"In 2008 we launched Translational Pharmaceutics, an innovative platform which integrates drug product manufacturing and clinical testing activities, saving customers more than 12 months of time in their drug development plans."
Can you provide an introduction to Quotient Sciences?
Quotient Sciences is a drug development and manufacturing accelerator that supports pharmaceutical and biotech companies with services spanning the entire development pathway from candidate selection to commercial launch. With operating facilities in both the UK and US, we deliver uniquely integrated programs or a range of tailored services that allow our customers to accelerate their development timelines and get life-changing medicines to patients faster. Approximately 12 years ago, we created a new innovative platform called Translational Pharmaceutics which integrates disciplines around drug product manufacturing and clinical testing that are traditionally found in different silos in the outsourcing industry. By integrating these activities and very closely aligning workflows around manufacturing and clinical testing, we demonstrated that we are able to save at least 12 months on the drug development timeline. This translates into helping customers accelerate new medicine development, save time, money and give a better chance of a good outcome from the development program. If you take those 12 months and translate that into economic value to a customer, it comes out at around US$200 million for every molecule that makes it to market. The financial benefits were quantified in a 2020 publication written by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
What are some of the ways in which Quotient helps clients conserve cash?
The integrated approach that Quotient has developed allows for a rapid “make-test” cycle that is under a single flexible clinical protocol. This enables you to manufacture a formulation and dose it in a clinical study to see the impact of that formulation and how it works to deliver the active substance. Then you can modify the formulation composition to improve the delivery by using real-time clinical data. This can be done in 14-day test cycles. Therefore, as the clinical program is developing, we can iteratively use clinical data to deliver an optimal drug product composition. We can then seamlessly take that product all the way through to proof-of-concept and on to commercial manufacture if the molecule is successful.
What was the impetus for Quotient’s acquisition of Arcinova?
What interested us in Arcinova is their expertise in early-stage drug substance and bioanalysis work, accompanied by their isotope labelling capabilities that are complementary to our existing 14C ADME services. With regard to drug substance, we see a great opportunity in integrating drug substance services into our platform. There are many occasions where we cannot start our program on the planned timeline because the customer is not able to deliver their drug substance to us. Therefore, we feel it is a great opportunity to integrate drug substance, drug product and clinical testing capabilities. Both Arcinova and Quotient both are able to work on the molecules early, just as they are coming out of discovery.
What is Quotient’s approach to hiring and retaining top talent?
Human talent is the fundamental ingredient for any service organization like ours. As the industry pipeline has expanded, the funding has expanded, the number of molecules expanded, and, as a result, there is more work to do. Talent management and talent acquisition have become crucial aspects of business development. From my perspective, there are some simple ground rules for how we develop the business. First, we must be an exciting place to work, because talented people want to work in places where they feel they can make a difference, not just in how they do their job, but in what the company is trying to contribute into the general initiative around healthcare and wellbeing. We have always strived to have this differentiated position and that has served us well in terms of attracting talent. Secondly, career growth and personal development is essential. When talent comes to Quotient, you must give people the space to develop and spread their wings and achieve their potential, because if they achieve their potential, then that is only going to benefit the business. Employees put their trust in companies to help their careers, and if companies cannot support them to develop, then employees will go somewhere else.