The Swedish Life Science project development company PULS was founded in 2002. Since then, nine expansive project companies have been established, two already sold with profit. What distinguishes PULS from other investors in Life Science? CEO Pontus Ottosson underlines the way that PULS operates, actively managing their investment projects all the way from start-up to exit.
The investment focus of PULS is primarily concentrated to pharmaceuticals, but there is also a keen interest in both medical devices and diagnostics. All projects managed by PULS are based on a well-defined medical need. The project company Laccure AB is a perfect example illustrating this.
Two successful examples For Laccure, it all started with a Gothenburg-based gynecologist expressing a great need for an effective treatment for bacterial vaginosis. PULS expanded upon the idea and started the development process of such a treatment. The result is a CE-certified treatment and the project company Laccure is thus ready to be sold on. DuoCort is another example of a project company born out of an identified medical need, in this case concerning patients with adrenal insufficiency. “The DuoCort pharmaceutical drug was the first innovation in this area in over 50 years. It was sold to an American pharmaceutical company, closing a deal valued at over one billion SEK”, Pontus Ottosson reveals. There are a number of other criteria that must be met in order for PULS to invest in projects, including a strong Intellectual Property platform and a clear project plan that considers both time and costs, and the project exit should be planned from the beginning. PULS takes care of the entire development process, from start-up to exit. “We like to say that with us, innovators remain innovators. Our job is to make sure that the innovators’ ideas are commercialised, and become reality”.
Patient needs come first PULS is primarily looking for projects that are based on an identified medical need with great commercial potential. “We are currently developing a number of projects in for example oncology, women’s health, allergy and asthma. There is no requirement that the innovator must come up with a completely new molecule. It can be equally useful for the patient to have access to an existing product that has a new use or becomes available in a new form. The real needs of the patients determine which projects we choose to invest in; it is as simple as that”.
A different approach that works PULS is highly different from other investors in the Life Sciences. This becomes evident in the way PULS operates projects in-house and thus have full transparency both from a scientific as from a financial perspective. In this way, there will hopefully be no surprises for either PULS or the innovators. “Our business model is a virtual organisation with a clear focus on developing projects with planned exits. With two sold projects, one being in the billion SEK category, and two projects in the exit phase, we have proven that our business model works”, Pontus Ottosson concludes.