Q & A with Michael MedorsOn drug discovery, recruiting talent and New Albany - Innovate New Albany | New Albany, Ohio

Q & A with Michael Medors
On drug discovery, recruiting talent and New Albany

Michael Medors, founder and chief financial officer of Venture Therapeutics, a new pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development company that offers laboratory and manufacturing services focused on drug discovery and development, recently announced plans to build the new enterprise in New Albany. It’s a formula that proved successful with New Albany-based Pharmaforce, the specialty injectable company he cofounded and later sold to global giant Luitpold Pharmaceuticals. Medors discusses his latest enterprise and shares his insights on entrepreneurship, recruiting talent and New Albany’s assets.


What is Venture Therapeutics?
We are a privately held pharmaceutical and biotechnology research and development company with laboratory and manufacturing services that focus on the drug discovery and development process. Our laboratory services include synthetic and analytical chemistry, formulation process chemistry, cell line and bioprocess development, toxicology, safety pharmacology, clinical development and bioanalytics. Our manufacturing services include clinical scale production of injectable drugs to be used in pre-clinical and clinical trials.

You moved your former company, Pharmaforce, to New Albany. Why?
As we grew the company, which was focused on generic drugs, we built an R&D laboratory facility in Columbus and a sterile manufacturing facility in Hilliard. At the time, sterile solutions represented approximately 60% of the U.S. injectable drug market. The other 40% consisted of lyophilized or freeze dried injectable products. To capitalize on this remaining market, we built a facility in New Albany capable of manufacturing lyophilized pharmaceutical products. We picked New Albany because of the attractive tax incentives, geographic location and administrative leaders who understood the needs of businesses.

Why did you decide to locate your new venture here?
Our new company will need to recruit highly educated and trained scientists and senior management professionals with extensive experience in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. New Albany offers this workforce a unique community environment that includes excellent schools, homes, well-planned infrastructure, and convenient access to shopping, restaurants and other central Ohio attractions. So, we plan to promote New Albany as a major recruiting incentive.

Does location impact your company in other ways?
Venture Therapeutics establishes integrated relationships with investors, and partners with other pharmaceutical companies to support the development of its new drug pipelines. These investors and partners regularly visit our facilities as part of their due diligence process. The location of our facilities is important for several reasons, including ease of access, aesthetic appeal and functionality. In addition, regulatory authorities, like the FDA, enforce all operational aspects of a pharmaceutical facility, including location and how the local environment can impact its quality activities.

How does innovation play a role in your business?
Innovation is a critical element to new drug discovery. Without innovation most new drugs would not make it to the commercialization stage. Many of the new therapeutic agents like antibodies, peptides and immunotherapies require novel analytical testing protocols as well as advanced manufacturing processes. The financial investment and time required to develop a new drug is significant. Timelines can run from 5 to 10 years at a cost of more than $500 million.

Any tips for aspiring startups?
Create a solid business plan and recruit the best people to help execute it. Stay focused and be ready and willing to devote most of your time to your business. Believe it and you can achieve it.

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