【Jumpstarter 1 minute】iPharma Limited – Breakthroughs in drug development pipeline
October 20, 2017
iPharma is a global pharmaceutical inhalation contract research organization providing drug discovery, product development, life-cycle management, and product testing from feasibility to commercial inhalation pharmaceutical
l product services. The company was founded in 2016 by a team of six experts in the inhalation business. This group of co-founders, led by Alan Chang in Hong Kong, honed their skills by previously developing the latest inhalation technologies and products for the US and European regulatory bodies. "Our mission is to become a world-class contract research organization for inhalation products. We want to be able to help biotech or pharmaceutical companies develop very innovative, very effective drug products in the inhalation space," said Founder Alan Chang.
One unique point about iPharma is its ability to customize and work closely with its clients. Having trained in different specialized field, the co-founders are able to steer the company to be a more collaborative contract research organization (CRO).
"We work very closely with different companies and we can customize certain things they need. This is something special that we can bring to the table compared to other CROs," said Chang.
When starting iPharma, Chang said the biggest obstacle was the decision to relocate to Hong Kong, given the wide network of contacts and the reputations of the co-founders in the United States.
"We wanted to bring this technology to Hong Kong but it was easier for us to operate in the United States, where we worked for many years. Moving here and having to build the reputation for iPharma from scratch and get our name out there, that was the major challenge," said Chang.
However, Chang expects the Hong Kong move to pay dividends as the wealth of talent and proximity to China can spur fast growth.
"Hong Kong is our R&D base, and our goal is to bring in local talent and train them. In the long term, we want to aggressively expand into China with our lab and recruit talent over there. Our aim is to go global and make Hong Kong the center of biotech excellence," Chang said.
For aspiring entrepreneurs, Chang has a word of advice: Don't be afraid of the ups and downs of the journey.
"This whole thing is a learning experience. We have to trust our strategy and believe that we can push really hard. It will take time and patience but I believe we will get there."