Healthy effort Featured

8:00pm EDT June 25, 2010

When David Zimmermann and Dr. Robert Gadwood founded Kalexsyn, Inc. in 2003, it was a moment of opportunity.

Zimmermann and Gadwood spent over two decades working for large pharmaceutical companies such as Upjohn, Pharmacia and Pfizer. When Pfizer closed its human health services wing, Zimmermann and Gadwood saw their chance to deliver solutions that other contract research organizations weren’t yet addressing.

The birth of Kalexsyn came during a challenging time in the pharmaceutical industry. Companies were routinely outsourcing chemistry to low-cost providers in India and China. To carve a niche as a company that offered scientific sophistication to the marketplace at competitive prices, Zimmermann, Kalexsyn’s CEO, and Gadwood, who serves as president, needed to approach the development of their business with an eye toward innovation.

Kalexsyn operates under the belief that corporate leadership relies on input from everyone in the organization. Kalexsyn’s organizational structure is flat, with a family-oriented work atmosphere.

As a result, Kalexsyn has built the type of company culture where highly trained and experienced employees want to stay and build their careers. In seven years of operation, Kalexsyn has lost only two scientists — one wanted to go back to a larger company, and one wanted to pursue another career. With a high retention rate, the company’s work force continues to grow, now at 35 employees, including two who were hired this year.

Kalexsyn’s leaders also value customer relationships and have worked to build and maintain them. Zimmermann believes strongly in personal interactions with new and existing customers, as evidenced by the fact that 30 percent of Kalexsyn’s revenue is unsolicited. Zimmermann spends 75 percent of the year traveling outside of Michigan, and his business development strategies have led to 28 percent revenue growth last year and a projected 20 percent growth this year.

How to reach: Kalexsyn, Inc., (269) 488-8488 or