What’s next for Gothenburg life science profile, Mikael Kubista?
Mikael Kubista is a well-known life science profile based in West Sweden. He co-founded TATAA Biocenter at Sahlgrenska Science Park and established it as a leading, global clinical research organization (CRO) for high-quality molecular analysis.
After 22 years, Mikael recently left TATAA Biocenter. We caught up him at our office at GoCo Health Innovation City and asked him about his future plans.
Now that you’ve left TATAA, what are your plans moving forward?
Firstly, I will enjoy a long vacation and spending time with my family, children and grandchildren. I continue to serve as a scientific advisor to a number of global biotech companies. And, after my vacation, I’m excited about the prospect of having more time to reconnect with my friends at MultiD, Life Genomics and SimSen Diagnostics, as well as other companies and organizations who might benefit from my experience. I will also increase my academic undertakings at the Institute of Biotechnology at the Czech Academy of Sciences.
After building a strong brand and successful business, your departure from Tataa came as a surprise to many. Why did you leave?
As I wrote recently on LinkedIn, it is sad to leave TATAA Biocenter. Together with academic research colleagues, we founded the company 22 years ago and grew it organically from scratch to be a Sweden Technology Fast 50 company. However, time flies and the world changes. When we accepted investment to move into regulated bioanalyses, we knew we needed to change the way old TATAA was working.
What are you most proud of?
The culture and team spirit that we created at TATAA – with a firm focus on combining excellent science with business. Moreover, our participation in research collaborations and work to support non-profit organizations helped us to forge strong and supportive relations with our customers, academic partners and suppliers. This is reflected by the large number of grants we received during the years for collaborations within expert networks and consortia. I am also proud that we contributed to the Swedish covid-19 testing effort and that we were among the first in Europe to launch a covid test in February 2020.
What’s your perspective on the life science scene in West Sweden?
I am so excited and proud about what is being established here in West Sweden. I am very optimistic about the future. The life science cluster that Sahlgrenska Science Park has catalysed through initiatives such as Health Innovation West is making collaborations bigger, stronger and easier than ever. GoCo is another great example of a fantastic new environment where big pharma, small pharma, biotech, research institutes, university spin-offs, service providers, academia/industry consortia, granting agencies and investors can meet, interact and lay the groundwork for collaborative innovation across borders.
What advice would you give to budding life science/health innovation entrepreneurs?
Firstly, focus on what is unique with your company - outsource everything else. Secondly, identify and articulate at an early stage what your company is offering to the market – then focus on taking it all the way. Don’t get side-tracked by continually inventing new things or developing other aspects of the technology. It’s a race to the market. Your solution may become overtaken by your competitors earlier than you think.
Peter Batesko IV, Founder & CEO at US-based investment company, Care Equity, is now Chairman and beneficial owner at TATAA Biocenter. In a recent press release, the company announced a new leadership team with Mattias Hallin as Chief Executive Officer.
We reached out to Mattias to learn more about what’s next for TATAA Biocenter, including the company’s plans for TATAA’s activities in Gothenburg, but have so far not received a response.