By Louis Garguilo, Chief Editor, Outsourced Pharma
You might say John Koleng has been living in the drug development and outsourcing future throughout his decades-long career. That career began in 1996 when, quite remarkably for the time (or perhaps any time), he and other grad students (from the University of Texas at Austin) helped cofound a CDMO. But not only did they anticipate the growing need for a service market, the CDMO — PharmaForm — also focused on the challenges associated with drug-product solubility, an area that has never been more important than it is today. (Some 90% of new drugs in development currently are said to be poorly soluble.) Moreover, Koleng and his colleagues anticipated the M&A boom of many decades later. “We were a bootstrap startup CDMO, grew the business from the four of us to just over 100 employees, and then sold it in 2007,” he says.