Pikralida has been invited to have its say in Science|Busines magazine on the topic of the challenges and issues faced in Poland by companies dealing in innovative drug development.
Polish biotechnology is seeking a solid foundation for future growth Generous EU funding mean that medical biotechnology start-ups are thriving in Poland, but tapping the huge potential held by the sector is impeded or held back by many deep-rooted hindrances. One of the biggest challenges is the reorganisation of the public funding management system. As it turns out in practice, this also affects the possibility of obtaining grants from private sources, which are necessary to cover 20 to 40 per cent of the cost of projects. With little own expertise that would allow them to form an opinion on a biotech company, private funds effectively rely on public grant-making agencies. “Private funds or investors will look at the size of the grant and use it to value our companies” – said Stanisław Pikul, CEO of Pikralida.
An important factor contributing to the development of biotechnology is the cooperation of biotech with the academic milieu. One of the advantages of the Polish landscape is that – owing to EU funding – university laboratories are now excellently equipped. “It is now possible to perform almost any high-quality chemical testing quickly and efficiently at the university, which was only a dream ten years ago”, as seen by Joanna Lipner, managing director of Pikralida. “The level of understanding of drug discovery and development processes across the academia has indeed improved, but it is changing at a snail’s pace.” Problematic issues here range from a general lack of understanding that bright concepts should be commercialised, to practical problems associated with documentation and study designs that lack the results required to transfer research from the laboratory to the clinic.
Another important aspect for the future growth of Polish biotechnology companies is to have access to experienced specialists and experts as well as the possibility of acquiring sufficient space to develop companies and build laboratories. And this is still a big challenge for technology start-ups in Poland.
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