"From the R&D perspective, we are ahead of our goals and strategies with the products we developed and commercialized. We have already licensed out one of our media developments to a global supplier. This has become the first and only biotech licensing that Turkey offers to Europe."

Cem Erdem

CO-FOUNDER AND CEO, FLORABIO TEKNOLOJI

April 16, 2020

Can you give an overview of Florabio?

Our business model was to create a company to support Turkey with a local supply of cell lines and media. Florabio’s unique glycoengineering platform enables us to achieve extremely comparable biosimilar cell lines.

The second and the main business of Florabio is cell culture media development. If cell line is considered as the engine of a car, media can be described as the fuel for the engine to work.  Florabio established one of the best media development platforms which enables us to develop any cell culture media in 4-6 media for any cell line including customer specific cell lines.

From the R&D perspective, we are ahead of our goals and strategies with the products we developed and commercialized. Florabio has four basal and five feed media for four different cell lines focusing on recombinant protein, vaccines and gene therapy applications. We have already licensed out one of our media developments to a global supplier. This has become the first and only biotech licensing that Turkey offers to Europe. The product will be marketed to 200 countries under the global supplier’s name, but the IP will still belong to Florabio.

We are currently under negotiations for licensing out our other products.

At the same time, we finalized two cell line development projects which were supplied to the Turkish market serving as the first locally developed cell lines. Florabio is developing cell lines and medias for off the shelf purposes as well as for customer specific requirements.

What are the advantages of operating in Turkey?

High quality/cost effective labor and low cost operational advantages are the most important. Another important advantage is the government’s intensive support for biotech R&D.

Besides all the advantages, we also have some disadvantages including rent and supply chain management of consumables and chemicals. For example, the rent cost at any technopark at one of the three big cities is almost double as much as the rent at the biggest cities of Germany.

The supply chain in Tukey is also a challenge, but if you have enough capital to stock inventory, this challenge can be overcome.

Is Florabio positioning itself to become a global supplier?

We already are an international supplier with our licensing agreement which enabled our products to be used in 200 different countries in the market. In addition to our licensing agreements, we are about to sign distributor agreements with China and Korea. In less than three years time, our plan is to achieve minimum 3% market share which is not ambitious at all due to our platform technologies.

Either by utilizing the available capacities around the world or even investing in our own production facility, Florabio plans to be one of the top media development and supplier companies in the world in a very short time.

How did Florabio raise capital to start the company?

It was challenging to acquire capital due to fact that Turkish investors were lacking knowledge on biotechnology. To date we have invested approximately 3 million Euros from our own pockets.

Unfortunately, three months after the company’s establishment, there was a coup attempt in Turkey, which also stopped Government support activities and deterred investments.

Do you have a final message for our international readership?

Florabio is one of the top life science companies with proprietary technology, know-how and experience in manufacturing therapeutic proteins or antigens in the shortest time and the economic way by building the biopharmaceutical production infrastructure of our clients and training their employees.

On the other hand, Turkey is a dynamic and ambitious country with a proven track record of success stories in the pharmaceutical sector. The level of  experience, know-how and the quality of labor in Turkey are the key factors for such success stories. As the first and only biopharmaceutical R&D startup of Turkey, we decided to invest in Turkey because of all of these reasons.

We invite all biotech companies to Florabio and Turkey to sieze all the advantages both Florabio will provide with our platform technologies and also the Turkish eco system will provide in terms of quality, flexibility and government incentives.

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