Hamilton Biotech Exec Talks About the Business of Biotechnology in MCCC Lecture
WEST WINDSOR – Building a successful R&D and drug discovery company takes more than cutting-edge scientific research and the creation of life-saving drugs. It requires the establishment of a solid reputation, and perhaps most of all, a sound business model, according to Dr. Martin Adelson, Chief Operating Officer of the Genesis Biotechnology Group (GBG) in Hamilton, NJ.
"When we first started out as just Medical Diagnostic Laboratories (MDL), we were looking to make discoveries to raise our profile in the industry – publishing in peer-reviewed scientific journals that we could show to our potential clients. Then it became about commercialization," Adelson said. "We started off on a lower level, but then the pieces started coming together for us, enabling us to do so much more."
Adelson addressed a near-capacity crowd at Mercer County Community College on Feb. 19th with the lecture "Challenges and Remedies for Sustainability of Biopharma in 2014" as part of MCCC’s Distinguished Lecture Series. He profiled a company that began as a diagnostic laboratory – analyzing samples for medical professionals – to what is now a vertically-integrated entity that includes ten companies, including a manufacturer of diagnostic supplies and a pharmaceutical research and development arm.
Dr. Martin Adelson, Chief Operating Officer of Genesis Biotechnology Group of Hamilton, NJ, and MCCC Engineering Science student Ange Tape.
In less than two decades, GBG has grown from a handful of employees to more than 900.
By creating an organization that owns each step of the process, Adelson said, a company can better control costs and reduce the risks associated with dependence on other companies for critical services.
"On the corporate level, you continue to identify where your bottlenecks are and where your resources should be focused," Adelson said. "You look to be as profitable as possible, but instead of taking the profits out, we put them back into the company to address the various needs of the growing business."
He also notes that addressing those needs through a vertical integration model has created additional profit centers. The examples include GBG’s Bioplast Manufacturing, which is among the industry leaders in the production of components for medical research and diagnosis, as well as GBG’s wholesale sales arm, Worldwide Medical Products with its government, academic, and commercial accounts throughout the country. Also, research and development entities VENENUM Biodesign, Oncoveda, Femeris, and Humigen continue to work toward the discovery and characterization of groundbreaking pharmaceuticals.
Following the lecture, Mercer Engineering Science student Ange Tape asked for advice on establishing a successful biotechnology company. Adelson said that aside from the obvious – start-up capital and a marketable product being among them – it is important to develop a solid reputation in the industry.
"We are always looking to publish our findings," Adelson said. "You don’t get paid for being published, but you can use that to build your reputation and establish yourself as a trusted partner to sell your scientific services."
Return to Current News
MCCC Home Page
MCCC Distinguished Lecture Series