Phase Holographic Imaging has appointed its founder and former CEO, Peter Egelberg, as Chairman of the Board, while the company’s former CFO, Patrik Eschricht, has stepped into the CEO position. To better understand the background behind this shift in management, BioStock reached out to both for a Q&A.
Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) has developed HoloMonitor, an advanced instrument for non-invasive cell culture analysis for basic medical research and drug development. PHI has seen the greatest demand for its product in academia and industry in recent years. However, since 2022, the company has started aiming at clinical applications, not least in the development of regenerative medicine.
The CEO and chairman of the board comments
With regenerative medicine coming more into focus for PHI, the main objective for the company is to help transform the healthcare sector by industrializing regenerative medicine and the manufacturing of cell-based therapies.
To this end, PHI has decided to shuffle around its senior management positions, with founder and long-time CEO Peter Egelberg moving into the role of Chairman of the Board, and Patrik Eschricht, formerly CFO, taking the CEO spot.
BioStock talked to both to get an insight into the background of this decision.
Patrik, will there be any changes to the business plan with you at the helm of the company?
– The business plan is the same as decided and communicated in the prospect for the right issue that was done in May 2022. However, the plan is now entering a completely new phase. Partly because we will soon be able to offer the combination of holography and fluorescence, but also because of the rapid development of regenerative medicine, personalized medicine and cell-based therapies requiring non-invasive imaging and quality control.
You’re talking about that non-invasive imaging will be required. Can you elaborate on that?
– What is now happening and fundamentally transforming the market is that many future treatments will be based on cells taken from the patient. The cells are modified, multiplied and reintroduced to the patient. Understandably, you cannot add foreign substances to the cells, even for quality control. That’s where our non-invasive HoloMonitor technology comes in as one of the few technologies that can do just this non-invasive validation.
What will be your main objectives?
– In short, it is to increase sales of the existing product portfolio with the help of our new fluorescent unit and qualify PHI as a supplier of GMP equipment with a focus on regenerative medicine. Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is the rigorous quality standard of the pharmaceutical industry. All essential equipment used to manufacture a pharmaceutical or treatment must comply with this standard.
Peter, you have been the CEO since founding the company twenty years ago. Can you talk about the timing of the current change in management?
– I have an acquaintance who is alive and well because of cell-based therapies. However, these therapies are today made by hand and, therefore, horribly expensive. The company I founded has developed one of the few commercially available technologies that can make these “miracle cures” safer, less costly and open to everyone.
– If you were in a similar situation, wouldn’t you also have wanted to focus all your efforts on making such an opportunity a reality?
– The industrialization of medical biomanufacturing is a very ambitious project and deserves my full attention. PHI will need to partner with companies in manufacturing, transport, big pharma and regulatory authorities. That will be my focus as working chairman.
Why is Patrik, who has been at the company for several years, the right person to take up the CEO spot?
– As Patrik mentioned, with established technology and a well-developed product line, PHI is entering into a phase focusing on positive cache flow and profitably. With Patrik as CFO, I learned as CEO that he certainly possesses the required qualities for the job.
Finally, Peter, as the company’s founder, can you speak about PHI’s progress and whether your vision for the company has changed?
– No, the vision hasn’t changed since the company was founded. What has changed is that the life science industry has developed significantly during PHI’s lifetime. This provides us and our non-invasive technology now with the unique ability to help transform the healthcare sector.
– The most recent example is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relaxed its animal testing requirement in December. Instead, the new legislation allows the testing of new pharmaceuticals in patients without prior animal testing, provided that cell-based tests alone can prove the drug is safe. This regulatory shift puts non-invasive cell-friendly technology at the forefront, at the expense of the conventional invasive cell analysis technology our competitors provide.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.