Asterand outlines action for profitability

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Contract research organisation, Contract research organization

Asterand has announced a restructure and changes to its operational
model in a bid to grasp hold of profitability.

The contract research organisation (CRO) said it has laid out the strategy to help it achieve a positive cashflow as soon as possible, as well as scale up the business in 2008. Asterand, which specialises in the supply of human tissue for research purposes, will now consolidate all its UK operations at its flagship site in Royston, England, and also introduce "a number of cost reductions". ​ The restructure is expected to cost the firm £325,000 (€480,000) for the remainder of this year, after which point annualised savings are estimated at £700,000. The company also intends to enhance its selling model by improving the cross-selling of tissue supply and drug discovery activities and better integrate the US and European sales teams as well as involve its scientists more in the selling process. The logistics of its tissue supply operations in Detroit, USA, has also been earmarked for an overhaul: "action will be taken to standardise and systemise our key processes and biobank operations, via a six sigma review,"​ said the firm. Meanwhile, Asterand is still grappling with the business implications of last month's sudden and indefinite banning​ of biological sample exports from Russia. The company, which sources a "significant"​ portion of its tissue supplies from donors in Russia, has said that the new biologicals export ban could impact its supply of human tissues, and should the restrictions remain in place for the foreseeable future there would be a "material impact"​ on the company's revenues. As a countermeasure, the firm said it is now trying to establish alternative donor sites outside the country as it waits for the situation in Russia to unfold. "Any company sourcing supplies from Russia is vulnerable to this kind of sudden change in regulations",​ Martyn Coombs, Asterand's new CEO said. "The impact of these restrictions on Asterand's business is currently being assessed, however, management has already started to take actions to mitigate the impact that any export restrictions may have on the business."

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