For Dr. Li, Founder and CEO of Frontage Holdings Corp. the basic rules of care, passion and persistence is what makes a good leader. “The caring glues people together and creates happy and healthy working environment and keep your customers stay with you,” says Dr. Li. “You must have passion while doing your job, because success is dependent upon determination, hard work and persistence.”
Our scientific knowledge base, technical expertise and reputation for high quality services have been integral to our ability to enter into strong long-term strategic relationships and partnerships with our key customers
These qualities have worked wonders for Dr. Li. During the initial days of establishing Frontage, lack of financial support was a major challenge, and was founded with investments from 6 friends of Dr. Li. The road ahead was difficult, but Dr. Li’s determination kept him moving ahead from growing the company to buying equipment, by mortgaging his home for loans. But, once the company gained momentum, Dr. Li convinced shareholders to invest towards expanding the business, and today there is more than $70mm invested towards the development of the company. “We are a value-added partner with a focus on solving our customers’ most significant and complex drug discovery and development challenges,” he says. “Our scientific knowledge base, technical expertise and reputation for high quality services have been integral to our ability to enter into strong longterm strategic relationships and partnerships with our key customers.”
A Full-service CRO
Frontage provides the clients – expanding across various industries such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and agrochemical companies, government agencies, and academic institutions – with the valuable information they need to make the critical decisions in their research and development endeavors. They have operations in the United States, Canada and China, which enables them to be a partner of choice for companies with multinational requirements. Frontage offers laboratory services supporting drug discovery and development in Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics, Safety and Toxicology, Bioanalytical Services, and Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls. “We also offer agrochemical services, early stage clinical services and biometrics services,” adds Dr. Li. “Our highly experienced management team has a strong track record of effectively integrating acquired companies, which further enhances our ability to deliver outstanding results to our customers.”
In an instance, a sponsor spent over a year and a half working with a large CRO on development of bioanalytical assays needed to support Antibody Drug Conjugate (ADC) drug development. However, they were unsuccessful in developing the assays in the required project timeline. The challenging aspect of the program was the limited total sample volume (< 100 μl) for the multiple assays needed (3 PK and 1 ADA ). Frontage was brought in to help rescue the situation. Based on experience and expertise; the Frontage scientific team overcame the technical issues that the other CRO could not solve
Specifically, Frontage consolidated multiple 1-in-1 methods into 2-in-1 methods. This innovative approach addressed the key constraint of minimal sample volume. Frontage developed and fully validated all the assays within 6 months of contracting the project.
• 2-in-1 multiplexed LC-MS/MS assay for quantitation of both total antibody and conjugated payload using only 10 μL sample volume.
• 2-in-1 multiplexed LC-MS/MS assay for the quantification of both free drug and metabolite using only 10 μL sample volume.
• Ligand binding ADA assay using 10 μL of sample volume. Using the validated methods, over 700 samples were analyzed in 1 month. In total, the 3 assays utilized ~30 μL of sample.
Towards the Future
Dr. Li has his eyes set towards the future, and is planning to grow the company both organically and through merge and acquisitions. They have already rented a 73,000-sf new space at 750 Pennsylvania Drive in Exton, which will be used to set up new CMC and bioanalytical labs. The company is also set to expand their CMC, bioanalytical, and DMPK labs in Exton, and build up the CDMO facilities and DMPK/preclinical services in China. In addition to such organic expansion, they are also actively working on certain potential acquisitions which are targeted to close within 2020 if they materialize. Operation-wise, Dr. Li is strengthening the company’s management team, optimizing their operation processes to improve efficiency, and strengthen business development and client services to establish strategic partnerships. “We will deliver on our commitments to our shareholders who invest in us, to our clients who trust us for their drug development programs, and to our employees and our families who depend on us for their livelihoods,” adds Dr. Li.
Dr. Song Li, Founder and CEO of Frontage Holdings Corp.
We are a CRO providing integrated, science-driven, product development services throughout the drug discovery and development process to enable life science companies.