Firstly, Happy New Year! Please help yourself to a slice of cake.
Towards the end of last year, I attended the 8th bioProcessUK conference in Glasgow, Scotland, with the tagline "Advancing
Next Generation Therapies." The meeting was held in the very fitting Glasgow Science Centre, a place where children young
and old can be inspired by the science around them—the next generation of pharma industry employees perhaps? There was a clear
agenda to the conference—how to ensure that advances made in research result in actual therapies.
In all areas of pharmaceutical development, one of the recurring challenges is scale-up, so of particular interest was a thought-provoking
talk given by Roslin Cell's Aidan Courtney on scaling up cell manufacture from the point of view of translating research protocols
into GMP processes. He noted, "the destination defines the journey," i.e., depending on the application of a particular cell
therapy, the quantity of cells required for treatment becomes a crucial parameter. Courtney went on to provide numbers for
a couple of example scale-up scenarios; ischemia therapy would probably require 108 cells per treatment, so estimating perhaps 10,000 treatments per year, the numbers start multiplying faster than the cells...
He concluded that GMP translation and scale-up are challenges best addressed in tandem.
Bridging the gap between discovery into development and onto commercial scale manufacturing is something that our sister publication,
BioPharm International, is addressing in collaboration with BIO SmartBrief: "Drug Development Basic Training". I encourage
you to check out some of the weekly articles and podcasts at http://BioPharmInternational.com/biosmart/ and to sign up for BIO SmartBrief.
I leave you with the passionate words of this year's winner of the Peter Dunnill Award, Professor Mike Hoare from University
College London, who concluded in his bioProcessUK presentation on ultra scale-down for enhanced bioprocess discovery: "Design
for manufacture; design for lower cost."