Soaring Beyond CRO

Medicon Village

We sat down with Pär Thored, senior consultant and site manager at ProPharma in Skåne, new Medicon Village member from 1 June with office space in B301, to have his perspective on what has been and what will be.

According to ProPharma’s web site, it has improved the health and wellness of patients for the past 20 years by providing advice and expertise that empowers biotech, medical device, and pharmaceutical organizations of all sizes to confidently advance scientific breakthroughs and introduce new therapies. As a leading RCO (Research Consulting Organization), ProPharma partners with its clients through an advise-build-operate model across the complete product lifecycle. ProPharma’s deep domain expertise in regulatory sciences, clinical research solutions, quality & compliance, pharmacovigilance, medical information, and R&D technology, enable the Company to offer an end-to-end suite of fully customizable consulting solutions that de-risk and accelerate partners’ most high-profile drug and device programs.

Medicon Village (MV): To say that ProPharma is an RCO instead of a CRO sounds interesting, but what does it actually mean?

Pär Thored (PT): ProPharma’s new Research Consulting Organization model offers an innovative approach to drug and device development outsourcing, addressing the challenges faced by smaller and mid-sized innovators with traditional Contract Research Organizations that prioritize larger programs. The new RCO delivers a “3-D printed” solution for those sponsor programs that just don’t fit the mold. The RCO is a new service partner that has emerged in response to the shifting landscape of drug and device development outsourcing. Historically, smaller and mid-sized innovators have found themselves relegated to the end of the queue, piecing together pivotal programs with the CRO’s “C” team. The RCO model offers a new degree of personalization and agility, which is not typically available with rigid CRO models, to meet this need. With smaller rare disease programs representing 40 percent of the industry’s pipeline, the “bigger-the-better” CRO trend has become incongruent with market needs. Traditional CROs are trapped in scale-based economic models, and the “need volume to make the numbers work” mindset, which often results in extraneous services being pushed to help drive appeal and boost margin.

MV: Why establish an office at Medicon Village?

PT: We always had a strong focus on the Öresund region and see this as a key ecosystem for growth. To this effect we see an office in Medicon Village as a perfect location to connect with our current and future customer base. Another important reason is the community vibe in your science park, with lots of events and networking. And having an office in the middle of this vibe means that we can gather to build team spirit, energy and share knowledge. That’s more fun if you’re in a context with 2,800 equals interested in networking and socializing.

MV: How aggressive are your growth plan for this office?

PT: In five years, I’m hoping we have enough clients in the Greater Copenhagen region to double our current staff. Our focus will be the same as today, helping clients to span the full product life cycle in drug development. Our projections for growth from our Lund office look very positive. We’re hiring right now, looking for staff both in Skåne and Denmark.