Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the exciting ingredients in Captario’s design and decision support for drug development. Knowledge, of course, is another. The breakthrough for the growth company came quickly, although after hard work, as the pharmaceutical industry is traditionally conservative and somewhat slow. The successes are continuing with help from financing expertise and business advice from Sahlgrenska Science Park.
“We help people to remember what they don’t know” was the message in their first, intriguing pitch. Johannes Vänngård, Mikael Palmblad and another 2 people started the company in 2012: They moved to Sahlgrenska Science Park where they entered the incubator in 2013 and immediately knew they were in the right place. “There is a strong community feeling here and we want to continue to grow within Sahlgrenska Science Park,” said Mikael Palmblad, Product Manager in an interview in 2014.
After their breakthrough in 2017, when the pioneering development of Captario SUM led to a 5-year contract with one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, a path was paved towards other world-class companies. “The big pharmaceutical companies keep an eye on each other. Nobody wants to be first, but once one of them has embraced something new, the interest from the others increases significantly. That’s why it meant so much when Novartis showed so much interest,” says Johannes Vänngård, CEO.
In 2018, a growth phase will start with new exciting steps in product development and plans for a branch office in the United States. To make this possible, Captario is in its largest capitalization round so far. Sahlgrenska Science Park is assisting the company throughout the entire process. “The support Captario has received from Sahlgrenska Science Park in all stages of the capital acquisition has been absolutely top class. We learnt so much! “says Johannes Vänngård.
Increasing the value and limiting the risk in drug projects is made possible by taking an iterative approach. The tool uses the enormous computational power of the cloud to simulate in principle all possible outcomes of a project. During the development of a new drug, various decisions are required that can ultimately make a difference in the 10,000 million kronor range. The analysis via Captario SUM often means huge cost savings. In some cases, the insights provided could be the difference that leads to a drug reaching needy patients. It is of course extremely motivating for the team in the company.
“We have completed Sahlgrenska Science Park’s internationalization program and it was a really good eye opener. Being in this environment has led to new contacts and business, both within the EU and in the USA,” says Johannes Vänngård. Captario has also contributed to an increased interest in artificial intelligence as one of the exciting companies included in the first AI survey in West Sweden.
Text: Annika Åkervall