Sön 14 aug / År 40 / Nr 3 2022

Translational approach to preclinical development

Last year Truly Translational reached a major milestone celebrating ten years of operation. Having been one of the pioneers moving into Medicon Village ten years ago, deeply involved in the formation of the creative atmosphere, the company has outgrown the old offices and is now ready for new offices in the Spark where all the 20+ employees can fit.

Charlott Brunmark and Karin von Wachenfeldt, co founders of Truly Translational celebrates their 10 years anniversary

Truly Translational was established in the wake of AstraZeneca’s departure. With knowledge from Big Pharma environment, the founders Karin von Wachenfeldt, Charlott Brunmark and Kristina Forsman Semb wanted to build a laboratory and consulting business to support smaller companies throughout the preclinical process, with a special focus on translational science.

“Many smaller companies lack knowledge of how to move their project from academic research to drug development. In a development project the goal is shifted, and all efforts focused on the product and its users. What will it look like and how will it work, who are the patients and how can they be defined? We can help smaller companies with these questions, creating a roadmap for their journey”, explains Karin von Wachenfeldt, CEO of Truly Translational.

What was meant to be

From the beginning, Truly Translational was meant to start both laboratory and consulting operations at the same time. The plan was ideally to try to take over relevant equipment from AstraZeneca. The reality turned out different as little suitable laboratory equipment remained after AstraZeneca had left the premises in Lund, but Truly Translational was still established as a consultancy service based on the founders’ competence.

Over time, Truly Translational has grown successful and in 2015 founded Truly Labs as a daughter company to build the laboratory they had in mind from the beginning. Today, Truly Labs is an expansive business with a strong focus on preclinical pharmacology, so, what was meant to be still happened, only some time later.

“We focus on helping companies understand how their drugs work in detail. How much of the drug is needed where, and for how long time? By studying the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic profile of a compound we can learn about how it will work in patients. One of our expert areas is inhalation, and together with other member companies of the Medicon Valley Inhalation Consortium (MVIC), we can deliver very specialized inhalation services”, says Karin von Wachenfeldt.

Everything preclinical

Truly Translational and Truly Labs supports customers with everything needed to make the preclinical phase as smooth as possible. They help customers with, among other things; regulatory plans, plans for early clinical phase and strategies on how to get from preclinical to clinical phase.

“We offer many advantages. One of the most distinct being our strategic consulting activities combined with practical experience on how preclinical studies work”, says Karin von Wachenfeldt.

“We have managed to build up a very strong competence base entirely thanks to the fantastic staff we have. Over time we have also become very well equipped to meet our customers’ needs using our experienced staff and their wide range of competences. Another great strength of our business is that we only focus on customers’ projects, we have no in-house projects that take focus away from customers’ projects”

Karin underlines: “We cannot carry out all types of studies, but we can do a lot of different things, especially when it comes to narrow specialist studies. We also have a lot of contact with other laboratories that can complement our services in areas where we are not as strong”.

From local to global

Today, the Truly companies work with some of the world’s leading pharma companies but is also an important partner for the small local companies needing guidance through the preclinical phase. Being close is often an advantage, and to get close to an even larger set of companies, Truly Translational has started to expand outside the Medicon Valley area by opening a second site in Stockholm. So far only with consultancy capability, but soon the lab-support will follow opening for additional opportunities.

“During our ten-year journey, we have broadened our focus and developed more services. We have the strength and competence to take on the global leaders in drug development, but at the same time we still have our heart right here in Medicon Village and we want to continue to contribute to a strong development on site. Lundwill always be our headquarters”, says Karin von Wachenfeldt.