Ulf Krueger is CEO and founder of Pulmotree. His experience in life sciences and especially in managing projects, programs and portfolios is the basis of Pulmotree’s business. He also brings his broad industry knowledge of strategic development, product management, R&D and industrialization of inhaled drug delivery products.
In his former position he held responsibility for the entire sector of mesh nebulizers. Previous to that, he held various positions in the research and development department. He is a graduate biomedical engineer and a certified senior project manager (IPMA Level B) and is a member of The Aerosol Society, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) and the International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM).
Please describe your first touch points and your professional journey through the healthcare industry. When and for what reasons did you decide to start your own business?
That's easy to answer: The decision was made over Christmas 2017. At the time, I was still at my former employer as Sector Head responsible for the entire new Nebulizer program. What motivated us to do this was the opportunity to both shape the company from the ground up according to its purpose and to develop new products based on the current and future needs of pharmaceutical companies, physicians and patients. And to do so completely independently of existing platforms, on which we would inevitably have had to build.
Please briefly introduce PULMOTREE to us. What makes your company special - especially in terms of hardware & software?
We define PULMOTREE as a "respiratory drug delivery boutique", specialized in targeted drug delivery to lung areas and partnering with pharmaceutical companies from the pre-clinical phase to product exit, in addition to our customized products. In doing so, it is important to us that we continuously keep the patients in focus and complement the topic of drug delivery with further solutions that support the therapy.
PULMOTREE and OECHSLER are collaborating on parts of the Kolibri mesh nebulizer platform. Please briefly introduce this application and explain why it is superior to other competitive products.
The Kolibri is a mesh nebulizer platform for combination products (Drug & Device), which is adapted to the respective patient groups, diseases, physical drug properties and the strategies of our pharma partners. Due to the fact that we were able to develop a completely new nebulizer platform again with all our experience, we were able to consider many still existing "Unmet Needs" from the beginning.
What added value does the product offer the user?
At this point, it might be necessary to briefly address the fact that the person to be treated and our customers (pharmaceutical companies) are two different individuals. And to make it even more complicated, the treating physicians also have their own requirements. Starting with the controlled and efficiency-tuned deposition of drugs (e.g. into the alveoli of the lungs), we have implemented unique selling propositions that give patients feedback on the correct inhalation maneuver at any time, data on adherence and inhalation quality can be automatically evaluated in clinical studies, or the pharmaceutical company is protected from product piracy with the Key & Lock functionality.
At which points does PULMOTREE cooperate with OECHSLER and for what reasons? How does OECHSLER stand out from other technology partners?
We cooperate with OECHSLER in the field of design-for-manufacturing, development and production of small and large series tools and the production of components. In addition to the high quality requirements, Pulmotree has the ambition to develop and produce all products regionally as far as possible and all this in partnership rather than in a classical client-supplier relationship. Our experience has shown that the latter ensures significantly shorter development times if you manage to bring the teams together at an early stage and establish a trusting relationship at eye level. I think the teams from PULMOTREE and OECHSLER have managed this very well.
Where do you see PULMOTREE in ten years?
PULMOTREE is to grow sensibly and, above all, sustainably. We are already positioning the company in such a way that the growing demand for the Kolibri, for example, can be scaled up quickly and with consistent quality in accordance with a step-by-step plan. The same applies here to the growing product portfolio, which we will expand in the coming years, sustainably, taking into account our integrative "local sourcing" strategy.