Without Biovation Park - No Metasafe

Johanna Haglund, CEO & Göran Eklund in the lab

– We would never have been able to start our company without Biovation Park, Johanna Haglund says. Previously, she was section head at AstraZeneca and is, since two years, now the CEO of MetaSafe.
MetaSafe works within the area of biotransformation of pharmaceuticals. This requires advanced laboratory equipment both for in-vitro studies as well as human samples.
- As an example, we use high resolution mass spectrometry in our studies. Our main customers are the international pharmaceutical industry, Johanna Haglund explains.

The first established company on-site
When Johanna, together with two colleagues from AstraZeneca in 2012 started MetaSafe they were the first to establish at the Park. Johanna remembered that the entire area was spookily empty by that time.

– We received a suitable temporary space as soon as the Park was opened. By that time it was dark and empty here and we only had a small canteen and a coffee machine. It was a very exciting period! In March 2013 we gained access to the labs and already in April we delivered our first study. To be able to move into Biovation Park was a prerequisite for us to start up our company since we could have access to all necessary equipment. By this we could be operational in a very short while. The basic equipment is part of our ordinary rent and the more specific equipment is leased by a special agreement. By doing this we could spread out the costs over a longer period. Anything else would have been impossible.

Great support of a start-up Incubator

During the build-up phase Johanna and her colleagues followed the incubator program at Uppsala Innovation Centre.

– In our minds all our business strategies were in place. But, we had no idea of how to run a company and this, among other things, was what we learned during the incubator program. In addition we increased our network and gained access to a ”Sounding Board”. Part of Uppsala Innovation Center is now placed at the Park and we have taken a follow-up program, which was almost tailor made for us. Finally, we have received good support of a business coach.

Useful Marketing

- Since MetaSafe moved into the Park much has happened, and more established companies of non-AstraZeneca origin have arrived.

– Today we can knock on the door to other companies and discuss questions of common interest.

Johanna views the cooperation between different companies at the Park as a very important factor for success.

– Many of us work within the life science field but with different specialities and competences. This creates an opportunity for us to collectively deliver an overall product and provide optimised solutions to our customers. To cooperate gives great advantages in marketing Johanna says. We are very visible to customers visiting other companies and we can present our own customers to the other companies here.

No longer desolate

Today there is a hive of activities at Biovation Park and Johanna & her colleagues are no longer alone here. At the campus there is a large canteen and an excellent service company.

– In just a year the Park has been established, and I really thrive here.