Founded in 2016, Gothenburg based Cellink has quickly raised the global standard in cell printing, research collaborations, and technologies with their high-tech bioprinting equipment. With rapid development in the sector and unprecedented demand for technology to facilitate research, global growth quickly became a focus and priority for the company.

When Cellink’s team were trying to establish in APAC in 2017, they realised that to accelerate the process, they needed support to develop a partnership strategy and help to make connections with leading actors in Japan and Korea.

This is where the Business Sweden team were able to step in and provide relevant, on the ground expertise to build a partnership strategy that would help them find regional partners in their target markets. Once implemented, the strategy successful identified key partners which led to a fully established distribution network in Japan and Korea.

CONTINUED INNOVATION DRIVES GROWTH

In just five years, the company has gone from being a start-up to global gamechanger at the forefront of biotechnology applications in health care and it continues to be recognised on the world-stage as a leader in 3D bioprinting. The company’s product portfolio continues to grow and in just five years they have added around 10 different instruments and over 60 bio inks to their impressive offering.

While the largest part of Cellink’s research & development as well as production base is in Sweden, they have created around 200 jobs, worldwide with activities in over 65 markets all around the world which is aligned with their global growth strategy.

The company’s products are used in more than 1,800 laboratories and by the world’s top 20 pharmaceutical companies in more than 65 countries. This success has come through both organic and inorganic growth.

Business Sweden’s partnership with Cellink has included several coaching sessions, which led to supporting the Global Sales Manager to create and implement a sales strategy for the lucrative US market.

RAPID UNICORN STATUS AND SUSTAINABLE LEADER

Since 2016 Cellink has expanded from 10 to close to 200 employees and in under four and a half years it has made unicorn status by reaching a valuation over USD 1 billion. Their continued expansion into what is now the BICO Group which today encompasses several medical technology areas and global expansion aiming to lead the way of the bio convergence industry.

Cellink works to support the UNs Sustainable Development goals by promoting the reduction of animal testing by raising awareness about the scientific advantages of 3Dbioprinted biomimetic models versus animal testing. Cellink also applies a sustainable business model where they are refurbishing their technology offer as they advance. through their 4R program (Reduce, Reuse, Repair, Recycle)

This business model and approach to sales and expansion has proved that life science companies can innovate, make an impact to global healthcare research, and be sustainable all while being commercially successful.

Challenge

Cellink recognised the global demand and growth potential for their biotech printing solutions and wanted to identify partners and expand their distributor network in key markets in Japan and Korea, and then to the US.

An overarching challenge was to grow through inorganic channels including M&A with the goal of building a stronger, complimentary product portfolio.

Solution

Identify and access local stakeholders that could deliver on regional distribution requirements and connect with industry actors who would act as door-openers and valued partners. Define a sales strategy that would meet local demand and facilitate short- and long-term growth goals, both in Japan and Korea and then in the US.

Created and implemented an M&A strategy that would enhance the business portfolio and impact in the biotech printing and associated segments.

Result

Shortened time to market in the APAC region with successful a partner engagement strategy which facilitated the creation of a robust distributor network.

Delivering the M&A strategy was a catalyst for growth with the purchases of significant companies that contribute to building a stronger offer within the biotech printing ecosystem.

Created and delivered a sales strategy in the US which contributed to the set-up of a local production hub.

Value impact

Senior will continue with their smooth expansion into the European market. The new facility in Eskilstuna, Sweden, encompasses production but also R&D which gives the company an efficient and solid base from which it can supply customers across the continent with battery materials and technologies.

ABOUT CELLINK

Cellink is headquartered in Gothenburg. With a comprehensive portfolio of world-class 3D bioprinters and bioinks CELLINK’s technology enables the printing of human tissues and organs, which enable faster and more accurate models for drug development, while replacing animal experiments and paving the way to save lives by reducing organ rejection and potentially solve the problem with lack of donors.

As part of BICO Group, Cellink has rapidly increased its portfolio since its start-up journey began in 2016 and achieved unicorn status after four and a half years in operation.

Cellink’s products have revolutionised research and biotech printing by replacing animal experiments and shortening project lead times. They are setting new industry standards for production, innovation, and sustainability and their technology is currently used in over 1,800 laboratories around the world.