This year, INTERPHEX will take place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on March 26–28. Equipment and Processing Report asked RJ Palermo, industry vice-president of Reed Life Sciences and INTERPHEX, to share his thoughts and expectations about the upcoming event.
Q: INTERPHEX returns to Philadelphia this year. Why was Philadelphia chosen? What opportunities will Philadelphia present for INTERPHEX this year?
A: Philadelphia is a major life-sciences hub, and we see it as an opportunity to attract additional participants that may be more able to attend because of the city’s proximity to their business or facility.
Q: How do you think the location will affect the mood of the show?
A: The INTERPHEX audience always brings a strong energy, but I think the move to Philadelphia will provide increased energy because of its convenient location. A change in venue gives some added value, too.
Q: With regard to the exhibitor gallery, are you aware of any new trends in equipment this year? What should attendees look for on the exhibit floor?
A: Every year, INTERPHEX has new technology on the floor. The industry is changing, and changing at a rapid pace. And the regulatory environment is changing—not just FDA, but global regulators, too. The show floor will showcase technology that will be the catalyst for these changes.
Q: What might attendees be surprised to find?
A: I think among the surprises that attendees will find at this year's event is the range of opportunities to learn, source product, and network. INTERPHEX is truly an industry gathering, offering practical education, provocative and visionary keynotes, and literally thousands of products. The event provides countless opportunities to expand industry contacts, whether through participation in our conference programming, attendance at networking events, reconnecting with suppliers and customers, or simply shopping the show.
Q: The theme of this year’s show is “the evolution of the life sciences.” Can you explain why this theme was chosen and how it will be reflected throughout the conference sessions?
A: Our industry is not static, as we all know. Many blockbuster drugs are going off patent. The traditional pharmaceutical industry is changing. Biologics and combination products are in the forefront. Manufacturers must keep ahead of the curve and continue to focus on processes and the efficacy of producing drugs for general use, vaccines, or in response to bioterrorism. Our industry is about accelerating patient healthcare globally, and we want to make sure that resonates. Thus as the industry evolves, we want to make sure that we evolve and support the industry.
In regards to how the conference will reflect the evolution of the life sciences, the PharmaMedDevice colocation, and the introduction of BIOTECHNICA America are excellent references. Responding to the growing convergence between pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical-device industries, the Philadelphia event provides educational opportunities in all three fields. Offering crossover attendance to both the show floors and the conference sessions between INTERPHEX and PharmaMedDevice enables individuals to enhance their experience and knowledge. PharmaMedDevice specifically addresses the regulatory and manufacturing challenges related to the convergence of drugs and biologicals with medical devices and explores the current technologies revolutionizing the life-science industry as a whole.
Q: What might regular INTERPHEX attendees find exciting or different about this year’s conference in comparison with years past?
A: The three keynotes. They reflect the theme of evolution. G. Steven Burrill will share his biotechnology vision with attendees. A panel discussion about the convergence of the three industries promises to be exciting. And our last-day discussion of the industries’ rapid-response capabilities and unique role in addressing global healthcare issues should be lively. These are all pretty forward-thinking presentations.
In addition, INTERPHEX is delivering on its promise to educate the industry. Our new “Basics and Building Blocks” track serves as a primer on key subjects for those new to the industry. We’re also presenting new sessions about important topics such as biotechnology, single-use technologies, and technology enablers.