2021 has so far been a rewarding year for the Uppsala company Pharmacolog, which has been able to report several milestones with its platform technology for quality control of compounded pharmaceuticals. Among other things, several orders have been received for WasteLog systems used to monitor and safeguard discarded or returned controlled substances, and now the company enters China together with the American partner Codonics.
Things are starting to happen with the DrugLog and PrepLog systems, for which Pharmacolog has collaborated with the German medical technology giant B. Braun since 2018. The collaboration is based on combining Pharmacolog’s system with B. Braun’s portfolio of infusion products, a segment that in 2020 meant revenues of EUR 3.4 billion for the German company. Already this fall, the joint solution for quality control of pharmaceutical compounds is being launched on the Spanish-speaking markets. For Pharmacolog, this means that they are now delivering the first of two DrugLog systems.
Consolidate the collaboration
In parallel with the first product deliveries, the partners choose to consolidate their collaboration. So far, it has primarily been co-development, but now they are aiming to conclude a formal commercial partnership agreement for the global roll-out of DrugLog and PrepLog systems.
In a joint press release, Jürgen Stihl, board member of B. Braun’s Hospital Care division, writes:
“This partnership will add unique value to our customers by bringing the process of medication preparation to an even higher level of safety through a final step quality control. Pharmacologists’ advanced technology combined with B. Braun’s medication management portfolio will help further reduce risks of medication errors and patient harm.”
The CEO comments
Recent successes have also begun to show in the company’s income statement, where the report for the third quarter shows a sales increase of almost 500 percent for the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period in 2020. In conjunction with the report, BioStock contacted Pharmacolog’s CEO Mats Högberg to hear how he views the collaboration with B. Braun and what opportunities it provides Pharmacolog.
First of all, how do you perceive taking a step closer to B. Braun aiming for a global commercial agreement for DrugLog and PrepLog?
“Above all, it is a very compelling confirmation that we are right on time with our products and our technology, and that the demand for improved quality control systems is increasing. Furthermore, it means that our solutions are introduced into a larger context and become part of a complete system for drug management. As new technologies are now introduced in healthcare, the agreement provides great opportunities for DrugLog and PrepLog to establish a new standard related to quality control of compounded drugs.”
You have collaborated with B. Braun Spain since 2018. What significance has B. Braun had for the development of your products?
“The collaboration with B. Braun Spain, which is their “center of excellence” within infusion products, has been very rewarding. We have been working for a long time to develop an integrated and automated workflow. A significant part of what we now implement in our PrepLog product is a result of our collaboration with B. Braun.”
How do you envision your relationship developing in the future?
“I expect that we gradually expand to additional markets to, as also mentioned in our press release, eventually reach a global rollout.”
It can be concluded that DrugLog and PrepLog will be a nice complement to B. Braun’s infusion portfolio. As a shareholder in Pharmacolog, what expectations should you have of a global launch of your joint solution?
“A global launch through a strategic partner means that we quickly increase our presence and our business opportunities in a much larger market than what we can build on our own during the same time.”
As you have mentioned before, 2021 appears to be a breakthrough year for Pharmacolog. Your latest report seems to confirm this, but what will it take for you to be able to show positive results?
“The primary goal for Pharmacolog is currently to increase sales. The pandemic caused severe delays and difficulties in reaching purchasing decisions, but despite this we have succeeded in increasing sales and established two very important strategic partnerships. Therefore, my expectations for 2022 are high. We are now well equipped to realize our goals and build positive as well as long-term value in the company.”