in Durham, we're getting ready to triple our capex? Cassidy, over the next couple of years with the new space that we've just signed on and we want to be one of the worldwide leaders in biomarkers in LC-MS and CMC, GMP that's going to take tens or hundreds of millions of dollars at St Vinnies committed to for us to be successful there. They've also said that they want us to go out and acquire companies and we're actively partnering with them right now. I was on a call with their managing partner this morning looking at an opportunity that they're bringing to us that we think could be a very nice fit for us to be able to add new services and geographies that we don't have today. So I think as long as we continue to focus on the customers on our employees, everything else will take care of itself and we don't have to be so focused on growth or managing to financial expectations.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, that's great to hear. And you're right. One of the amazing things about the sin bin team is right out of the gate. You could sense their enthusiasm. The amount of effort and time that they had put before they even came to the table for those first rounds of meetings was just amazing. I mean, they really are interested in Bioanalytical and helping us grow grow this business. So amazing future coming, I think, for the organization as a whole. It's interesting to think as we're recording this, we're in the first week of December here, so it's kind of an end of the year recap for sure of all the things that have happened for bio analytics. There's so much excitement here. Do you ever get overwhelmed by this gem? I mean, there's just so much. I mean, I think about a year ago the size of the company and with three new locations almost double in the size of people, the number of people with the company. It's just astonishing. So how do you manage that? There's an amazing growth from when you were here, you an employee? Forty something. Forty nine. Forty nine, yeah.

Jim Dayton:
Do you think about that, Jim? I joined about eight years ago, an employee number 49, and as you said, we'll be approaching a thousand employees. And yes, it can be an adrenaline rush. What I'm most proud about, though, is our high employee retention, just that we've got employees highly engaged and we continue to raise the bar higher ahead of the curve and above the curve. And about a third of our employees are getting promoted annually. They're doing a great job there. I'm also incredibly impressed with the feedback I get from customers. Every year, I try to reach out to many of our customers. It used to be 100 percent. That's getting a little harder these days, but I try to set up calls with our customers every week and they're grateful for our our dedicated team of scientists, especially during the pandemic. A lot of these customers were not able to get into their labs, into the facilities, and they were looking to partner with outside companies. And our folks came in every day where we could work from home. We did, but people in the lab came in, did great quality science, no shortcuts, people delivered. And as a result, we now have a good situation where our customers are taking asking us to take on more. We've also become an employment destination where we have a lot of employees wanting to work with us and it's a credit to our employees.

Jim Dayton:
Our head of HR recently shared with me that for every employee we hire, we're getting around 90 resumes, so we're able to be very selective and specific and try to get the best of the best the cream of the crop as we go in here. So it's an exhilarating time to be here and you think about it. We mentioned six thousand projects, active projects going on right now at one of our sites worldwide, with around 600 approaching 700 customers as we speak. So it's a thrill to be partnered with such a talented team, people like Steve Michael leading operations around the world. Nick Murashko, who is leading our commercial efforts that are growing. And yourself, Jim, everything that you're doing to share best practices from our many talented scientists and facilitate that exchange of information. You know, one of the areas I'm also really excited about is we're expanding Biologics University in our Biologics Academy. Mark Feather's can speak to that in the future, but it's going to be a lot of investment put towards professional development for employees, for collaborating with their colleagues training. It's going to really differentiate us. I'm not aware of anything like this in the industry today, and we're going to be pioneering it

Jim McNally:
From an employee growth opportunity. Things like biotech clinics, university and Biologics Academy really will help cement that destination employer goal that we have. I think as we've already kind of spoken about during the course of the podcast today, the diversity of experience here is just an amazing opportunity for young scientists to get their feet wet in the industry to really have a breadth of different disease areas and drug modalities to work on something that you'll never see in a biotech or pharma company. We have access and probably a much larger portfolio of those six thousand. And projects that any biotech or pharma company is ever going to have so amazing opportunities to to grow and learn, which I think at the end of the day, that's what scientists are looking for. They want new challenges. They don't want to get bored. They want to stretch those mental skills and think about new things every once in a while. So it's exciting times for sure for Bioanalytical.

Jim Dayton:
Jim, when I think about it, just to sum up, it's incredible. Maybe two words enhanced opportunities. There are going to be so many new roles created here to support current and future platforms people that can multitask, people that are highly committed to partnering with their biopharma, clients that want to produce great science. I can't think of any environment in the world where somebody could have an opportunity here to be exposed to so much and have virtually an unlimited wealth of resources, both people and facilities and platforms to invest in and grow. And then the incremental training capabilities that will be offered in the time to support that. I just feel blessed to work here, and it's a dynamic time to be here in all the good that we're going to be doing for mankind to help get a lot of these products to patients who need them the most.

Jim McNally:
Yeah, I couldn't agree more. Obviously, I'm one of those people that's come over from biotech and pharma, really excited to be a part of this. These opportunities are amazing for both growth and learning experiences. You're right, we all do have some personal stories behind this. It really is motivating to get up to do this every day to help serve both our customers and their patients. There's just nothing better, no better sense of purpose in in your daily life. So. Well, Jim, I really appreciate you taking the time. Maybe this is something we should try to do at the end of every year, almost an end of the year recap with you. It's been nice to talk about this. So many areas where we're aligned. One of these days we'll talk about that one area that you and I can't get alignment on its control of the thermostat. We spent a lot of time trying to jockey over what's the proper temperature of a room. Maybe we'll get that one straightened out with with some help over the next few months. And yeah,

Jim Dayton:
You certainly have some southern roots, but I think you've become a northerner with as cold as you like it. Well, Jim, I look forward to those discussions. And if we were to fast forward a year from now, I'm convinced that we're going to have many more employees that our facility footprint will have doubled year over year, which is pretty amazing, that we're going to have many more customers and be working on different indications than what we have today, and likely with a little luck. We'll have another company or two in some geographies that we're supporting. So I look forward to continue the dialogue. And Jim, thank you for everything you do. You're a great role model and influence for our hundreds of scientific leadership around the world. And I love sitting in some of your CSO open our calls, just the dialogue and you kick it off. And I love hearing some of our young and aspiring and bright scientists have an open dialogue and debate. And it's just a great share of information. So thank you for bringing that to make that a standard practice here.

Jim McNally:
I appreciate that it's actually it's the best hour of my week for sure. I really enjoy it. And I tell you the favorite ones of those when I can just sit back and let other people talk. It's really exciting to watch people take over and lead the discussion and just get out of the way so that I can learn something from them also. Thanks, Jim. Really appreciate the time we'll come back and do updates next year as new information comes out and definitely try to do the end of the year. Review this time in twenty twenty two.

Jim Dayton:
I look forward to it, Jim.

Jim McNally:
Thank you, Jim, for taking the time to talk with us about all the exciting changes at BIO. I know you're busy, so we'll let you go as we wrap up another episode of molecular moments.

Jim Dayton:
Thanks, Jim. Bye bye.

Jim McNally:
The Molecular Moments podcast, sponsored by Biotech Analytics, is an ongoing conversation about the various nuances of drug development and bio analysis. In each episode, we sit down with a different industry leader to explore their area of expertise. The industry as a whole and the mentors who help them become the scientists they are today. It's a podcast for scientists by scientists. Listen and subscribe to molecular moments today on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you like to listen.

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