March 21, 2014
By: Val Prevish
BLUE ASH – Timothy Schroeder is looking a decade down the road, when medical miracles will allow damaged body tissues and organs to repair themselves without the need for transplants.
Schroeder expects his company, CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services, to be leading the way. The Blue Ash company already is a national player in transplant therapies, having been a part of nearly every drug approved to treat transplant rejection in the past 15 years, Schroeder says.
“Ten years down the road, you’ll have regenerative medicine therapies in addition to routine medical and surgical approaches,” says Schroeder, CTI’s founder and chief executive. “Major advances are being made every day in diseases that are currently untreatable.”
Since its founding in 1999, CTI has become a top U.S. firm in the competitive field of medical clinical trials. Closer to home, the company last week was named Blue Ash Corporation of the Year by the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber.
Schroeder, a former University of Cincinnati faculty member in pathology and laboratory medicine, founded the company with business partner Lynn Fallon, a former transplant nurse who’s now CTI president. Today their company has more than 500 employees spread throughout three offices in the United States and 10 in Europe.
The company doubled revenues in the past two years and has averaged 20 percent revenue growth each year since its start, Schroeder says. He didn’t disclose figures.
CTI specializes in complex, lifesaving therapies that each can cost as much as 10 years of research and hundreds of millions of dollars.
The company works with about 70 large and midsize pharmaceutical companies and 175 medical centers testing new medicines meant to cure a wide range of maladies and disease.
At least two or three new drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration every year are branded, in part, by CTI’s work.
Roy First, vice president and therapeutic area head of transplantation for Astellas Pharma Global Development in Northbrook, Ill., says Schroeder and CTI have developed a solid reputation in their specialty niches, especially transplant medicine.
“CTI is the preferred provider in transplant studies,” he says. “There’s a lot of competition for these studies. The bottom line is the speed at which the trial is completed.
“When they take something on, they work with an intensity to get the process complete. They have been very effective.”
New research in regenerative medicine – a treatment that uses human stem cells to heal damaged or diseased tissue – could push the company toward even stronger growth in the future, Schroeder predicts.
Trials in regenerative therapies now make up slightly less than 20 percent of the roughly 200 projects CTI handles each year, Schroeder says, adding that percentage will increase.
Morrie Ruffin, managing director of the Alliance for Regenerative Medicine, says CTI will be among companies enjoying a strong source of new business as stem cell research grows.
“There are currently nearly 700 companies worldwide and more than 1,000 clinical trials underway,” Ruffin says of stem cell therapy research.
“With more and more regenerative medicine companies entering the clinic, companies like CTI are becoming crucial players as development of these products is more complicated than many other therapeutics.”
Cincinnati area institutions, such as the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, are often part of CTI projects.
Schroeder says the high quality of local health care has been a factor in the growth and development of CTI and other such companies in the region.
“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that three of the most successful CROs (contract research organizations) are here in this region,” he says, referring to his own company as well as Kendle International and Medpace, two other well-known medical research companies started locally. “A lot of people don’t realize how deep the talent pockets are here.”
JobsOhio lists biotech research as one of the state’s top fields. Ohio ranks No. 1 in the Midwest and No. 7 nationally in clinical trial activity, according to JobsOhio.
Education and health services is one of the fastest-growing segments of the Cincinnati economy since the recession, adding about 7 percent of the new jobs in the region, according to the Federal Reserve Bank.
Schroeder says Cincinnati is ideally situated for his company to grow.
“The values, the ethics and the stability of this region lend itself well to a service company such as ours,” he says.
“We are really committed to this area. If anything, we see consolidating more jobs in Cincinnati.” ■