In late June, Dr. Mehdi Yazdi, Director of Quality Control and Analytical Services for Seqens, traveled to India to monitor its on-going collaboration with Daicel Chiral Technologies in Hyderabad, India.
After joining Seqens in 2011, Dr. Yazdi has revamped Seqens’s Analytical department, including improving training, ensuring consistency and building an analytical development team. One of his newer responsibilities is to find and work with a partner who could help Seqens grow its internal commercial pipeline while the company focused on delivering for its external clients.
A portion of his responsibilities has been finding organizations that can help expand Seqens’ Analytical resources. Over the last three years, Dr. Yazdi has been looking to identify labs in India that can meet the standards that matter most to the company: Seqens’ and the FDA.
About three years ago, Dr. Yazdi and his team found the Daicel Chiral Technologies’ lab in Hyderabad, and began to conduct an intense due diligence of their people and facility. Seqens and Daicel have been working closely since then as part of an intense collaboration.
According to Seqens president, Ed Price, there was a multistep process to qualifying potential partners, ranging from using similar equipment to having a similar business model – for example, Seqens wasn’t interested in testing labs but in labs that could do method development – to having cGMP and FDA experience showing a willingness to learn and commit to meet Seqens’ standards and approach..
After identifying potential partners, “We started with Daicel Chiral on some generic analytical needs,” said Dr. Yazdi. “We worked closely on method development and validation to confirm the project would meet ICH and FDA guidelines. We found that Daicel was willing to listen and work under our approach. Over time, we developed a strong relationship. We recognize that we need to protect Seqens’s client’s work and the company’s reputation. The Daicel team now knows how to work the Seqens way.”
“We work closely with Daicel because we need to keep our internal commercial pipeline full – but you can’t compromise when it comes to analytics,” Price said.
In June, Dr. Yazdi flew to Hyderabad for one of his regular meetings with his project team because “while you can get a lot done by email, there are enough things that are better handled in person. I fly often and regularly to Daicel’s lab in order to properly manage and oversee our various projects together.”
Dr. Yazdi often travels with other Seqens team members as well. “For example, on this last trip, there was a representative from Seqens’ regulatory team since we all need to work together to coordinate and ensure that everything ties together and is ready and able to meet all relevant guidelines.”
When Dr. Yazdi arrived in June, he saw brand new R&D facilities, with state-of-the-art instrumentation and additional hires. When it was time to cut the ribbon as part of the dedication ceremony, Dr. Yazdi was surprised when his counterpart, Lakshmi Narayana, Ph.D., Managing Director at Daicel Chiral Technologies India turned to him and gave him the ceremonial scissors.
“Lakshmi insisted I do the honors as a sign of respect to the relationship we have developed between Seqens and Daicel,” Dr. Yazdi said. “We continue to work with Daicel because they understand the needs of their partners and they know how to work within cGMP. They also fully understand FDA guidelines and ICH standards. They are committed to working closely with us and for our mutual long term success.”