Home Interviews Shift to regenerative medicine increases growth prospects for PHI

Shift to regenerative medicine increases growth prospects for PHI

Shift to regenerative medicine increases growth prospects for PHI

Shift to regenerative medicine increases growth prospects for PHI

20 March, 2024

With a sharp focus on expanding its market to regenerative medicine, medtech company PHI has a growth trajectory that is on a notable upward trend, marked by its highest-ever sales performances in the last quarter. BioStock talked to the company CEO, Patrik Eschricht, for an operational overview and to learn about the behind-the-scenes developments right now.

Phase Holographic Imaging (PHI) has developed the HoloMonitor system for non-invasive time-lapse imaging and long-term quantitative analysis of living cell cultures. At the core of HoloMonitor is Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) technology, which has unique capabilities for assessing cell health and, in particular, for cell quality control in regenerative therapies. PHI’s overarching objective is to contribute to making cell-based therapies affordable, accessible and patient-safe.

Swiss investment company Altium enters the stage

In 2022, PHI shifted focus to clinical applications and the field of regenerative medicine rather than strictly targeting the pre-clinical research market. Regenerative medicine enables the repairing or replacement of dysfunctional cells, tissues, and organs and transforms healthcare by developing innovative treatments for previously untreatable conditions like cancer and Parkinson’s disease. With this new and diversified commercial focus, the company soon started gaining attention, and last year, Swiss private investment company Altium made a large investment in PHI.

During 2023, Altium intensified its support for PHI with a directed share issue of SEK 9.9 million. The investment extends PHI’s financial runway beyond 2025 and nurtures PHI’s continued innovation and ongoing regenerative medicine projects. Moreover, Altium also became PHI’s global distribution partner, leveraging Altium’s network to scale PHI’s market reach. Read an interview here with Goran Dubravčić, CEO at Altium, who today is PHI’s Chairman of the Board.

Recently, Altium has proven its engagement in PHI yet again by appointing Daniel Soors as PHI’s dedicated distribution partner manager. According to PHI’s press release from March 5, 2024, the aim is to significantly enhance the reach and sales performance of PHI’s HoloMonitor technology on a global scale.

Reinforcing the potential of regenerative medicine

Last week, PHI published a new opinion piece entitled “Shaping the future of Regenerative Medicine – PHI’s vision for QPI in Cell Therapy Manufacturing,” in which the company discusses the potential of QPI technology in regenerative medicine. PHI makes the case that QPI offers enhanced cell quality control in manufacturing processes, making cell-based therapies patient-safe and more accessible. It also states that its collaborations with WFIRM and ReMDO have solidified PHI’s role as an innovator in integrating QPI into advanced cell therapy workflows.

Read a BioStock interview with CEO Patrik Eschricht, where he talked about these collaborations and his visions for the company’s future: “We aim to revolutionize the regenerative medicine market.“

»In the coming year, we will deepen our collaborations, extend our HoloMonitor market reach, and solidify our position. Our goal is clear: to establish QPI as a gold standard for cell quality control in regenerative medicine« — Patrik Eschricht, CEO at PHI

Comments from the CEO

Patrik Eschricht, CEO PHI
Patrik Eschricht, CEO at PHI

BioStock reached out to PHI’s CEO Patrik Eschricht again for a comment on the recent news flow.

Patrik, with Altium’s CEO and CFO enriching PHI’s Board and a new dedicated distribution manager, alongside Altium holding over 24% of PHI shares, how do you view this extensive engagement?

We absolutely appreciate Altium’s unwavering support. It reflects our shared confidence in QPI technology’s transformative impact on the future of regenerative medicine. As PHI’s major shareholder since March 2023 and global distributor since November 2023, Altium has been key to our growth, providing financial stability and expanding our market reach by leveraging their extensive international sales network. This partnership enables our PHI team to focus on innovation, product development, and engagement with key stakeholders to advocate for QPI technology – all to set the stage for our successful entry into the regenerative therapies market.

In what specific ways will the three Altium insiders contribute to PHI?

I’m very pleased about the strategic expertise and industry insights Goran, Daniel, and Ivan are bringing to PHI. Goran Dubravčić, Altium’s CEO and our Chairman, is an expert in building global networks and is guiding our journey toward regenerative medicine.

Daniel Soors, who is stepping in as our dedicated distribution partner manager, is already actively engaging with potential new sales partners worldwide. His mission is to open new markets and broaden HoloMonitor’s global footprint – which we have been aiming for.

Ivan Jurkovic, Altium’s CFO, adds a deep understanding of financial strategies and risk management to our Board, aiding our growth and objectives in regenerative medicine.

In Q3 2023, we witnessed the highest sales performance on record for PHI. What factors contributed to this surge, and what do you anticipate for future sales?

– Our Q3 2023 sales hit an all-time high, a milestone our team is proud of. Our sales trend shows the impact of our strategic approach and the value of our HoloMonitor system. The Q3 sales were driven by orders from the first five Altium subsidiaries, which are deploying HoloMonitor systems for sales activities like product demos, directly addressing the unique needs of our academic and industry customers to test our systems within their own lab.

– We are optimistic about Altium’s contributions in later 2024, with our sales cycles usually spanning 6-12 months. However, we are mindful of the challenges of securing grants or funding in pre-clinical research environments and the variable nature of academic purchasing patterns we observed in the past. Nevertheless, with Daniel Soor now leading to broaden our distribution network, we are looking forward to an increased global market footprint. We are actively expanding our global reach within our core markets like North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, and beyond.

– Our strategy, coupled with growing interest in HoloMonitor for diverse research applications, underscores our commitment to equipping labs worldwide with advanced, cell-friendly research tools.

PHI’s preliminary Q3 net sales were published in a press release on January 30, 2024. The quarterly net sales for the third quarter of this fiscal year will be reflected in the upcoming Q3 interim report, which will be released next week, on March 27, 2024.

You recently published an opinion piece. Can you discuss how you plan to anchor PHI as a thought leader in the field of Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) and seize new business opportunities?

– We are anchoring PHI as a thought leader by actively engaging in the regenerative medicine community, speaking at key industry events like the ARM meeting in Rome, and publishing insightful opinion pieces. Our recent publication details the versatility and potential we see for QPI technology in regenerative medicine. We outline QPI’s capability to enhance cell quality control throughout the whole cell manufacturing cycle – from bedside to bedside. We are advocating for QPI to become a standard in cell quality control to make cell therapies affordable, accessible and patient-safe.

– Our partnership with WFIRM places us at the innovation forefront in regenerative medicine. With our own office in Winston-Salem and leading a key project for Smart Manufacturing with our ReMDO partners BioSpherix, SAS, and QIAGEN, we are at the heart of setting new benchmarks for cell therapy quality control.

– QPI’s role in cell quality control is transformative, offering value at every manufacturing step without harming the cells. This non-invasive approach is key to ensuring the safety and efficacy of cell-based therapies. Collaborative efforts are essential for seamlessly integrating QPI into the cell manufacturing process, developing cell carriers, transport methods and analysis techniques. We aim to spark discussions, catalyse new partnerships, and open doors to new business avenues. Through our opinion piece, we share our vision for QPI, inviting stakeholders to explore the vast potential within regenerative medicine with us.

Finally, what is happening behind the scenes at PHI right now, and what are your projections for the coming 12 months?

– Starting this year with momentum, we are focused on key initiatives:

Enhancing sales by supporting our Altium partners worldwide. Daniel Soor is actively engaging with potential new distributors in Asia and Europe. Also, we present at a national customer symposium in Romania and plan a team visit to Altium’s headquarters in Istanbul to reinforce our collaboration. Our goal is a wider market presence and enhanced sales performance within the next year.

Implementing a company quality management system (QMS) to meet clinical market requirements is a priority, though resource-intensive.

  Driving our product development for regenerative medicine. Through continued collaborations with academic partners, like Dr. Robert Judson-Torres at the Huntsman Cancer Institute we explore innovative QPI applications in cell analysis. Additionally, we are closely working with our partners at ReMDO to evaluate HoloMonitor experiment data and optimize the RegenertOR test bed setup.

Exploring new collaborations, for example, to advance QPI’s use in predicting cell fate or setting up cell quality control labs, expanding our understanding and applications of QPI.

Advocating for QPI technology, engaging with the regenerative medicine community, key opinion leaders, and government bodies, sharing our vision through our opinion piece, and presenting at key events like the upcoming Regenerative Manufacturing Innovation Consortium (RegMIC) annual meeting in Charlotte, NC.

– In the coming year, we will deepen our collaborations, extend our HoloMonitor market reach, and solidify our position. Our goal is clear: to establish QPI as a gold standard for cell quality control in regenerative medicine.

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.

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