s4s stands for ”service for success” and Tries stands for Susanne Tries, the founder of the Ehingen-based company. Since 2002, the pharmacist has been offering services to the pharmaceutical industry and in this time the company has more than lived up to its claim of “service for success”. In fact, the company’s success is now enabling it to go one step further. The company founder envisages complementing her company’s established service business with the product business, in a development that will be done step by step, with systematic dynamics and in cooperation with her husband.
Tries comes from an entrepreneurial family ("self-employment is seen as very positive"). She studied and did her doctoral thesis at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Tübingen before working for almost eleven years at a well-known pharmaceutical company in Ulm.
During these eleven years, Tries not only obtained insights into a few individual drug development steps, but into almost all phases of development, ranging from screening to final studies. These insights gave her the know-how and capital that she needed to set up her own business in 2002 without using external funds, but with the knowledge and confidence that the pharmaceutical industry would be interested in what the company had to offer: namely, scientific documentation for the development, authorisation and safety of drugs.
Although setting up the company was like jumping in at the deep end and was not entirely without risk, Susanne Tries had spent a long time thinking about and planning the foundation of the company. The business idea was not a high-flying or crazy idea that would have required external capital, but involved a clear-cut and popular service. Tries entered a market which had strong competitors. In this highly regulated area, governed by many regulations, directives and deadlines, quality, reliability and professionalism were the keywords for s4s Tries’ success.
s4s Tries has developed its portfolio step by step. A small but friendly team of staff has developed over the years, forming an excellent basis for expanding the offer both in content and size. The services offered comprise the execution and maintenance of approval procedures, the preparation of all the documents required in the drug development process, for obtaining marketing authorisation and relating to drug safety issues. The service portfolio also includes reviews, medical writing and the project management of studies, pharmacovigilance and the establishment of systems required for collecting, monitoring and evaluating information on the potential adverse effects of medications.
"We are gradually expanding into fields of drug development," said Tries who concentrates on areas that require huge amounts of expertise and who has positioned her offers in complex niches that are of no interest to big international companies. S4s Tries also carries out studies on behalf of contractors and is currently also moving towards application monitoring.
The company’s clients include national and international, small and large pharmaceutical companies focusing on medicines produced from plants or with biotechnological means or that are chemically synthesised. The company owner is proud to acknowledge that s4s Tries has been involved in the production of the majority of the biosimilars that are currently on the market.s4s Tries offers complex work packages for its clients from the pharmaceutical industry at the same time as offering solutions for individual issues, for example the scientific research into an active pharmaceutical component on behalf of a company who is planning to develop a new drug, but wants to have more information in order to be better able to assess the market risk. In future, the Ehingen-based company intends to invest more time in strategy, conception and further development, something that has previously been difficult since full order books required all available staff to focus on the orders. Now, as the company has gained a little more free time and space thanks to its previous efforts, the time is ripe for dealing with other key areas, including marketing.
Susanne Tries intends to expand the service business further, which will enhance the job security for her employees. s4s Tries has five employees, besides Dr. Tries and her husband, chemist Dr. Dieter Wildhagen, two biologists and a medical documentalist. A team of external co-workers, including two pharmacists, a toxicologist and a biotechnologist, complement the s4s Tries team.
In future, the couple Tries-Wildhagen plans to focus on a project that had already been conceived before s4s Tries was set up: In addition to the company's successful service business - "brain work" as Dr. Tries calls it - the company Coryt, founded by the couple in 2007, will focus on a proprietary-product business.
With Coryt, the couple are planning to conquer a market niche in the life science area by offering cosmetic products for dermatological application in hospitals, nursing and old people's homes. As was the case with Tries' first company, s4s Tries, the new company will also take a step by step approach, without external investors. The company's start-up portfolio contains four products; with the help of four sales agents and a lot of ideas, Dieter Wildhagen and Susanne Tries are aiming to advance and expand a business - in this case, the care product business - in exactly the same way as they did with s4s.