US University to spin out pharma services centre

By Emilie Reymond

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: University

The University of Kentucky has announced it will spin out its
pharmaceutical centre in order to turn it into a competitive
services business.

The idea, according to Len Heller, the university's vice president for commercialisation and economic development, is to create a more flexible and competitive business named Coldstream Laboratories, while maintaining a close relationship with the university. The newly created company will provide pharma companies with services currently offered by the university's Centre for Pharmaceuticla Science and Technology (CPST), which include formulation, validation and contract manufacturing services. "With the spin out, we might offer additional services in the future,"​ Joe Wyse, president of Coldstream Laboratories, told Wyse said there were several drivers behind the recently announced move and the most important one was to avoid the constraints and disadvantages of being part of an academic structure. "We have been trying to act as business for a long time but being part of the university is more challenging as salaries are not competitive enough and it can be more difficult to attract senior staff,"​ he said. "With the creation of Coldstream Laboratories we can move much faster, be more competitive, and therefore better serve our clients." ​ Nearly 30 existing employees from CPST will be transitioning to the new company and it is expected that Coldstream will hire additional staff, in particular senior management. Wyse, who has moved from his position of managing director of CPST to become president of the new business, said the advantages are going to be even more evident when Coldstream starts hiring senior staff. "Being able to offer more competitive salaries, which we couldn't afford so far, we are now going to be able to hire senior staff, which will take a burden off my role." ​ Coldstream will use the $17m (€13m) facility that the university unveiled last year, and which is expected to be validated this summer. While existing clients will be transferred to the new business, the company is also working with prospective clients, Wyse said. "When the facility is completed in a few months, we will start advertising and marketing our new business much more agressively." ​ He added that the organisation is expected to break even in the third quarter of next year and generate sales of $15m to $20m by 2010. The company said it has already signed 10 contracts representing almost $2m and another $3m deal is pending.

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