Unique Interview: BICO’s New Bioprinting Period underneath Maria Forss Begins – 3DPrint.com


Within the dynamic panorama of life sciences, Maria Forss has taken the helm as the brand new CEO of BICO (STO: BICO), a reputation that emerged from bioprinting pioneer Cellink and has been making waves for its revolutionary strategy to biotech. After assuming her function as CEO and President on November 20, 2023, Forss went on an in depth tour to dive deep into the essence of BICO’s operations, visiting lots of the firms underneath its umbrella. By means of this initiative, she aimed to grasp the companies and construct a stable basis to steer the corporate ahead.

“We’ve got many alternatives forward; I believe the elevated concentrate on personalised and regenerative medication is one key development for BICO, as is the elevated adoption of bioprinting, not solely within the pharma trade but additionally within the beauty trade and the rising demand for each built-in and automatic workflows in laboratories,” shared Forss throughout an interview with 3DPrint.com.

Constructing on Forss’s imaginative and prescient, it’s clear that BICO is speaking about extra than simply future potentialities. The corporate is actively shaping the way forward for biotech and healthcare immediately. With subsidiaries like Cellink, BICO is already pushing the boundaries in creating 3D tissues and organs that might revolutionize healthcare and pharmaceutical testing. Moreover, its developments in laboratory automation, by means of applied sciences such because the Inexperienced Button Go (GBG) software program, streamline complicated lab processes, making analysis extra environment friendly and dependable. These efforts underline the synergy between BICO’s experience and its subsidiaries, bettering its technique to satisfy the rising calls for of the pharma and beauty industries driving the way forward for medication and scientific discovery.

Cellink bioprinters.

Cellink creates bioprinters. Picture courtesy of Cellink/BICO.

CEO Transition

Earlier than Forss turned CEO, co-founder Erik Gatenholm stepped down however stays on the Board. As we speak, Forss brings quite a lot of expertise and a unbelievable observe document, serving to the corporate flip the web page to start out a brand new chapter.

Forss explains that BICO, beforehand on a spree of acquisitions underneath its former management, is now shifting gears in direction of consolidation and streamlining its operations. She highlights that the corporate’s technique is not only to proceed buying companies but additionally to hunt development by means of collaborations and partnerships. She mentions an ongoing cooperation with Sartorius (ETR: SRT3), a number one pharmaceutical and laboratory gear provider, to spice up business effectivity.

“We’re in a 12 months of consolidation, and for now, the principle focus can be to make sure the consolidation is constant and improve the corporate’s professionalism. However in fact, there’s a longer-term plan as properly. I reported 4 new strategic areas to faucet into till we current an up to date strategic plan. A kind of is to drive business excellence. Furthermore, we are going to discover the completely different alternatives to establish collaborations and partnerships additional. This technique permits us to develop the enterprise with out simply shopping for firms.”

Forss additionally mentioned BICO’s various clientele, from large pharma like AstraZeneca (BCBA: AZN) to academia and past.

“One of many beauties with the portfolio is that we’re not solely depending on a particular buyer section or geographical market. We’re working with large pharma, in addition to with researchers in academia and different sectors, which proved helpful in a difficult 12 months like 2023,” factors out Forss.

Regardless of a softer market in 2023, BICO maintained its gross sales momentum, reaching double-digit development and doing so profitably, as Forss famous. Final 12 months, BICO reported a mixture of monetary shifts. Gross sales in This fall took a slight dip, with a 4.4% lower within the earlier quarter, settling at SEK 636.6 million ($61,7 million), a bit down from the final 12 months. Regardless of this, the corporate’s effectivity in turning income into revenue improved, with a stronger EBITDA of SEK 95.1 million ($9.2 million), marking a better revenue margin than earlier than.

Lab engineer using 3D bioprinting for life sciences applications.

There may be an elevated demand from labs for automation, robustness and accessibility. Picture courtesy of BICO.

Core Improvements

Lab automation was one other space highlighted by Forss as a key development within the pharmaceutical trade, with BICO on the forefront, providing cutting-edge software program options. One of the related achievements was touchdown the biggest order within the firm’s historical past, a $28 million deal for lab circulation orchestration with a serious pharmaceutical firm, with BICO’s subsidiary Biosero on the forefront.

Forss additionally shared how BICO’s options have allowed one other large pharma participant, AstraZeneca, to considerably enhance its lab productiveness and effectivity, specializing in a broader trade development towards lowering animal testing and embracing lab automation. On the forty second annual JP Morgan Healthcare Convention final January, Forss had already identified BICO’s function in revolutionizing drug improvement with a concentrate on AstraZeneca. She described how Biosero’s GBG expertise streamlined lab operations, integrating disjointed processes right into a seamless workflow. This automation sped up improvement by 75%, quadrupled gear effectivity, and at the least doubled scientists’ productiveness. By introducing this tech, AstraZeneca’s complicated biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes turned extra environment friendly.

“One buzzword this 12 months is lab automation, and happily, BICO has the golden normal by way of software program for orchestrating lab flows with our GBG software program, which makes a distinction for the purchasers. Happily, BICO acquired Biosero in 2021, which is understood for its GBG software program, which automates and integrates laboratory workflows.”

Nasdaq Stockholm sign announces Bico to begin trading on the exchange.

Rebranded bioprinting agency Cellink begins buying and selling as BICO on Nasdaq Stockholm. Picture courtesy of BICO.

Strategic Instructions

Past the company strides, Forss additionally shared her journey within the life sciences sector, bringing over 25 years of expertise to her function at BICO. Her intensive background in pharma, MedTech, and world operations provides her a complete toolbox to steer BICO into its subsequent chapter. Forss’s imaginative and prescient for BICO is obvious: leveraging its wealthy portfolio and distinctive market place to considerably affect life-saving analysis and improvement.

Regardless of current challenges and media consideration surrounding BICO, Forss is firmly centered on the longer term. She outlined 4 strategic priorities for the corporate: driving business excellence, conducting a strategic assessment to align with the market panorama, investing in folks and tradition, and persevering with operational excellence initiatives.

Following this strategic route, BICO needed to make some robust choices final 12 months, letting go of just about 200 folks to focus its efforts higher and guarantee it was transferring in the fitting route. Regardless of these modifications, the corporate is on a studying and improvement journey, equipping its groups with one of the best instruments and coaching, particularly because it has quite a lot of younger expertise getting into management roles. Forss says BICO is working laborious to make sure everybody’s on the identical web page, streamlining the processes throughout all operational firms.

“This manner, we are able to work collectively extra easily and benefit from what we’ve bought. Plus, we’re holding a good grip on our spending, having already lower prices by SEK 100 million ($9.7 million) final 12 months. However it’s not nearly spending much less; it’s about spending smarter. We’re holding an in depth eye on the whole lot from managing our inventory to working our initiatives, all whereas getting our tech methods like ERP [Enterprise Resource Planning] as much as scratch to assist our groups do even higher. This concentrate on sensible work and spending is guiding us into 2024.”

Furthermore, Forss’ ardour for the life sciences trade shines by means of as a mission to contribute to significant developments in healthcare. Her mix of operational experience and strategic imaginative and prescient units the stage for BICO’s continued success and innovation in a quickly evolving sector. As she places it, “The problem is not only enjoyable however extremely rewarding,” promising a vivid future for BICO underneath her steerage.

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