OBN Purchasing Scheme Planned For Life Sciences R&D Companies Reaches Beyond its First Million
News Jul 01, 2009
Oxfordshire Bioscience Network (OBN), the Oxford based not-for-profit biotech trade association has announced that turnover generated through its purchasing scheme now exceeds £1m, already creating savings of £500,000 per year for OBN's Full Member companies. The scheme was the brainchild of OBN when it was decided that smaller companies would need assistance and advice in the current hostile economic climate, the company says.
In just one year, the idea has grown to encompass the purchasing needs of 30 companies, and continues to see month-on-month growth.
The OBN Purchasing Scheme has been adopted by key players in the Oxford Cluster including the US-subsidiary R&D operations (OSI) Prosidion, BioVex and the very well funded HPA-spin out Syntaxin.
A host of other R&D companies have also taken part, however it is not just medium sized enterprises that have benefited from the concept. Smaller companies have also made useful savings, including glycosylated therapeutic developer Glycoform based at Milton Park.
Commenting on the system, David Scales, CEO of Glycoform said: “We predict over the year we will save more than £10,000. Not much in big pharma terms, but for small companies that can mean the difference between survival and closure. There’s no doubt that the OBN purchasing scheme is really important for our business.”
OBN's scheme has national reach, extending out over most of the UK. The companies taking advantage include Vantia (Southampton), Capsant (Southampton), LFI Molecular (Leatherhead) and Exoctye (Reading). The Scheme also covers MedTech and Diagnostics companies such as new Oxford spin-put Orthox and leading tuberculosis test company Oxford Immunotec. The OBN scheme is open to any UK-based R&D company.
"We are pleased to be able to generate substantial savings for our members by helping them to purchase as a group. The key here is that many of our members are well funded and well organized. In joining our scheme they are demonstrating to their current investors and future investors that they are interested in deploying the invested capital in R&D, rather than paying over the odds" said Jon Rees, CEO of OBN.
OBN's scheme already encompasses the many requirements of an R&D company. These include laboratory equipment and supplies, special gases used in research, employee security screening, stationary - growing its service and product offering in line with member's requests made at regular meetings.
“Fisher Scientific is delighted with the results at the end of the first year of the partnership with OBN as the preferred laboratory supplier for OBN purchasing scheme members”, commented Richard Farmer, Sales Manager of ThermoFisher. “The collaboration has been very successful.”
From a pilot group of 5 companies the scheme has flourished in its first year, it now has over 25 members who on average have saved more than 30% off list price for their lab purchases.”
Chris Locke, OBN's Purchasing Manager added "We listen to our Members' needs, which is why we will roll out our Private Healthcare Insurance group scheme across the membership later this year, along with an Equipment Maintenance group scheme. We will make providing healthcare cover for your R&D staff an affordable benefit, in a climate where purely financial incentives may not fit remuneration budgets."
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