Q&A with Fredrik Sundberg, Global Director Strategic Customer Relations at Cytiva

Fredrik Sundberg, Global Director Strategic Customer Relations at Cytiva, is responsible for working with the pharmaceutical industry to improve current workflows with innovative bioanalytical solutions. He also advises on R&D projects and business development activities. Fredrik is the author of several publications on drug discovery and biosimilar strategies. He is also a member of an EMEA Pharmaceutical Industry Expert Panel, and he lectures and discusses regulatory issues with government officials and health authorities.

It is important to view drug discovery and development projects as long-term strategic activities. You could say, it is more like a marathon than a sprint.



MEDIA 7: Could you please take us through your professional journey?
FREDRIK SUNDBERG:
I am currently based at Cytiva HQ in Uppsala, Sweden, working as the Company’s subject matter expert in bioprocess market trends, analytics, and regulatory. As the Global Director of Strategic Customer Relations and Technology at Cytiva, I am responsible for working with the biopharmaceutical industry to improve current workflows with innovative methodologies and analytical solutions including validation strategies. Apart from that, I also advise on R&D projects and business development activities. Since joining the solution-provider business in 1998, I have had different roles within senior product management and strategic marketing as well as the executive commercial leadership team. For the past several years, I have been leading a Global Expert Team initiative focused on application support through strategic customer collaborations to deliver impactful outcomes with novel analytical solutions to improve drug discovery and bioprocessing operations.

Prior to Cytiva, I had various project management roles in Pfizer’s Process Development and Bio-analysis groups, where I gained extensive experience in commercial manufacturing, continuous improvement projects (Kaizen), clinical trials, and capital investment projects. Regulatory compliance has always been near and dear to my heart. I started working actively with health authorities globally already in 1995 and hold a track record including hundreds of successfully executed equipment qualification projects, plus dozens of health authority approved assays to support development programs including GMP manufacturing of commercial drugs.


M7: Cytiva recently opened a new experience and learning lab in Singapore. How will this new lab contribute to the country’s biopharma ecosystem?
FS: 
Our Cytiva Experience Learning Lab (CELL) in Singapore, established in April 2021, is an educational facility that provides access to application training in specialized bioprocessing techniques. We opened the lab in Singapore to strengthen the country’s local biopharma ecosystem and it will contribute to Singapore’s goal to be more innovative and competitive in the biopharmaceutical industry. It is also part of our expansion plans to meet the increasing demands in the region. The lab will be equipped with the latest process equipment, research tools, and digital technologies. It can provide hands-on training and know-how to both researchers and bio-manufacturers, supporting them, and bringing their innovation through development and to market more efficiently. In addition, the lab will serve as a platform for the exchange of important ideas and access to the latest technology. We will also support talent development as there is a shortage of well-trained staff in bioprocessing globally. In Singapore, we aim to be a key partner and enabler to support their ambition to be a leading economy of technology and innovation. Our expertise will make sure to facilitate the development of local R&D and digital manufacturing talent in Singapore.


In general, there are increasing demands to deliver drugs to the market faster.



M7: What are the top challenges that you see for the industry this year?
FS:
Major challenges are complex modalities, process economics, lack of trained staff, harmonization of regulatory requirements, and validation standardization. Biologics continue to go strong, but more complex modalities, such as ADCs, bi-specifics, fragments, viral vectors, etc. are increasing. New modalities require technology innovation for efficient manufacture as there are no platforms available and establishing well-characterized biological products is becoming increasingly difficult. Biosimilars are steadily increasing, here analytics really take center stage as it is very challenging to establish bio-similarity and navigate through the regulatory maze.

There is an increasingly competitive landscape with a focus on reducing COGS and accelerating time-to-market. It is challenging to optimize productivity without compromising on quality. In general, there are increasing demands to deliver drugs to the market faster. For example, COVID-19 vaccines and drugs dominated the industry in 2020. Here speedy delivery to market, security-of-supply, and innovation will continue to be critical. Manufacturing capacity is another bottleneck and there are issues around sustainability. The overall cost-pressure and need-for-speed will drive both process intensification and process analytical technology implementation, such as in-line or on-line biosensors. Digital solutions and automation are overall drivers for future efficiency, but cyber-security will continue to be a challenge together with associated complex validation issues for computerized systems.


M7: How do you maintain strong, mutual partnerships with academic and pharmaceutical customers?
FS:
By taking a true customer-and application-centric approach to address the current challenges in biopharma development and manufacturing. It is important to view drug discovery and development projects as long-term strategic activities. You could say, it is more like a marathon than a sprint. It is important to work as long-term partners and make sure to address the most pressing challenges in the best possible way. For example, when deciding upon analytical control strategy, always focus on the critical quality attributes of the customer’s drug molecule and then pick the best fit-for-purpose methods. Do not fall into the trap of “we’ll just keep on doing what we’ve always done”. It is very important to have an open mind and a thorough understanding of the client’s process and strategic objectives. This is where our decades of expertise play a key role together with our unique way of working as a true partner.


Drug pipelines are now more diverse than ever, which will require new technology and more flexibility.



M7: How are biopharma companies’ needs and values changing? How will these changes affect the decision-making process?
FS:
The industry is undergoing unprecedented change with biologics going off-patent and new treatments emerging. Drug pipelines are now more diverse than ever, which will require new technology and more flexibility. There is also a shift to local manufacturing, fueled by COVID-19 developments, which have set new standards for collaborations between academic power centers, global biopharma outfits, vendor companies, and regulators to accelerate speed to market. This puts pressure on the supply chain and security of supply. We are now expected to move faster but still meet compliance expectations. What do these changes really mean for the biopharma industry? Well, companies need to be able to develop new drugs at lower costs through process intensification and innovation, have more flexibility and adapt quickly to market changes, and be able to move from idea-to-product with entirely new levels of speed and efficiency. We’re now not only talking time-to-result but really time-to-decision. Solution-providers will need to adapt and make sure to evolve along with these market trends, customer needs, and new expectations.


M7:  If we were talking a year from now celebrating what a great 12 months it’s been for you in this role, what would you have achieved?
FS:
 My mission is to advance therapeutics and vaccines development. From that perspective, I wish to keep on channeling my 25+ years of experience towards strategic partnerships with customers to focus on innovative bioprocessing solutions and enable better characterization of complex biologics to support their development efforts of novel drugs for indications with unmet needs. Additionally, together with other key opinion leaders and health authorities, implement a globally recognized validation pathway for assays to accelerate comparability assessment and release testing.

ABOUT CYTIVA

Cytiva is a global provider of technologies and services that advance and accelerate the development and manufacture of therapeutics. As a trusted partner to customers that range in scale and scope, Cytiva brings speed, efficiency, and capacity to research and manufacturing workflows, enabling the development, manufacture, and delivery of transformative medicines to patients. We are 7000+ associates with operations in 40 countries. Our customers are working with fundamental biological research to life-saving vaccines, biological drugs, and novel cell and gene therapies.

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PureHealth Completes Acquisition of UK’s Largest Private Healthcare Group

PureHealth | January 16, 2024

PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, has announced the successful completion of its strategic acquisition of Circle Health Group, UK’s largest independent operators of hospitals, marking a significant milestone in the company's global expansion strategy. The completion of this deal, which has achieved regulatory approvals in record time, signifies PureHealth’s exceptional operational capabilities and commitment to international growth. The completion of this transaction further strengthens PureHealth’s commitment to becoming a leading global player in healthcare. With a vision aligned with the UAE leadership to promote wellbeing and enhance healthcare services, PureHealth is dedicated to continuously improving patient experience and adopting the most advanced clinical practices. The company’s expansion into the UK healthcare market reflects its focus on advancing the science of longevity and unlocking time for humanity. Hamad Al Hammadi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of PureHealth, said: “We are pleased to complete the acquisition of Circle in record time. This remarkable achievement epitomises PureHealth's operational excellence and strategic adaptability in broadening its international impact. After investing in Ardent Health USA, this is PureHealth’s second international acquisition, and we look forward to building our portfolio internationally.” Farhan Malik, Founder and Managing Director of PureHealth, commented: “Completing the acquisition of Circle is a strategic leap forward for PureHealth. This acquisition is more than an expansion; it's a significant stride towards establishing PureHealth as a global healthcare platform. We are not just investing in the future of healthcare; we are shaping it to be more connected, innovative, and accessible on a global scale. This move aligns with our vision of pioneering a healthier future for all and underscores our commitment to elevating the global position of Abu Dhabi in the healthcare sector and revolutionising healthcare services globally. We look forward to fostering long term partnerships within the UK’s healthcare ecosystem.” Valued at c.USD 1.2 billion before debt, this acquisition marks a significant investment in the future of healthcare, positioning PureHealth at the forefront of international healthcare innovation and service provision. Building upon this significant momentum, PureHealth is advancing its expansion strategy in 2024. This strategic vision includes not only acquisitions in locally, but also international markets building a global healthcare platform. As PureHealth moves forward with its strategic global expansion, it remains committed to its mission of delivering unrivalled healthcare experiences through innovation, technology-driven solutions, and collaboration. This transaction not only enhances PureHealth's services and presence in the international healthcare landscape but also solidifies the company’s position as a leader in the healthcare industry, dedicated to improving lives and fostering healthier communities worldwide, and taking PureHealth from Abu Dhabi to the World. About PureHealth By advancing the Science of Longevity, PureHealth is introducing the healthcare of the future from the United Arab Emirates to the rest of the world. PureHealth is the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East with an ecosystem that challenges lifespans and reimagines health spans. With 25+ hospitals, 100+ clinics, multiple diagnostic centres, health insurance solutions, pharmacies, health tech, procurement, investments and more. With groundbreaking innovations at the forefront of healthcare, the company is on a mission to unlock time for humankind.

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Aya Healthcare Expands into UK with ID Medical Acquisition

Aya Healthcare | January 17, 2024

Aya Healthcare, the largest healthcare talent software and staffing company in the United States, today announced the acquisition of ID Medical, a leading workforce solutions provider in the United Kingdom (U.K.). ID Medical brings over 20 years of experience providing the National Health Service (NHS) and other healthcare organizations with innovative workforce solutions, including workforce management, international recruitment and temporary healthcare staffing. As part of the acquisition, ID Medical will make Aya Healthcare’s market-leading technology available to the NHS and U.K.-based clinicians. The companies plan to share best practices from each market with their respective clients. “We are excited about ID Medical joining the Aya family of brands. We believe that we will deliver enhanced value to our respective clients and clinicians through this cross-Atlantic collaboration,” said Alan Braynin, president and CEO of Aya Healthcare. ID Medical will continue to operate as its own brand in the U.K., supporting thousands of healthcare professionals and hundreds of healthcare organizations. “We are excited to join Aya in our shared mission to transform the healthcare industry worldwide,” said Deenu Patel, CEO of ID Medical. “With Aya’s support, we’ll have access to additional resources, technology and expertise to enhance our services and expand our impact.” About Aya Healthcare Aya Healthcare is the largest healthcare talent software and staffing company in the United States. Aya operates the world’s largest digital staffing platform delivering every component of healthcare-focused labor services, including travel nursing and allied health, per diem, permanent staff hiring, interim leadership, locum tenens and non-clinical professionals. Aya’s software suite, which includes vendor management, float pool technology, provider services and predictive analytics, provides hospital systems greater efficiencies, superior operating results and reduced labor costs. While technology drives efficiency and scale, Aya’s 7,000+ global employees power the company to deliver unparalleled accountability and exceptional experiences for clients and clinicians. Aya’s company culture is rooted in giving back and supports organizations around food security, education, healthcare, safe shelter and equity.

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Cytiva

Cytiva is a global provider of technologies and services that advance and accelerate the development and manufacture of therapeutics. As a trusted partner to customers that range in scale and scope, Cytiva brings speed, efficiency, and capacity to research and manufacturing workflows, enabling the d...

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