By Chris Larson – Reporter, Louisville Business First
PharmaCord LLC has more than quintupled its workforce in the past year — growing from about 30 employees in June 2018 to 160 this month. And the meteoric growth is expected to continue, according to CEO and founder Nitin Sahney.
Sahney said in a recent interview that the Louisville-based startup pharmaceutical support company could grow to as many as 900 employees in the next three years.
PharmaCord provides services connecting pharmaceutical companies that offer specialty drugs unavailable through retailers to patients. Specifically, PharmaCord’s services handle the connection between their clients’ drug manufacturers, prescribing doctors, health plans and patients.
Rapid growth has driven the company to look to Jeffersonville for more space to operate. In June, One Southern Indiana, the economic development organization and chamber of commerce for Clark and Floyd
counties, announced PharmaCord would invest about $56.5 million into a new operation that creates 850 jobs.
Where it’s going
PharmaCord will lease the top two floors of The Gallery Building, an office building that is owned by Jeffersonville, Ind.-based commercial real estate developer America Place in River Ridge. The company also will build a $40 million facility at 850 Trey St. in River Ridge that will serve as an operations and call center, offering support services to patients and physicians on behalf of pharmaceutical clients.
Jim Karp, the owner of America Place, is a minority partner in PharmaCord, and the company will eventually own the new building as PharmaCord, Sahney said.
He said PharmaCord looked for space in Louisville but didn’t find anything appealing for its needs.
“[But] the real reason is we want to be our own landlords,” Sahney said of expanding into Jeffersonville. “As we grow, we want to dictate our own future because it’s so hard to sign leases that can only be for so many employees. We’ll run out of space.”
The company is headquartered on three floors of Kaden Tower at 6100 Dutchmans Lane in Louisville. PharmaCord has about 110 employees there and about 50 employees in a pharmacy at 11001 Bluegrass Parkway.
The need for space is immediate. The company recently signed on new business and will have about 30 new employees start in August. Any new employees will be based in Jeffersonville.
By the end of the year, PharmaCord should have at least 200 employees, Sahney said.
The money behind it
Sahney declined to disclose the company’s revenue figures. But Chief Financial Officer Patrick Lee, who also participated in the interview, said it grew by about 500 percent in the 12 months that ended June 30, 2019.
When pressed, Sahney added that the company has revenue in the double- digit millions. It turned a profit in May, 26 months after its founding in February 2017, which was the fastest that one of his companies has become profitable.
Part of the secrecy on not wanting to discuss revenue figures is a desire to fly under the radar of investors, Sahney said.Sahney and Karp are the company’s only owners.
So far, the company has grown at Sahney’s personal expense. This was intentional, Sahney said.
“Companies fail for two reasons. One, they overestimate the market. And secondly, they don’t raise enough [capital] and the right kind of capital,” Sahney said. This has made PharmaCord a very attractive partner to pharma companies and to employees. PharmaCord’s middle management is the strongest he’s ever seen in his 28-year career.
Pharma companies are looking for partners that won’t be disrupted by business moves, such as mergers and acquisitions, Sahney said. Having a two-person ownership team that is in growth mode has helped the company win several contracts from its competitors.
Lee estimated that the company has won about 50 percent of the bids it has participated in. Sahney also estimates that about 70 percent of the company’s business has been wooed away from PharmaCord’s competitors.
Market forces at work
The growth is, in part, due to PharmaCord reacting to two major market forces: A strong national pipeline of new and established companies developing specialty pharmaceuticals that have not yet been cleared for marketing by the Food and Drug Administration; and companies relaunching drugs that have been approved to treat new conditions.
Looking ahead, Sahney said the company doesn’t need to do acquisitions or take on more investment to continue its growth.
But, speaking hypothetically, he said that PharmaCord could contemplate acquisitions of firms that have clinical or technological expertise that would take a few years to build on its own. The company has already built its own technology platform and has continued to improve it and adapt it to serve new clients.
“I’m personally excited because [the company] is built well and the culture is the best I’ve had,” Sahney said. “When you build a company from scratch, and you don’t have a clock ticking in your head about monetizing it, you do things very differently.”
By Chris Larson – Reporter, Louisville Business First
View the full article on Louisville Business First here.
PharmaCord is the connector between manufacturers, patients, physicians, and payors. The company provides customized patient solutions which span four core service categories; access services, patient support, pharmacy services and manufacturer services. These integrated services are designed to increase accessibility, clinical oversight and market acceptance of prescription therapy. Independently owned and organically built, PharmaCord is free from any competing priorities, enabling it to design and implement patient access and support programs that align with the objectives of its biopharmaceutical clients. PharmaCord’s experienced team coupled with its proprietary CORscendÔ technology platform optimizes workflow to deliver improved program execution, more rapid therapy initiation and increased patient engagement. To learn more about how PharmaCord improves commercial outcomes for manufacturers by providing the right connections, visit pharmacord.com.
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