SOLVO Biotechnology Adds American Experts to Top Management and Expands Its Presence in the US

June 20, 2012

SOLVO Biotechnology has appointed two internationally renowned American scientists to top management positions in the company. The pioneer and market leader in the field of transporters recently opened a fully owned subsidiary in Boston, MA, and has started adding GLP services to its current, ISO 9001 certified, portfolio through a new cooperation agreement with Plainsboro, NJ-based XenoBiotic Laboratories (XBL). The addition of two international members to SOLVO’s management further underlines the company's ambitious business plans in the U.S. and beyond. Featuring dynamic growth ever since it was founded in 1999, SOLVO has entered a new phase in its development. The company, which was the first to commercialize transporter assays, has been a dominant player ever since, and is the market leader contract research laboratory (CRO) specialized in transporters both in Europe and the U.S. SOLVO operates a well-developed sales, business development and marketing team all over Europe. For its North American sales, however, so far it has relied on third-party representatives and strategic partnerships. Now this has changed. In April, the Hungary-based biotechnology leader established SOLVO Biotechnology USA Inc., with its head office in Boston, MA. One month later, the company signed an agreement with Plainsboro, NJ-based XBL, to transfer its comprehensive efflux and uptake transporter assays to XBL’s research facilities. This cooperation allows SOLVO to enhance its North American sales with introducing GLP services in addition to its current, ISO 9001 certified, portfolio. “Highlighting our focus on significantly increasing our market share in North America and Asia, I’m also pleased to welcome two leading U.S. transporter experts in our management,” said Ernő Duda, SOLVO’s President and CEO. William W. Johnson has been appointed Vice President, Global Operations, while the new Boston subsidiary is led by Kent Grindstaff, who has been named Senior Director, Business Development and Operations, North America. Before joining SOLVO, Dr. Johnson was at OSI Pharmaceuticals, one of SOLVO’s American customers. “Being a client is probably the best way to get to know a company. I quickly realized that SOLVO is a rapidly growing international organization,” he said. “I can see huge growth potential in North America and great opportunities in Asia as well. I’ll work to keep SOLVO ahead of the competition, and to impress our customers through continuously improving the quality and the presentation of our data.” “When I accepted to help set up and lead SOLVO’s subsidiary in Boston, my real interest was not in sales per se, but rather in building long-term relationships; helping customers with their transporter-related scientific needs in discovery programs or later stage clinical drug development and with addressing questions raised by regulatory agencies,” commented Dr. Grindstaff, who left the helm of research at Optivia Biotechnology to join SOLVO. “SOLVO is dedicated to provide not just the best assays in the market, but the most appropriate assays for their customers to address their specific needs and questions surrounding their compounds,” he explained. The transporter field is rapidly developing, and appreciation of its importance is growing among drug developers and the scientific community, as well regulatory agencies, such as the FDA and the EMA. Besides their role in the pharmacokinetics of a particular drug, the significance of transporters in drug-drug interactions, drug metabolism, as well as safety and toxicity is becoming widely recognized. Regulatory agencies are expected to impose increasingly rigorous criteria on in vitro transporter assays worldwide, in order to ensure that these studies are an accurate representation of what happens in vivo, i.e. in the human body. Companies in the field will need to make a joint effort to standardize these assays, and demonstrate their value in predicting what occurs in the in vivo situation. “SOLVO is uniquely positioned to lead such an international initiative,” Dr. Grindstaff added. “With around 400 customers in nearly 40 countries and close to 100 employees, SOLVO is 2 to 3 times bigger than its nearest, strictly transporter focused competitor in the U.S. It has unparalleled resources and incredibly well established academic interactions. In many cases, the company’s early stage research is not based on where the market is today, but on where they think the field will be tomorrow.”

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