Five years since start, Lund-based Iconovo has a market value of more than SEK 380 million, 17 employees and three in-house developed inhalers in its portfolio. Iconovo has successfully met a niche that lacked products – “off-the-shelf” inhalers for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Iconovo is a SmiLe Incubator alumnus company.
Some drugs need to be inhaled through the mouth, using special devices called inhalers.
“Based on past experience from my time at AstraZeneca, my colleagues and I at the industrial design company Zenit Design began to test ideas for our own inhalers. I knew that there were no ready-made inhalers to combine with medications and we had the expertise,” says Orest Lastow, CEO of Iconovo.
Iconovo started operations in August 2014 with one employee, Orest Lastow. He moved in with the company to the life science incubator in Lund, which was known at the time as Lund Life Science Incubator. The company quickly brought in venture capital from business angels, SEK 7 million, and began to develop products.
“The incubator meant a lot: infrastructure, lab, support from coaches at different phases of development for the company. Being together with colleagues from the other companies in the incubator was educational and inspiring – it would have been difficult to sit alone in an office in, for example, Malmö,” he says.
Two major customer agreements: After just over a year they met their first customer and six months later they landed a multiyear contract for SEK 50 million. With this achievement they dared to really commit to the company. They brought in more capital and then signed a new equally large contract with another customer.
Three years after it began, the company had two major customer agreements that resulted in sales of around SEK 20 million. They dared to broaden the offering by developing the entire product themselves for their customers: both the inhaler that distributes the medication and the powder that carries the medication, which was previously developed by a subcontractor and which in itself requires special expertise.
Listing 2018: The company raised SEK 20 million in preparation for an IPO, and in conjunction with listing on First North, an additional SEK 40 million. At the same time, the company moved out of SmiLe Incubator to other premises at Medicon Village in Lund where they built up capacity for powder formulation.
“We then signed an important contract with an Italian company. The company, which has a global marketing organization, now has a license to produce and sell one of our inhalers. This has given us access to completely new markets,” says Orest Lastow.
For more information: Orest Lastow, CEO at Iconovo, +46 (0)765-422220, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.iconovo.se
About Iconovo: Iconovo develops inhalers for medicinal use. The company’s products are used in the treatment of conditions such as asthma and COPD, for which the inhalers consist of powder-based medications. The products are licensed out and sold under various brands. In addition to product development, the company has expertise in pharmaceutical formulation. The company was founded in 2014 and is headquartered in Lund.