LDC Top 50 2022
Andrew Cowen has had an unconventional career. A qualified chartered surveyor and former managing director of Southampton FC, he went on to become group chairman of Winchester-based Biopharma Group in 2009. “Biopharma Group has huge potential, and now we’re delivering on that,” he says. His goal was to create a diversified life sciences service business.
Today, the company specialises in the freeze-drying stages of diagnostic and vaccine production, and it has grown rapidly thanks to the growing trend in biological therapeutics. “We’re one of the top three freeze-drying R&D specialists in the world. My ambition is to take the number one spot.”
We’re one of the top three freeze-drying R&D specialists in the world. My ambition is to take the number one spot.”
Why did you invest in Biopharma Group?
It was my goal to create a diversified life sciences service business. Biopharma Group isn’t involved in drug discovery and it doesn’t make any proprietary products. Our in-house lab and scientists work on analysis, R&D and manufacturing services for the freeze-drying stages of diagnostic and vaccine production. We’re effectively the ‘drains’ of the pharmaceutical industry. We’re a critical pathway.
What does it take to be a good business leader?
Every business needs three things: a finder, a minder and a grinder. I consider myself to be a finder. I set the strategy, and then the minder (usually the finance director) and the grinder (the managing director) are there to execute that strategy. As a business leader, you have to keep your vision ahead of where you’re at.
What’s the ambition for Biopharma Group?
We’re one of the top three freeze-drying R&D specialists in the world. My goal is to take the number one spot. I also want to apply that knowledge and experience in different environments for drug delivery – such as liquid and topical products – and to continue to build a solid production business.
I’m not a scientist, but I know how to bring in the right technical expertise to deliver our ambitions.