Ravi Samavedam, Chief Innovation Officer at Azzur Group, discusses his transition from big pharma to assisting startups with GMP manufacturing and the importance of flexible, modular facilities for innovative therapies. He highlights the need for better collaboration between the life sciences and real estate sectors, emphasizing the role of education and innovative models like clean rooms on demand to expedite therapy development.
Helping startups scale up to GMP manufacturing
Ravi, before we dive into our questions, could you briefly introduce yourself?
Certainly. I'm Ravi Samavedam, Chief Innovation Officer at Azzur Group. I've been in the industry for about 24 years, mainly with big pharmaceutical companies like Amgen, Baxter, and Shire. At Azzur, I now focus on helping startups navigate the complexities of GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) and find the right partners for manufacturing. I'm also a co-founder of Azzur Clean Rooms on Demand (one of Azzur's five services) which addresses the growing need for manufacturing space and expertise.
Your work with startups must be quite a departure from your big pharma background.
Absolutely. Startups often struggle with the transition to GMP manufacturing, facing new regulations and quality demands. Traditionally, they had two options: build expensive facilities or outsource to contract manufacturers. Both had their challenges, including time and expertise gaps. In 2017, we recognised this problem and started offering fully equipped clean rooms and GMP services to startups, reducing the time it takes to get their therapies to clinical trials.