In January 2007, Laureate Pharma announced record growth for 2006, with 14 new agreements signed and a business backlog increase of more than 240% over 2005. For the quarter ending June 30, 2007, it posted record-breaking results of a 178% increase in revenues over the same period in the previous year.
Based in Princeton, NJ, Laureate Pharma is a full-service outsource and contract manufacturing organization (CMO). The company helps biopharma companies speed new products from development through production by offering an array of services ranging from process design and development to full-scale production, testing, and regulatory support.
Michiel Ultee, senior director of processes science, says, "We don't have our own products. We're exclusively a contract manufacturer, and we work on our customers' products. Most of these products are in the clinical or preclinical phase of development, and we enable our customers to receive clinical-ready material so they can try out their new product in patients, to evaluate efficacy and safety in humans."
The company was founded in 1999. Its growth has been staggering, and increased even more after 2004 when Safeguard Scientifics, a life-sciences holding company, acquired Laureate. Like Laureate, Safeguard has strong ties to the Greater Philadelphia region. It was founded in Philadelphia in 1953 by two Philadelphia stockbrokers and is currently based in Wayne, Pa.
"The acquisition by Safeguard was really a milestone in terms of accelerating our growth," says Ultee. "We were previously growing steadily but not dramatically. Safeguard invested significant capital in our facility. This enabled us to expand, not just by expanding our facility, but by hiring additional staff. We've been able to grow rapidly, thanks to Safeguard's help."
"The advantages of our location in Greater Philadelphia include the good infrastructure and geographical convenience," continues Ultee. "For example, there are two major airports, a good highway system, the trains, and so on. It's easy for customers to get here, and at this stage in product development, customers like to have a person in the plant. They like person-to-person project team meetings. So being in an accessible location is an advantage."
One of Laureat's customers is Cambridge, Mass.-based ImmunoGen, a developer of anticancer biopharmaceuticals. "Laureate Pharma and ImmunoGen have established a long-term relationship for the manufacture and supply of antibodies for the development of our products," says Tom Lauzon, executive director of operations at ImmunoGen. "Laureate is uniquely positioned to provide fill/finish capability, too - an offering that allows 'vial-to-vial' service to its customers. Laureate excels in manufacturing know-how and project management."