Healthy dose of support from Santander UK for pharmaceutical development services firm
With huge growth in demand for its services – part of which has been fuelled by the pandemic – Greater Manchester-based Seda Pharmaceutical Development Services (Seda) has acquired a new property and is on track to double its annual turnover to at least £7m in the next two years.
Seda provides pharmaceutical development and clinical pharmacology services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. These include consultancy, computer modelling and laboratory services. With rapidly increasing demand for its services, it has outgrown its current rental facility in Macclesfield.
Santander UK, which Seda has banked with since its inception in 2015, has provided it with a funding package of £2m which includes support for the acquisition of its new property in Cheadle, Stockport.
Seda will undertake a full refit of the new property, developing state-of-the-art laboratories and bespoke office space. This will enable it to invest in new equipment so it can expand the range of services it offers clients. Among the new facilities and equipment in plan are processing suites for oral solid dosage forms (tablets and capsules) and enhanced facilities for parenteral products (injections). A particular area of focus is building capabilities in nano formulation prototyping and characterisation for the design and development of complex medicines such as lipid nanoparticles for mRNA delivery (as used in some Covid vaccines). These additions are crucial for Seda to fulfil rapidly growing demand from clients worldwide.
The critical importance of vaccine thermal stability – and its impact on the vaccine global supply chain – has come to the fore during the pandemic and led Seda to invest in cutting-edge equipment to support its clients’ vaccine development programmes. The pandemic has also heralded the world’s first approved use of lipid nanoparticle-based vaccines. This has paved the way for wider development of this new type of therapy across a broad range of medical areas and Seda is expanding on its consultancy offering to include experimental support in line with this.
Seda, which recently won Best Contract Research Organisation (CRO) in the 2021 OBN Awards, currently has a permanent staff of 23 and a network of expert associate subcontractors. It is working toward growing its permanent staff to at least 50 by April 2024, initially by recruiting analysts, formulators, modellers, project managers, and later, non-technical support staff.
Paul Stott, CEO of Seda said: “Through the support of Santander UK, we have been able to purchase our own facility without taking any dilutive funding. This allows us to make long term capital investments in the capabilities that our clients need – something that was not economically viable with our current rental property. Our independence enables us to maintain control of all decisions, future direction and to maintain the highest scientific standards.”
Debbie Worthington, relationship director at Santander UK, said: “Santander UK is well equipped to provide specialist support to companies in the pharmaceutical and medical sectors and we’re delighted to see a company in this industry, that has banked with us since inception, grow so rapidly and have such an exciting future ahead. Seda is making a significant and positive contribution to medical science internationally and as its banking partner, we are pleased to be able to support its ongoing expansion and success.”