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Brief pharmaceutical news items for October 2009.
Micron to Open New Facility
Micron Technologies (Exton, PA) will officially open the doors to a new facility in Malvern, Pennsylvania, this fall. The 86,000-ft2 site is more than double the size of the company's Exton facility. The new site will house nine processing bays and have the ability to expand to 18 bays.
Micron Technologies Malvern, Pennsylvania site
The Malvern facility will provide updated processing areas, increased warehouse space, expanded analytical-laboratory testing facilities, and modern safety and containment technology for highly potent compounds. Facility validation will begin in November 2009, and Micron expects it to be completed by February 2010.
Formatech Donates Manufacturing Services
Under Formatech's (Andover, MA) Fillanthropy Program, the company will donate an aseptic fill and finish manufacturing service each month for selected therapeutic candidates entering human clinical-trial evaluations.
Formatech is accepting applications for the Fillanthropy Program. Eligible companies must be developing a clinical candidate delivered as a sterile injectable product. "At Formatech, we envision a world where all companies with promising new drug therapies have the opportunity to conduct a full clinical development program," said Jeffrey Bernard, Formatech's director of business development, in a press release.
Catalent Creates New Business Unit
Catalent Pharma Solutions (Somerset, NJ) created a new business unit to help customers bring new pharmaceutical and biologic products to market. The Development and Clinical Services segment combines Catalent's analytical, science, and regulatory consulting services with its clinical-supply services business. The company appointed Scott Houlton group president of the unit.
The new segment will support the development and testing of drugs and biologics through scientific, regulatory, and clinical-trial supply-chain services. Catalent's services extend from drug characterization, to delivering drugs to the investigator site, through the final submission of regulatory filings.
LabConnect Appoints Chief Operating Officer
LabConnect (Seattle, WA) appointed Frank D. Morrow its chief operating officer. Morrow is a veteran of the central laboratory business and served as founding executive, president, and chief scientific officer at Quintiles Laboratories Worldwide (Durham, NC). He helped that company grow to encompass 1000 employees and five central laboratory facilities worldwide over 10 years.
Q&A with Stephen Brown, chief operating officer of Encap Drug Delivery
What is the biggest industry challenge you're now facing?
The biggest challenge facing the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries is to become more efficient. In essence, the industry needs to do more with less. This is fairly obvious, given the financial pressures that are being faced by Big Pharma as major products come off patent and the difficulty that biotechnology companies have in securing funding. Our business is entirely focused on providing pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology community, and our challenge is to provide solutions that make our clients' overall operations more efficient.
How do you stay abreast of new developments in the industry?
It is easy to become blinkered and focused on your own backyard. It is really important to keep in touch with what is going on in the world around you, both in your clients' and competitors' organizations. Having worked for most of my life in pharmaceutical development, I really enjoy networking and keeping in touch with old work colleagues at Sterling Winthrop (Pittsburgh, PA), sanofi aventis (Paris), Chiroscience (Cambridge, England), Celltech (Slough, England), and UCB (Brussels). I also think it is very important to be an active member of professional organizations such as the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.
Do you see a new industry trend emerging?
I see an increasing trend for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies to set up strategic relationships with service organizations. There will be a move away from a client–provider relationship to more of a partnership where the contract service provider will operate as an extension of the pharmaceutical or biotechnology company. I see this as a great opportunity for the industry and am sure that the new ways of working that will be required will result in greater speed and efficiency in global pharmaceutical development.