Competence in Chemistry: TBD-Biodiscovery
TBD-Biodiscovery is an Estonian contract manufacturing and research company that helps pharmaceutical and biotech companies produce new drugs.
Founded in 2006 as a spin-off of the University of Tartu, TBD-Biodiscovery is a young but ambitious Estonian company providing versatile contract manufacturing and research services for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries and for agriculture.
“Our services are based on extensive experience in organic chemistry, and we have two university professors among our founders. Our mission is to be a reliable manufacturing and research partner, and to give our contribution to the development of innovative and efficient drugs. We have customers in many countries, such as Germany, Finland, Switzerland, Latvia, the United States and Israel,” says Olga Tšubrik, head of business development at TBD-Biodiscovery.
Optimising production conditions of drugs
TBD-Biodiscovery has three areas of expertise: synthetic organic chemistry, Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) experience and microbiology.
“We can develop production processes, run the tests, and determine the best conditions to manufacture active ingredients of the drug. Furthermore, we are able to optimise production conditions to make drugs cheaper. We have small-scale production, too, as not all drugs have to be produced in big quantities,” Tšubrik notes.
“We are not a drug producer, but a supplier of the main components of drugs, known as Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).”
Specific knowledge of chemistry
There is a lot of competition in the contract manufacturing business, but the thing that sets TBD-Biodiscovery apart from other firms is chemistry expertise in very specific areas.
“We are highly experienced in three classes or types of chemical compounds: anthracyclines, which are used as APIs for cancer treatment; peptidomimetics, also used as APIs in cancer treatment; and insect pheromones, which are used as biopesticides in agriculture,” Tšubrik explains.
Last year, TBD-Biodiscovery’s chemistry expertise was internationally recognised when the company won the HeathPort Innovation Competition 2012. The fact that TBD-Biodiscovery is involved in research and development and production of cancer drugs was an important factor contributing to the jury’s decision.
The company is GMP certified and, according to Tšubrik, also has a very good quality/price ratio.
Moving to the next level
TBD-Biodiscovery used the HealthPort Innovation Competition prize funds to hire international business consultants to help them in reviewing the company’s business plan.
“We need to figure out how to go forward and grow. We are very ambitious and are now ready to move to the next level as a company,” Tšubrik claims.
Five years from now, she expects TBD-Biodiscovery to be a bigger company with a wider product portfolio.
“We will still have small-scale production, but also constant production of ingredients for oncological products and ingredients for new and efficient drugs. By 2018, we hope to have an extensive partner network and a wider customer base consisting of also bigger companies.”
See also portrait of TBD-Biodiscovery at ScanBalt Business
The HealthPort Innovation Competition aimed to find clinical inventions that can be translated into commercial products and services that benefit patients. It was part of the BSHR HealthPort project, part-financed by the European Union, European regional Development Fund, Baltic Sea Region Programme 2007-2013.
The HealthPort Innovation Competition was organised by Culminatum Innovation Ltd. For more information, seewww.scanbalt.org .
Text: Leena Koskenlaakso