MaxCyte Puts A Focus On: Andy Lamb, Senior Director, Global Strategic Partnerships
MaxCyte Puts A Focus On: Andy Lamb, Senior Director, Global Strategic Partnerships
Mr. Lamb has more than 20 years of experience in commercial sales for companies within the healthcare and biotechnology industries. During this time, he has held positions of increasing responsibility, most recently as Senior Sales Manager at MaxCyte. Previously, he worked in the HyClone Division at Thermo Fisher Scientific, which was acquired by GE Healthcare, as well as at SAFC, JCS Inc., Sigma-Aldrich, and PerkinElmer Life and Analytical Sciences. Mr. Lamb earned a Bachelor of Science with a major in biology and minor in business administration from Stonehill College in Easton Massachusetts.
Who/What attracted you to work in the life sciences/biotech industry?
I’ve always had a deep love for science and figuring out ways to make people feel better and knew that I wanted to work in this field. While taking pre-med courses like organic chemistry during college, I realized that I’m not someone who can spend long hours in a lab, nor did I want to do an additional six years of school, so I added a business administration minor to my biology major and pursued a different career path.
What drew you to work at MaxCyte?
In a couple of my previous roles, I focused on selling serum, media, buffers, and single-use bags, bioreactors, mixers and totes. What I loved most about it was how close our work was to patients. At MaxCyte, we are literally one step removed from dosing patients; being able to have such an impact on the lives of patients and their families is why I get out of bed every day and come to work. The treatments being developed on the MaxCyte system are helping to extend the lives of patients, and potentially cure them altogether, giving them more time to spend with their families. I am proud to work here because MaxCyte does it right – putting patients first. They always have and always will because of our strong leadership and dedicated team members.
What do you enjoy most about working here? About your team?
Everyone on the team is willing to go above and beyond to support our biopharmaceutical partners, which in turn benefits their patients. We have helped many companies struggling to make their process work by doing whatever it takes to help them prosper and get their product quickly into clinical trials and dosing patients. I thrive working with people who get such a thrill out of fixing problems and helping our Partners unlock the potential of their products and solve development and commercialization challenges. Everyone on the team from Customer Care, Tech Support, Quality, Regulatory, Legal, BD and Logistics works seamlessly together, and we have fun while doing it.
Describe your position.
In this Global Strategic Partnership role, my team and I oversee our relationships with MaxCyte’s growing list of Strategic Partners around the world (NA/EU/APAC), as well as the dedicated support we deliver to them. As they move through the clinic and into commercial programs, we support our partner’s quality/regulatory/legal needs, Quarterly Partnership Reviews and CDMO/CMO relationships and placements. Our goal is to ensure global support for MaxCyte’s Partners and their patients by working closely to ensure the smoothest path forward. My team members now cover our Partners on the West Coast, and I cover those in Europe, Asia and on the East Coast as I already had relationships with them from my previous position. The team and I are also assisting Vertex in scaling up for the commercial launch of their Exa-cel product and managing the needs of our various partner CMOs.
Describe MaxCyte’s approach to clinical/commercial partnerships and your team’s involvement.
Overall, my team’s approach is to determine the needs of our Partners, help them solve potential development and commercialization challenges and support them in any way we can so that they can be successful. Even though we’ve all been hired for our different talents, the team is very collaborative when it comes to finding the best solution for our partners’ needs by listening to them. On any given day, we could be having a Quarterly Partnership Review (QPR) to discuss where they are in the quarter with their sales, placements, invoices and forecasts to ensure that everything is aligned. Or we could be helping them with a CDMO transition, coordinating equipment installs, writing a letter of authorization to the FDA, or identifying resources for them as they expand internationally. We are constantly helping them put out fires; they trust us to do so as we are on their green list, which means that they don't have to vet anything. When they call, we pick up the phone to take care of everything they need. We’ll be awake at 3 am just in case they need support during their working hours while they’re going through an audit. Especially in the beginning, when they're in tight financial constraints we are there as a supportive and collaborative Partner, spending hours/days in the lab optimizing their process or developing their next gen programs. We don’t want to be part of the equation that adds to, but rather takes away from logistic and financial stress.
Why are strategic partnerships critical to the company’s mission (to pursue cell engineering excellence to maximize the potential of cells to improve patients’ lives)?
MaxCyte has worked hard for almost 25 years to perfect its programs and techniques; these agreements put value on that work and ensure that our Partners have access to our knowledge, technology and protect their IP as well as ours. Our Partners recognize that MaxCyte plays a critical role in what they’re trying to accomplish and brings the scientific and commercial expertise to the lab and workplace. Together, we are all working to improve the lives of patients. I say all the time that half of the MaxCyte equation is the “Gold Standard” of our technology and the other half is the world-class support that is essential for all Partners moving towards commercial.
What is your team’s biggest priority for serving MaxCyte’s partners and how does it fit into the Company’s strategic growth plans?
Our biggest priority right now is helping our Partners get to the next stage of their drug development process – whether they are getting ready to file an Investigational New Drug (IND) application or preparing for a commercial launch in the US and Europe, like Vertex. The intention and thought that goes into planning for these advancements is something that I've never seen at any other company. Everyone on our team must understand what each process encompasses, from drug discovery to R&D to commercial, so that we can keep up with the science, technology and market, as well as anticipate next steps and be ready. We have to be as smart as our customers and oftentimes coach them, to minimize their cash burn and help them move forward quickly, especially for early-stage companies. MaxCyte has been there to accelerate Partner programs at times of financial stress and getting to the next stage of funding is critical to getting life changing treatments to patients.
What do you consider to be your biggest accomplishment while working at MaxCyte?
Because we have a seat at the table through our Partnership, we have as much of a vested interest in their success as they do. Our common mission – to help patients – is what drives us both. We are constantly looking for ways to streamline processes that could accelerate their drug development and possibly bring treatments to patients sooner. It’s exciting to see a company in its beginning drug development stages and imagine how impactful their work will be over time. I’m proud of all of my colleagues in customer and tech support, the manufacturing groups, quality and sales who have collaborated over the years with our partners to get them where they are today. At any given time, I can call them and say that one of our partners has an issue and they will drop what they are doing to help. It's all hands-on deck because they are our partners and there are patients at stake. Not many companies are as patient centric as MaxCyte, which is so important.
I’m looking forward to seeing how next generation cell-based therapies will bring hope and treatments to many more patients in the future.