Gallus BioPharmaceuticals: Mark Bamforth talks about saving jobs, local support and the importance of finding the right investment partners.

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Video title: Gallus BioPharmaceuticals: Mark Bamforth talks about saving jobs, local support and the importance of finding the right investment partners.
Released on: November 30, 2011. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks to Mark Bamforth, President and CEO of Gallus BioPharmaceuticals.
Foundation and facilities of Gallus BioPharmaceuticals
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevisionNews Review here at BIO-Europe in Duesseldorf, Germany 2011. On this show I have Mark Bamforth, who is President and CEO of a company called Gallus BioPharmaceuticals based in St. Louis in States, welcome.
Mark R. Bamforth:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
Mark, you've got a story about the foundation of Gallus BioPharmaceuticals company could you tell us that story?
Mark R. Bamforth:
Certainly, Fintan I was working for a large biotech company one of the top five for over 20-years, I was running a global manufacturing organization as well as a contract manufacturing business and the facility that I acquired to start Gallus BioPharmaceuticals was a facility owned by Centocor a division of Johnson & Johnson [PharmaDeals ID = 44256] and I had actually become familiar with that facility because I had tried to acquire it twice from my previous employer and both times it didn't work out for reasons that aren't particularly important, but through that time I got to know the facility well, the leadership team there, the work forces in place, the capabilities of the facility and the potential of the facility and that really gave me an idea that here was an opportunity to start a business really to take a site a satellite of a large pharmaceutical company to repurpose it as a contract manufacturing organization based on the long history of that site has had of making biopharmaceutical products.
Fintan Walton:
Okay, now obviously to do something that you needed to raise the capital you needed to bring a number of people along with you in the mission to buy this facility, so if you just tell us a little bit about that story?
Mark R. Bamforth:
Sure, for the past decade I've been spending a lot of money building faculties around the world, of course I only went internally to board to get approval for that financing, so it was a learning experience for me to really understand the private equity market, who the players were? Who would be interested in this kind of an investment and I was delighted in the end I found the company called Ridgemont Equity Partners they were the former Bank of America private equity arm been around for almost 20-years and around 20% of their investments some 3 billion in investments were in healthcare and it had some prior experience of having invested in the contract manufacturing company. So they turned out to be excellent partners, because they had an understanding of their business the long sale cycle but they really bought into the vision and the management team that we had in place that this was a moment that we could really enter the market with some of the market dynamics that are changing and be successful.
Support from state of Missouri
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so you also got support from the local region and significantly so if you could tell us a bit about that?
Mark R. Bamforth:
Yes we certainly did, we got outstanding support from the State of Missouri and from the local county council and that support came through a grant which was predicated on us making investments so today we are making around a $20 million investment and expanding the facility, so we had a grant that supported some of that support for employment which was spread about a 160 staff from Centocor over into the new company so safe those jobs and we've given a reduction and employer tax for that and then finally the local county council have give us the reduction and other property taxes. So in total we have to deliver, we have to make the investments, we have to grow the organization, but in total this is worth potential of around $18 million spread out over 10-years, but very, very helpful plus just a level of public interests from politicians has been fantastic.
Uniqueness and strengths of Gallus as a contract manufacturing organisation
Fintan Walton:
Okay, so let's talk about what you actually do there now that you've created the company, so what is it what's unique about Gallus and why should somebody even consider using you as a contractor?
Mark R. Bamforth:
So what's unique about Gallus is really the history of the site and what's currently in place is the foundation of a contract manufacturer. So the site was originally started by Monsanto as a contract manufacturing site, it then went through several different ownerships and over the last 12-years that was owned first by Centocor by this time a Johnson & Johnsoncompany and then prior to that by Wyeth and so there have been substantial investment by those two companies in the site, there have been a number of processes transferred into the site and based that there been the creation of a world class world standard pharmaceutical organization, but with capacity with space for building out and so what the site does is cell culture through purification so production of bulk biopharmaceuticals and the site has a history of transparent in processes taking them through late clinical stages through approval and then into commercial manufacturing.
Fintan Walton:
Right, when you talk about cell culture you are talking about mammalian cell culture?
Mark R. Bamforth:
Yes, this is all mammalian cell culture.
Types of clients and deal strategy
Fintan Walton:
Right, okay and give us some idea of the types of companies that who are your clients?
Mark R. Bamforth:
Are may be to start with the key piece to the acquisition of the facility from Centocor [PharmaDeals ID = 44256] was that we will continue to manufacture the two license products from that site, so one is Remicade one of the top biologics in the world which is also manufactured at other Johnson & Johnson owned sites, and then the second product is Stelara which is the first biologic treatment for psoriasis. So key to our success is a solid platform which is an ongoing multi-year manufacturing agreement to continue to make these products and maintain the licenses of the site. So then what we are doing is we are making this investment around $20 million building first of all an expanded development laboratory which has just come on stream which is multiple 10 liter and 50 liter bioreactors using to accelerate disposable technology. We are building a clinical suite which can do Phase I/II and up to early Phase III work this time gonna up to 2000 liter scale using again to accelerate disposable technology and then we are taking on existent commercial suite which is downstream only just now and we are adding commercial 2000 liter scale accelerate bioreactors to that suite. So that's the initial investment to really let us bring in additional clients, so the kind of companies we are talking to are large pharma companies who are strategically deciding to outsource certain work or to have second sources for certain projects or products. We are talking to emerging biotech companies, I am sure you know that around 40% of the pipeline is owned by companies that don't have manufacturing in-house, so there pretty much the fact of outsourcing as well as these larger companies doing it strategically, and then the third group that we are talking to are some companies that are fairly virtual, some of them are innovators but some of them also are biosimilar based companies where these is less innovation and more focus on trying to take the opportunity to supply biosimilar products into different markets around the world.
Future plans
Fintan Walton:
Okay. So for a company like yours obviously you're very much focused on building what you've got so far, but what are your plans going into the future for Gallus BioPharmaceuticals are you going to stick to this one plant, are you looking to expand or diversify from your current position? What's your vision?
Mark R. Bamforth:
Well that the vision is that we want to be a place that companies who want to come to for their products to be made for development and for commercial supply. We have a lot of capacity at the site that we can build on within existing buildings we were under 190,000 square feet the buildings on a 15 acre site, so there is a lot of capacity within that site to build, but we are also open to acquisition opportunities and the right opportunity will be something that would be very complimentary to what we are doing. So it could be an additional technology such as mammalian, such as the microbial to supplement the mammalian culture or it could be a fill finish that would fit well with what we are offering and so we are definitely open to that and our investors are very supportive always evaluating those kind of opportunities when they arise.
Fintan Walton:
Mark, thank you very much indeed for coming on the show.
Mark R. Bamforth:
Thank you very much, it's been a pleasure.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Mark R Bamforth
At the time of recording this PTV interview Mark R. Bamforth is the President and CEO of Gallus BioPharmaceuticals. Mark founded Gallus BioPharmaceuticals in 2010 in order to establish the premier contract manufacturer of commercial bulk biologics with a team which is currently delivering commercial products to patients in over 50 countries from an approved facility in the USA. In this leadership role, Mark draws upon his extensive experience of assembling talented teams to build and operate manufacturing plants around the world as well as his business experience as a Corporate Officer and business leader at Genzyme Corporation during a period of rapid growth. Mark was SVP for Corporate Operations and Pharmaceuticals at Genzyme Corporation with responsibility for 12 manufacturing sites in USA and Europe with 3600 staff. During the past decade, he oversaw a 200% growth in operations with the investment of over $2B in multiple technologies for manufacturing and infrastructure as Genzyme grew organically and through acquisitions. Additionally, Mark was responsible for the Pharmaceutical business which delivered a doubling in revenue over 5 years by performing contract manufacturing of peptides, lipids, custom materials and drug delivery technologies to the pharmaceutical industry and manufacturing materials for internal drug programs. Prior to joining Genzyme in 1988, Mark was a chemical engineer in the Scottish whisky industry where he led a JV biotech project to produce a nutraceutical from algae and designed and operated a patented photo-bioreactor. Mark serves on the MassBio Board, representing the biotech industry in MA, and has served on advisory boards for University College London's school of Biochemical Engineering and on Scottish Enterprise's International Advisory Board. Mark is a Founding Trustee of a charity, the Saltire Foundation, which offers young Scottish entrepreneurs the opportunity to experience and learn in high growth companies in the USA and beyond. Mark has a BS in Chemical Engineering from Strathclyde University, Glasgow, and an MBA from Henley Business School.
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
Gallus BioPharmaceuticals
Gallus BioPharmaceuticals is a premier biologics contract manufacturing organization based in St. Louis, MO. Gallus operates an FDA-approved, commercially-certified facility formerly owned by Johnson & Johnson's Centocor division. The Gallus facility has capabilities for mammalian cell culture and protein purification in both perfusion and fed batch mode and is being expanded to offer additional development and clinical services capabilities. The plant currently produces two leading commercial biologics products, distributed globally.