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Working with Virtual Pharma Companies

By Impact Analytical

Almost everyone knows the names of the large pharmaceutical companies, employing thousands globally, bringing new products to market following years of research and development. The landscape is however, changing. Industry pressures, such as patent expirations and company consolidations has led to an increase in Virtual Pharmaceutical Companies. These companies may consist of only a few employees, typically a CEO, CSO, CFO and a lawyer who help identify candidate molecules with the intent of proving them in clinical trials before selling on to one of the major pharmaceutical players.

With such low overhead, these companies can afford to contract with outside companies for the services they need utilizing a “pay as you go” type model. By using this approach rather than keeping all the resources, in-house virtual companies are able to maintain a low overhead.

A typical virtual pharmaceutical company is likely to need the assistance of a qualified laboratory. Toxicology, quality, and regulatory support will likely be needed to get a molecule through the development pipeline.

The advantage with this type of model is a consultant can be hired just to support you, the virtual company. They are not distracted by the day to day office operations, focusing instead on the project at hand. Their goal is to deliver to the client exceptional quality, analytical or regulatory data in the most cost-efficient manner possible.

Why would a virtual company choose a boutique laboratory?
It may seem counterintuitive to consider using a small lab to support your developmental project but there are indeed many advantages to this approach:

• A more intimate relationship – having one-to-one interactions with the scientists performing your work
• Speed of performance – for a small lab a virtual client is just as important as a major company which will likely result in your projects being given priority status rather than being set back in the queue behind the larger companies.
• The ability to change direction quickly and at minimal cost.

Impact Analytical has been approached many times by clients that have very restrictive, time sensitive deadlines. Through discussions leading to a very thorough understanding of the project, we have been able to design programs that meets the client’s needs. Be it pre-clinical studies on numerous candidate molecules or method development and validation on a shortlisted compound, Impact Analytical has been able to develop a testing program that met the client’s expectations.

To choose the testing lab of choice you must count on certain characteristics:
• Experience – At Impact Analytical we have qualified staff with many years of experience in their chosen fields
• A strong quality/regulatory track record, including audits by the relevant regulatory bodies
• Scientific excellence and integrity.
• Flexibility and a willingness to help, including guiding the project when appropriate. The ability to flex staff to meet with client demands.
• Transparent and honest communication.

“When it comes to working with virtual pharma companies and their consultants, the lab’s role is to augment the consultant’s technical expertise with scientists, facilities, and equipment that can get a compound into clinical trial quickly and safely,” “At Impact Analytical, we’re prepared to develop a relationship with virtual companies to help them reach this goal.

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