In 2015, Single Use Support GmbH founders, Johannes Kirchmair and Thomas Wurm, decided to combine their experiences gained in international technology sales and their specific knowledge concerning single use technology in the biopharma supplier industry with the aim to find solutions for certain pain points that Johannes had encountered during his 15 years in the single use segment of the biopharma industry.
„It was no longer tolerable for me that some of the biggest pharmaceutical players on the globe could not solve obvious problems by their own efforts,” says Johannes Kirchmair. „This developed into an ever-growing challenge to find solutions ourselves.“
„What a start of the year this was!”Thomas Wurm / Owner & Founder
Single Use Assembly Center inaugurated
Within shortest time SUSupport has enlarged its expertise and has started to build facilities in Kufstein to manufacture its own sterile consumables. Single Use Manifolds are maintaining fluid transfer during filling and can now be assembled upon request. The Assembly Center is inaugurated and will take the last hurdles of qualification for serial production.
SUSupport is not tired of launching new innovations. During Q1, Single Use Support has presented new products. RoSS.FILL benefits from its modular setup and deployed flexibility through RoSS.FILL Lab scale for very small volumes and RoSS.FILL Base for commercial use up to hundreds of liters of bulk. Automation optimization in Biopharma is also the thread that has boosted the freeze & thaw unit RoSS.pFTU large scale with an auto load kit – relieving staff from manual handling of heavy loads. And there will be a lot more to come for 2021.
Defying the pandemic and its continuing restrictions Single Use Support keeps growing. Promising orders from different CMOs and Manufacturers around the world make us steadily look for talents to also grow as a company. Counting 70 employees to date we still aim for more.
From start-up company to global industrial solution provider
The world is watching for a remedy against COVID-19 and observe the first approvals of vaccinations faithfully. Single Use Support is proud to accompany various COVID-19 manufacturers while kicking off their vaccine production in multiple manufacturing plants globally. These collaborations in such challenging times has made us rise from a local start-up company to an international player in the biopharmaceutical industry that has revolutionized process solutions in bioprocessing.
Danaher becomes the new minority investor and strategic partner of Single Use Support. Together with Danaher Corp., and its portfolio companies PALL and Cytiva, Single Use Support contributes to make holistic solutions in bioprocess from upstream to fill & finish from one provider available. With the new minority investor, SUSupport upholds full autonomy and (single use bag) independence while benefiting from a globally connected partner.
We are very proud to be the winner of the GEWINN Young Entrepreneur Awards 2020. Among up to 1,000 participating companies and 100 nominees in Austria, it is with great honor to be voted 1st in this prestigious award. Above all, Single Use Support has also been awarded the HERMES Award in the category “International” and the “EY Entrepreneur of the Year” in the category “Start-Ups”.
We are now counting 60 employees which means that the staff size has tripled within one year. This incredible growth in esteemed colleagues has also led to expansions in facilities in our headquarters in Kufstein. 2020 was a breakthrough year – also economically. Single Use Support has achieved a turnover of more than 45 million Euro. This number resembled utopia 12 months ago, when we could report less than 3 million Euro.
The sky is the limit
Single Use Support is growing more than ever, both in turnover and employees: to date, we are counting 55 employees and aim at an annual turnover of 40 million EUR. Compared to 2019, this is a growth rate of approx. 1300%.
We accompany several vaccine manufacturers that prepare for production of potential vaccines against COVID-19. Even though the vaccines are not approved by FDA/EMA yet, the production has already started. Since end of September, one of the frontrunning COVID-19 vaccines has been frozen by Single Use Support’s large scale freeze/thaw platform.
The thriving business is accompanied with several hardware deliveries, naming RoSS.FILL, RoSS.pFTU Large scale and Lab scale, within shortest lead time. Additionally to our serial production, we also delivered our first optional solutions for bottles: RoSS.FILL with bottle filling rack and RoSS.pFTU Lab scale FLEX for filling and freezing bottles/rigid containers based on our standard technologies. Our technologies have been shipped in Q3 globally: USA, Canada, India, Spain, UK, Switzerland and Germany.
More than 30,000 RoSS shells and more than 15,000 RoSS.KSET has been produced in 2020 – still counting. Our consumables are very well received by our trusted partners. Single Use Support will work on self-made manifolds to be able to provide the full equipment for filling and draining drug substance into single use bags from one hand.
Our whole portfolio can now be chosen in very short paths with the help of our brandnew configurator.
On the rise
„In Q2, we have broken new paths in many ways!”Thomas Wurm / Owner & Founder
- Accompanying the research & development of a COVID-19 vaccine: The technologies of Single Use Support have been applied for the management of potential vaccines against Covid-19. Our freeze and thaw platforms in different scales have been ordered and are already in use for clinical studies.
- Entering India: One of the biggest companies in the emerging Indian biopharma market has ordered the whole BULK.STREAM for their therapies.
- Kicking off serial production: Our scalable plate-based freeze and thaw platforms have shown great demand. We have gone into serial production and conducted FATs and SATs non-stop. Not even travel restrictions due to Covid-19 has stopped us to commission the platforms around the world – we have performed SAT partly virtually.
- Introducing the SEED.STREAM: As additional field of application, single-use technologies help to take a shortcut in Biopharma upstream manufacturing process and boosts the next generation of seed train intensification. Discover the new SEED.STREAM.
- Adjusting revenue target: the delightful sales development has led to an increase of 2020 revenue target. Johannes Kirchmair and Thomas Wurm have adjusted upwards to 15 million EUR.
- Growing the team: in June 2020 we have reached the mark of 35 employees. However, we want to grow further.
We grow regardless of potential pitfalls
At the beginning of 2020, the team in Kufstein will be expanded with many new employees. The team now includes 30 employees, who continue to raise their ambitious goals and process our customers’ current orders. This expansion of staff inevitably led to an expansion of our production hall and office space in February 2020.
The rampant virus COVID-19, including the curfews imposed in March and April, does not prevent Single Use Support from producing and completing large-scale freezers and RoSS.FILL filling platforms. After all, in the development of vaccines against COVID-19, the biopharma industry trusts the technologies RoSS and RoSS.KSET in clinical studies. In addition, freezing and filling platforms were already delivered to customers in Q1.
Thus, more than ever, we can continue to pursue our vision with full force in these times, using our technologies to increase quality standards and thus patient safety and quality of life.
In Q4 2019, Singe Use Support has established two entire liquid STREAM processes that we are able to supply to customers. Technologically leading. Safe for patients.
Due to a growing number of co-operations with partners from the biopharma industry as well as organizations like the FDA we are expecting a multi-dimensional need for our technologies. This will further drive our growth!
For further growth in the Asian region, we were able to get ambassadors from India and China on board – followed a little later by an ambassador from Japan – who now support us as a partner in business development in Asia.
We have come a step closer to a “considerably improved international standard for the biopharma liquid logistics process”.
In Q3 2019 we push our manufacturing output for BULK.STREAM to the next level, while at the same time massively driving our growth with the CGT.STREAM. More space again: We will expand significantly in terms of production facilities and office space.
In Q2 2019 we introduce another liquid STREAM, which is being developed.
Our biggest leap since we started:
Innovation requires fresh ideas and the right people with a will to implement those ideas. Organic growth on a high level requires a market like the biopharma market, which is growing at a steady rate and has a requirement for improved standards. It is a development that we believe in and so we are planning to take the biggest leap yet with our young company in 2019!
Q1 2019 witnesses the launch of the CGT.STREAM and the first shipment to partners from the biopharma industry.
Q4 2018 saw us being awarded with the Tyrolean Innovation Prize. We were also voted second best young entrepreneurs in western Austria, and at the same time we received the biggest order to date from the US. Johannes was invited to introduce the MITS.2D to a panel of 60 international experts at the FDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. – what an accolade!
„While we are growing with our BULK.STREAM and getting our first products for a secure CAR-T logistics process ready for the market, yet another new opportunity is presenting itself. We have received an invitation to establish a new business sector together with a biopharmaceutical player…“Johannes Kirchmair / Owner & Founder
Like a movie.
What started with a vision in a garage in 2016 and was developed and made ready for the market in 2017, was gaining ever more traction in 2018. Furthermore, we have been witnessing growing demand regarding CAR-T logistics solutions since mid-2018. The term ‘patient safety’ is given a new meaning.
Single Use Support GmbH nowadays is a:
- 2,5-year-old organization
- fast-growing company (organically)
- technology leader already
- well-recognized company on the biotech world
In Q3 2018, Single Use Support GmbH grew to ten employees.
Furthermore, we received the biggest order to date from yet another biopharmaceutical player.
The Q1 2018 started with an extensive funding program, which allowed us to invest in further research and development.
At the same time we received a major order from another player in the biopharma industry – this time for our RoSS shell system.
Next Step – We need more Space!
Q4 2017 saw us move into our new 800 m2 residence with our first four employees. It comprised an office, an R&D area and sufficient production floor space. We managed to book the first serious major order from a pharmaceutical company and got to work in our new premises.
„We conceived and developed the BULK.STREAM. This process gives biopharmaceutical companies access to a new and almost 100% secure liquid logistics process on the basis of an industry standard, the single use bag.“Thomas Wurm / Owner & Founder
Year two. What a year.
From the garage to serious company-building.
What started as a vision was – only one year later – perceived as a technological leader in the biopharma industry.
Fifth instance – the biopharma industry.
Problem to solve:
SUSupport = Super-small startup. Biopharma = Giants. Is there a chance to get together?
Q3 2017 saw a first serious turnover generated with our testing system MITS.2D.
At the same time it became obvious that the first pharmaceutical industry partners recognized the advantages of RoSS. And we can fully agree with the following: It costs a tremendous amount of energy to replace an established process or technology, even if the new technology is superior.
If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses. Henry Ford.
„A dream is coming true for the medical industry. While we are still busy convincing pharmaceutical giants of our BULK.STREAM and its unbelievable advantages, the EU follows the US in approving the first CAR-T cell therapies. With BULK.STREAM we have not even processed the tip of the iceberg in terms of possible options, and are yet being commissioned to scale down our technology in order to supply the medical industry with a secure logistical basis for this imminent mega-trend.“Thomas Wurm / Owner & Founder
Second instance – single use bag handling & transport.
Problem to solve:
Protection, handling, storage, freeze & thaw suitability, transport
In Q2 2017 RoSS was ready to launch. RoSS is a superior shell system for single use bags of all standard sizes and manufacturers. RoSS is the acronym for Robust Storage and Shipping System. Usability, materials and its modular design found immediate positive response in the industry. However, RoSS is not only a shell; it offers rack compatibility, which was the basis for our vision of the entire process. RoSS shell systems can be stored at a larger number in the RoSS.Ship stainless steel rack container with its active and passive freezing options and GPS tracking functionality.
Solved & New Standard established!
“We founded Single Use Support GmbH because we realized that there is a technological gap in biotech industry. We did not expect that we will grow that fast, but now we see that the industry is hungry for our solutions. Our goal is to form a trusted global player. Customers and regulators confirm that we are on the right way.”Thomas Wurm / Owner & Founder
Third instance – filling and draining of the single use bag.
Problem to solve:
Duration & sterility, single use and reuse technology touch points
Also in Q2 2017, we introduced a new standard for the simultaneous filling of 20 RoSS units and more with the RoSS.FILL. Apart from ease of handling and the time-saving factor it constitutes a homogenous closed process that equally systemizes filling and draining. In order to keep the process quality at a consistently high level, RoSS.FILL provides statistical data and evidence for each process.
Solved & New Standard established!
Fourth instance – substance freeze & thaw.
Problem to solve:
Q2 2017 also saw the launch of our freeze-thaw platform, which by now is available in different sizes and performance categories. Our system enables systemic freezing and thawing. In order to keep the process quality at a consistently high level, the Freeze & Thaw Platform provides statistical data and evidence for each process.
Solved & New Standard established!
“Clients told us that they have issues in this process step. (testing, filling, freezing, storage, shipping, thawing and emptying of single use bags with drug substance) We came up with technical solutions. We played ping-pong with some customers to fine tune the ideas, and finally they bought into it.”Johannes Kirchmair / Owner & Founder
First instance – the single use bag.
Problem to solve:
Integrity – material deficiencies / bio contamination / loss of drug substance
In Q1 2017 we started with the development of MITS, a mobile testing system for single use bags of all standard sizes (up to 50 L) and manufacturers, working on the basis of helium. MITS.2D is mobile, fast and much more precise in its measurement than anything available on the market thus far.
The decision to launch Single Use Support was made and our vision elaborated. We transformed a garage into an office where we researched, developed and manufactured our first prototypes.