Hi John, thank you for taking time to speak to us.
John, you have been CEO of Atlas Antibodies for a little more than a year. Tell us about the year. – In short, a very exciting year! A true experience, I could say. We have amazing products, originating from an extensive research project, The Human Protein Atlas – HPA. In addition, I have committed and highly knowledgeable employees. What else can you ask for, asks John.
Of course, What more could you ask for? And if I want to understand better where you are on the map. Where in the Life Science industry do you think Atlas Antibodies is? – At the front end, says John directly. We provide researchers with the tools to study mechanisms within the human body such as cells, tissues and organs. Our product range today consists of advanced reagents, focusing on so-called antibodies used by researchers with different methods of studying proteins and their interactions. Applications exist in research areas such as oncology (cancer) and neuroscience.The originator of HPA is Professor Mathias Uhlén, who is also the founder of Atlas Antibodies, I must mention that, says John.
And what are the next steps as you see it? – Within validation, we call it Enhanced Validation, I would say. There, the performance of these molecular tools is further confirmed. We have already put a lot of effort into this together with HPA. This is of course important for the performance of our products and we are absolutely on the cutting edge, I would say. We will focus on diagnostic analysis applications – assays – and development of «targeted proteomics», i.e. tools for detection and quantification of substances that can be indicative of various diseases.
If we look a little further, where are you heading? Where are the big advances being made? – I would say providing solutions for researchers who develop diagnostics in what we call Precision Medicine. The implications are not the same drug for all. There is a strong trend to be able to tailor different drugs to different patient groups – more effective and targeted drugs. To do that, you must have robust diagnostic tools, says John. The hope is to provide sufficiently sensitive analyses of markers for diseases to allow tailor-made treatments.There are also other general trends in medicine. Look at the immunotherapy area for example, says John. Most previous therapies were synthetic molecules. Nowadays we go more towards biological entities, such as antibodies and stem cell therapies – reprogramming the body’s own cells. Precision Medicine is the next step in this development.The HPA project continues to map which proteins are functionally important in different key processes. There we see that there is a lot to be gained, for example, understanding of diseases and health. A key question is, what are the factors for human health, so-called wellness. Exciting, says John.
How are you doing, business wise? – The business as such goes well. We grow. Good sales and revenue. We also have strong owners who want to develop the company. This gives us good opportunities to grow the business further.
What advice would you give us Management Consultants? What is important in the future? – You do not need to understand the technology in detail. You need to understand the organization, the staff, and not just the management. You need to understand the direction of the company, and what are the obstacles. Buy-in from operating staff, that is really important. Change management is a partnership between the customer and the consultant, which I consider to be extra important, John concludes.
A last question. What do you have on the bedside table right now? – There are actually two books at the moment, firstly Reinventing Organizations by Fredric Laloux. Then there is 4 3 2 1 by Paul Auster. A real brick that I’m trying to get started on. Seems to have strong potential, says John and laughs.
John, it was interesting and fun to get the opportunity to talk to you – Thank you!