Author: Hicham Youssoufi Alaoui, CFA and CEO, CeiROx Life Sciences
18 Dec 2018
Identifying a transformational moment is key when launching a journey of growth and progress. However, the real leadership challenge lies in spotting the pivotal moment that may launch this special journey. The essence of my CeiROx experience has been to recognise the inflection point for initiating and leading our expedition into new horizons.
In my opinion, a transformational journey starts with a sharp understanding of the objectives for any process, whether personal, technological or corporate. In a 21st-century company – especially for those that are technologically orientated – all three of these factors are of paramount importance. Traditionally, life sciences companies have developed an instinct for focusing only on the clinical aspect: while this is of great importance, markers of success are multifaceted, just as risks are manifold.
When businesses take such a narrow approach to development, they face a disconnect between their process, their vision and their final goal. This results in value perdition, and also generates a loss of orientation once they have become stable within the clinical space. Getting out of this comfort zone while still maintaining a sharp focus requires an understanding of the complexities of the system, as well as its defining variables.
As mentioned previously, I believe it is important for businesses to have a firm knowledge of their technological, corporate and personal objectives when beginning a developmental journey. The technological dimension largely focuses on the underlying science, both in its fundamental research and in its applications.
When embarking on a transformational journey, business leaders must first build a sharp understanding of their objectives
At CeiROx, we pride ourselves on combining our own research with the best of European academia within our field. Bringing together 20 years of research and development has allowed us to build a unique technological platform with the aim of creating new medicinal paradigms. This depth in our research strengthens the platform’s potential applications: indeed, the confidence we have in our science only increases with the complexity of the problems we’re trying to solve.
Regenerating synovial joints (such as the knee and the hip) in the human body has always been an extremely challenging task. Initial solutions, including a first-generation injection of cells in liquid suspensions and a second-generation application of cells in membrane gel, have had serious limitations.
On the other hand, CeiROx’s third-generation therapy, which introduced cells in a stable 3D matrix, displayed substantial effects on both the joint regeneration and the treatment’s long-term impact. Our fourth-generation intelligent scaffold technology takes our improvements further, making our solutions ready-to-go, convenient and affordable in comparison to any other potential alternative in the market.
Leveraging the body’s natural endowments to provide sustainable solutions makes our position in the market very unique. In addition, our regenerative medicine premise serves a global population with a higher life expectancy and a more active lifestyle.
Building a business thesis
With regards to corporate objectives, companies have traditionally sought ‘proof of concept’. However, in today’s complex market and environment, it is more important to seek ‘proof of relevance’ instead.
Presenting the relevance of the company’s offering to stakeholders and the wider market is challenging, but addressing this question well and early in the company’s life cycle validates its choices. A successful technological innovation proves itself as such only when it makes business sense to adopt such a solution, rather than to go with any other longer or more costly route.
At CeiROx, we have made proof of relevance an exercise that extends beyond the validation of clinical gains to include economic benefits as well. In Europe, healthcare products are subject to a great deal of controlled pricing, making the real challenge complying with these regulations while remaining competitive.
By successfully identifying the sweet spot within these cost parameters, we have created huge opportunities for new valuation vectors in less-price-controlled markets. This allows us to enjoy more premium opportunities once we export our technology outside of Europe, leading to a higher valuation for our innovative products across the board.
Ensuring that all aspects of the business deliver value and comply with regulations is the cornerstone of de-risking our business thesis. This allows us to prove our relevance as we deliver value to all stakeholders: the patient receives a sustainable solution; reimbursement funds and public healthcare authorities benefit from reduced cost to the system; governments are served with an abler and more active population; and investors are served with good value proposition vectors.
Success at each step
CeiROx Life Sciences’ comprehensive answer to ensuring value and anticipating risk creates new possibilities for growth and progress. This relies on a disciplined approach that ties every aspect of the business together. Furthermore, it involves outlining a vision that makes each facet of operations relevant to the rest.
The discipline that is required relates to the ‘personal’ dimension of a company’s transformational journey: understanding the importance of such an approach is of personal significance to me, as the complexity of the system necessitates an organised effort and passion for the task at hand.
A successful innovation proves itself as such only when it makes business sense to adopt such a solution
As a martial arts practitioner, I appreciate the value of robust synovial joints in the knee, hip, and other areas of the body. The ability and freedom to move in all directions without fear is priceless for anyone, but it becomes more valuable with age. Having a solution that serves all ages is therefore of personal importance to me.
From an intellectual standpoint, I gain self-fulfilment from aligning my business and my investment theory background with the socioeconomic impacts. Democratising access to CeiROx’s technological solutions can be achieved by building sustainable business models and through sound investment fundamentals. These elements feed my passion for making this journey of growth a successful one.
Nevertheless, as all seasoned business executives recall eloquently, success has a time component. It comes in many stages: businesses must find success in conception, launch, capital raising and more. As such, failure is always one step away even if the business has found success in one aspect.
Success is therefore a relative concept, and it requires an evolutionary approach if it is to be sustained. At every stage of the value proposition process, originality can be expressed. Fighting to adapt in an industry that is always evolving forces you not only to be innovative, but also to be transformative.