2004 Winner: Outstanding Commercial Achievement in Alberta Science and Technology (Sales less than 25 million)
Biotechnology Company In Crisis Achieves Remarkable Comeback
Ceapro Inc. belongs to a select group of biotechnology companies – those that actually turn a profit. This success is even more notable, given the dramatic turnaround required for the company to make it happen.
Five years ago, Ceapro was a company in crisis, under creditor protection. Today, it ranks among Canada’s fastest growing companies. The Edmonton-based company achieved this turnaround through a major reorganization and the commercialization of an innovative new technology to create products for the health and personal care industries from cereal grains.
A New Style
The development and commercialization of new technology posed major technological and financial risks. Ceapro met the challenge using investment by dedicated management and loyal shareholders, as well as the services of various R&D support agencies.
Under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Mark Redmond, the company adopted a management style that nurtures talent and promotes innovation by making people accountable, getting out of their way, and letting them perform. It paid off its creditors, regenerated an advanced technology research program, and created a diverse portfolio of products that are finding their way into global markets.
Ceapro also developed a strategy of partnering with numerous specialized distributors internationally to extend its market penetration and provide superior customer service. Ceapro produces active ingredients, including B glucan, specialized protein and colloidal oat extracts, for use by the cosmetic and personal care industries in products ranging from burn treatments to sunscreen. Customers include industry leaders such as Johnson & Johnson, Schering Plough and Amway. Ceapro’s veterinary therapeutic products have displaced market leaders in Japan and are scheduled for introduction in Canada and China in 2004, and the European Union and United States in 2005. The company’s AccuScreen™ diabetes and pre-diabetes screening test is undergoing clinical trials and has the potential to save hundreds of millions of health care dollars through early diagnosis and intervention.
Since 1999, Ceapro’s revenues have grown 288 per cent, with an annual rate of growth for 2002/2003 of 51 per cent. The company achieved profits for the first time in 2002 and increased net income by 282 per cent the following year. Alberta Venture magazine recently named Ceapro one of Alberta’s fastest growing companies. Canadian Profit magazine included Ceapro among its Profit 100 fastest growing Canadian companies. Dr. Redmond was named BioAlberta’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2003. Ceapro is now a model for agricultural value-added enterprise across Canada.