>An interview with CEO of ACROBiosystems, Mike Chen — Transforming Customer Journey
Customer journeys are very personal to every customer. However, each manufacturer has their own philosophy when it comes to product development. To ACROBiosystems, bridging this gap between customer and manufacturer through understanding customer needs and providing high-quality products is the first step towards developing a life-long partnership.
ACROBiosystems set off twelve years ago to become a ‘cornerstone’ of the pharma and biotech industry, helping companies accelerate their projects from bench-to-bedside. We talked to Mike Chen, CEO and founder, about his vision of what customer journeys should be like and how ACROBiosystems works towards transforming them.
Working as a scientist at Invitrogen –now part of ThermoFisher– I was a part of the development team working on cell culture applications. This placed me in a unique position: developing products while considering its application. At this time, I began to see the divide between manufacturer and customer. For manufacturers, the focus was to have the newest products available. Customers, on the other hand, were concerned about whether the product was a good fit, always asking our support team ‘Would this product work for my needs?’ This stark contrast in objectives underscored the systemic rift between manufacturer and customer philosophies.
At the time, to me, starting a company was just a passing thought. However, the more I interacted with customers, the more I began to think ‘maybe I should.’ I became motivated, even driven, by the idea that with ACROBiosystems, I could change the way we approach customer journeys and transform it for the better.
This notion came to fruition after being inspired by one scientist, who is well known expert in NGS field in recent years doing business as scientific service provider.
One of our core values is the concept of understanding our customer’s needs. One of our first customers came to us looking for a high-purity CD19 protein. Whereas other manufacturers offered him only the CD19 protein, we took the extra step and asked if he would like to discuss with us. From the discussion, we were able to offer him a free sample, in-depth data evaluations, and protocols regarding bioactivity, protein binding, and others. Not only was he able to finish his studies faster, but he also mentioned to us that he felt more comfortable that our product would fit his needs. Fast-forward to now, he still regularly comes back to us, representing different companies, to purchase our products.
Inspired by this success, we continued to build upon our version of a customer journey. We started to provide our customers with the opportunity to connect and discuss with our product scientists. Overall, we hope to give each one of our customers their own unique journey and ensure that our products are a perfect fit for their needs.
Our primary focus in bridging the gap between manufacturer and customer has led us to offer a wide variety of products that serve the entire therapeutic drug development lifecycle.
Back in 2017, we received our first customer request for a multi-pass transmembrane protein, CD20. Her challenges in finding full-length CD20 led us to initiate a project to help tackle the challenges in developing multi-pass transmembrane proteins. This singular request kick-started our Full-length Active Gallery (FLAG) platform that offers more than ten different proteins optimized for various applications. Despite the residual challenges in scale-up manufacturing and delivery, we still insist on ensuring that our customers have the optimal tools available, and the support required, for their research.
Undeniably, one of our product focal points also includes tools for COVID-19 vaccine research. As one of the leading urgent global concerns of the century, we considered it as our societal responsibility to help fight the disease wherever we could. Despite our already-full product pipeline, we immediately began to shift our R+D capacities assist our clients with the delivery of timely, high-quality research tools. Our keystone achievement was with the Omicron antigen being ready within 10 days of its first identification and its mutant-specific antibody ready in less than 2 months.
A significant achievement this year was also our significant upgrade of our quality management system, achieving GMP validation for our ex vivo cell manufacturing products. We can continue to partner with our customers throughout their drug development lifecycle, starting from drug discovery to clinical phases and finally, commercialization.
Recently, we have added bioSeedin, a partnering platform located in Boston, USA. bioSeedin offers opportunities for biotech companies to highlight their product pipeline and for pharma companies to find new assets for in-licensing or acquisition. We also organize events where potential business partners and our customers can meet in person, providing new avenues for the customer journey to take.
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This insight article is created with Labiotech.eu
Writer:Dr. Ute Boronowsky
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