Cryoport sees no slowdown ahead: ‘The wind continues to be at our back’

By Melissa Fassbender

- Last updated on GMT

(Image: Getty/Auris)
(Image: Getty/Auris)

Related tags Cryoport Cold chain Bioservices cell and gene therapy Cryogenic Logistics Supply chain

The temperature-controlled logistics company expects demand to continue, with long-term plans to build out its bioservices operations – and a ‘revolutionary’ cryogenic storage system in the works.

Cryoport Chief Commercial Officer Mark Sawicki said the company’s growth has been fueled by an increasing number of clinical trials, revenue growth of the two commercial therapies Cryoport supports, in addition to business diversification to include consulting services and program management.

“We expect these trends to continue for some time,” ​Sawicki told us, adding that from a macro view, the industry data points continue to be positive.

“Moreover, the global regulatory bodies are supportive of these groundbreaking therapies and are helping to streamline the process to approval. One could say the wind continues to be at our back,”​ he added.

As for keeping pace with this demand, Sawicki said the company has “the constant requirement to be ahead of client demands globally.”

The company most recently opened two new global logistics centers, one in Livingston, New Jersey and one in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. As Sawicki explained, the New Jersey facility is close to Novartis’ US-based cell therapy manufacturing facility and the Amsterdam site is near Gilead’s European cell manufacturing center.

“The ecosystem to support these new groundbreaking therapies is being built as we speak,”​ he added. “Cryoport will continue to expand and standardize support services to meet the demands of the industry and continue to work with other industry partners to ensure that patients have access to potential cures across the world.”

The Cryosphere

The company introduced its ‘Cryosphere’ prototype at the London Advanced Therapies conference earlier this year.

CEO Jerry Shelton on the company’s recent earnings call said the storage system is “in the works right now,”​ but it won’t be ready for launch soon.

Cryosphere images via Google Patents
Cryosphere images via Google Patents

The company filed an application for a patent​ last year, and will be filing additional patents surrounding the development, noted Shelton, who added that more information will be announced “as it’s appropriate.”

Per the patent documents, the cryogenic storage system would feature a dewar “configured to hold a liquid below ambient temperature and passively stabilize in an upright position, the dewar being formed with an inner wall and an outer wall.”

Shelton called the product “revolutionary.”

“It will absolutely change the industry,”​ he said, “and it will not be duplicable by anybody in the near-term for sure.”

Q2 earnings: By the numbers

Cryoport is currently supporting 413 clinical trials in regenerative medicine with the addition of 30 new studies during the second quarter (Q2) of this year – 353 in the Americas, 53 in EMEA, and seven in APAC. Of these clinical trials, 52 are in Phase III.

For the same period last year, the company was supporting 283 studies, 257 in the Americas, 25 in EMEA, and one in APAC. Forty-one of these trials were in Phase III.

The company reported revenue of $8.5m for the quarter ended June 30, 2019. Compared to the same period last year, this marks an increase of 83%.

“Our expansion strategy includes securing valuable partners that expand our temperature control solutions within the regenerative medicine ecosystem,”​ said Shelton.

In line with this, the company in May acquired the TX-based biostorage company, Cryogene, which operates a 21,000 square foot facility.

Shelton described the acquisition as “complementary and strategic”​ – and said it was immediately accretive, contributing roughly $577,000 to Cryoport's Q2 revenue. Cryogene also has the capacity to triple its size, explained Shelton. 

“Over the longer term, you'll see us building out our bioservices operations. Some of that will happen through acquisition, but other parts of it will happen through organic growth and to our building it out,”​ he added.

Additionally, in June, Cryoport raised $69m in a secondary offering, which Shelton said provides the company with “the financial platform”​ to continue building out its global infrastructure and expand its facilities, in addition to funding acquisitions and “other strategic initiatives.”

Speaking to global capacity, Sawicki, noted that the facility opened in Amsterdam last year was designed to “designed to support the expansion of both clinical and commercial demands within Europe in the foreseeable future, it's modular in nature.”

“It has scalability, but it doesn't mean that we're not also looking at additional options from an expansion standpoint, based on client demands and other demographic considerations,”​ he added on the call. “But the current facility itself will be able to handle significant ramp of both clinical and commercial volumes in Europe at this point in time.”

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