Truly Translational takes its drug development services to the next level, creating a seamless integration of pre-clinical and clinical drug development. The company was established in 2011 by former employees of AstraZeneca in Lund. With experience from leading positions and strategic assignments in one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, the founders of Truly Translational offer indispensable guidance in the tangled jungle of drug development.

Lund remains an important center for drug development after AstraZeneca. Medicon Village is home to many forward-striving start-up companies working on anything from drug development to innovative medical devices. In the midst of all this development, Truly Translational offers services that will create and maintain a better understanding of the translational aspects of each project with the patient benefits in mind from the start. This will in turn boost the evolution of higher clinical success rate and more personalized drugs.

A new principle for drug development

The idea behind Truly Translational, including the comprehensive service portfolio for efficient drug development, was born in conjunction with the move of AstraZeneca’s R&D activities from Lund to Mölndal. The founders of Truly Translational, like many other Lund-based researchers, decided to stay in the area and collectively build up a stronghold for medical research and development – Medicon Village. “The challenges that we met while working on AstraZeneca’s projects were very similar to the problems of other drug developers. By using our experience, coupled with the principles of translational science, we were able to create a new model for drug development that was not only cost-efficient but also posed a lower risk throughout the entire chain of development”, says Karin von Wachenfeldt, CEO. These principles are fully incorporated in Truly Translational, today with the company’s own laboratory and in-house resources to perform experiments both in vitro and in vivo. The offer consists of a combination of specialized consultancy and high-tech laboratory services. “One of our main advantages is that while we are working closely with our client and in accordance with their needs, we are also able to contract highly specialized skills via our extensive network of partners and colleagues”, says Charlott Brunmark, CSO.

Pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) with a twist

Truly Translational has successfully expanded the portfolio of company services from the initial focus on consultancy, to also offer hands-on laboratory support. In the lab, high quality PK/PD data is often what is lacking, but Truly Translational can really offer a step-change here for most companies. What to deliver, how to deliver and when to deliver are the key questions that need to be addressed. “What makes us different from other contract researchers is that we are able to help with the design and performance as well as correct interpretation of the studies. We make sure that our clients never lose focus of the end product. Is this going to be a tablet, a cream or an inhalation powder? Whichever is the case – we support all different administration routes. Inhalation for example, is a key component in our expertise, and it is likely that we are the only commercial company in the whole of Scandinavia offering an extensive set of services connected to inhalation research today”, explains Charlott Brunmark.

The importance of biomarkers in translational science

In addition, Truly Translational addresses a major issue in drug development. It is one of the landmines that many pharmaceutical companies, large and small alike, tend to step on; compounds reaching clinical trials, but showing no effect. This is why it so important to incorporate translational science, combining knowledge from PK and PD with biomarkers and thereby a possibility to detect inconsistencies in compounds. “This preferably happens before they reach clinical phase, or at least in Phase I. The smaller your company is the more important this will be, as cost start accumulating rapidly as you enter Phase II studies. This is why strategic project plans, pre-clinical pharmacology and biomarkers together make up the holy trinity of Truly Translational”, says Karin von Wachenfeldt. “You need them all to be successful in this business”.

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