That Was the Year That Was…
The past year has been difficult for all of us and incredibly sad for many. This week we’ll remember the shock and dismay we felt as we watched COVID-19 spread through Europe and the UK’s first lockdown that began on March the 23rd.
It has been a challenging year for Cryoniss just as it has been for every business this past 12 months, especially for a business that only started trading in April 2019. Remarkably, through persistent determination, Cryoniss has successfully risen to all the challenges.
Vintage Champagne Anyone?
I remember coming to meet with Sonia and Gareth at The Heath on Friday the 6th of March 2020. I brought with me a bottle of champagne, the idea being that when the dust settled from the move into their second facility which stores biological samples at -80°C, -20°C, +4°C and ambient temperatures, Cryoniss could celebrate another business milestone.
That bottle of champagne is still in the fridge.
Well, looking on the bright side, we have at least one bottle of champagne to celebrate the many positives (including achieving ISO 9001 accreditation for both facilities at The Heath and Alderley Park) the business has experienced this year. And this we will do as soon as the restrictions are lifted.
The Importance of Trademarking…
This year has been memorable in many ways for the business. Our marketing had countless firsts, including experiencing the quirkiness of virtual conferences.
For Cryoniss, the first of these was Outsourcing in Clinical Trials Europe in early June of last year. For our first outing in the new world, we decided to go ahead and trademark our company name. We were so glad we did when through the trademark searches, we found “Cryosphere” had already been registered by a large US corporation!
And so late May Bank Holiday was spent (after a brief but significant panic) changing the business name, recreating the branding, and registering a new company name. Amazingly we did it with 24 hours to spare. It felt a bit like replacing the lead actor for a big West End musical just before the curtain went up!
Launching New Services.
Cryoniss provide biological storage services through the whole drug discovery and development process and beyond. This includes research and clinical trial samples. As SARS-Cov-2 spread across the globe, we began supporting our customers by providing storage of COVID19 positive samples, clinical trial samples for Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics, from Phase 1 – IV and storage of Investigational Medicinal Products in support of clinical trials for vaccine and therapeutic products.
Not all the milestones we reached were business ones. Sonia, our CEO and Gareth, our Brand Director both turned 40. Phil, our COO turned 30. More to add to the celebrations. We’ll need a fire safety certificate for that birthday cake!
How the Team has Grown.
Cryoniss has taken on two new employees. Storage of biological samples is a highly regulated field and Cryoniss provides a safe and secure environment, safeguarding sample integrity. This takes systems and procedures. Put all these together and you have a lot of paperwork. Caroline Eckersley, our Document Manager makes sure that paperwork is always up to date. I seriously admire her pertinacity (I think she’ll like that word – Caroline was an English teacher in a previous life) and Phil has even taught her to love Microsoft Excel!
Olivia Turner supports Sonia and Gareth with business development and marketing. She has done a great job combining the creative and the tactical side of marketing and contributed much to this growing business. Olivia will be starting a PhD (Healthy Lifespan Institute DTP studentship) at the University of Sheffield’s Department of Oncology and Metabolism, funded by Dunhill Medical but thankfully will be staying on with us part time.
But the team doesn’t stop at employees. There are so many people who have helped the business in past 12 months. Our partners A4P Bio Logistics, Topspeed, BioCair, QualiSys, Perfectus BioMed, Sygnature Discovery, SCHR Consulting, HGF Law, Greenlight Computing, IDEXX Bioanalytics, Prime Accounting, Department for International Trade, Bionow, The FD Centre, Alderley Analytical, Colibri Scientific, The Heath Business and Technical Park and Alderley Park have all been extraordinarily supportive.
Along with our suppliers we know we wouldn’t be here without the talents of Anna Kozaczek who has helped us apply for The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency licence, but tempting as it is, I’ll leave that news for another blog…
Raise a Glass to the Rest of 2021.
So here we are at the end of a journey but just at the beginning too. Who knows what the future will bring? We do know we’ll face it head on and learn a great deal from the experience. A toast - here’s to everyone and wishing the very best to all for the rest of 2021.