Molecular Profiles, a UK-based provider of pharmaceutical development and manufacturing services, recently hosted a two-day seminar near its facility in Nottingham, UK. Nearly 50 people attended “Overcoming Biological Barriers: A discussion of the challenges of formulating for success,” held January 21-22 at the Nottingham Belfry Hotel. The event featured 10 presentations from speakers from industry and academia, as well as networking meals and a facility tour.
Overcoming Biological Barriers is the second event of this nature that Molecular Profiles has hosted. The previous one, held in November 2011, focused on Recent Advances in Early Drug Development. Said chief executive Nikin Patel, "At our first event two years ago, our goal was to bring together experts in a particular field and have a seminar on that subject. We have an interest in advancing the technical expertise within our sector, so we changed the topic this time to focus on a core area of interest."
The event included presentations from Prof. Jonathan Hadgraft (UCL), Prof. Clive G. Wilson (University of Strathclyde), Dr. Julien Northen (Onyx Scientific), Dr. Horst Bierau (Merck Serono), Dr. Vincent Jannin (Gattefossé), Dr. Rob Harris (Molecular Profiles), Prof. Ijeoma Uchegbu (UCL), Prof. Randy Mrsny (University of Bath), Dr. David Bunton (Biopta), and Dr. Andrew Parker (Molecular Profiles).
Their presentations explored practical and theoretical issues in enhancing bioavailability of tricky molecules, whether through particle size reduction, lipid-based systems, nanoparticles, liposomal formulations, exploiting Tight Junction cellular function or, in an extreme instance, exploring modes of ocular delivery by using the example of a Canadian biker gang that received tattoos on their eyeballs. Dr. Harris, MP's chief technical officer, began his presentation by noting that the active ingredient for Lipitor is significantly less soluble than marble, but solving that conundrum led to that drug becoming the most successful one in industry history.
Stephen Kemp, vice president of Molecular Profiles, remarked, "This is always a real pleasure for us to host, from collaborating with eminent speakers in their fields to the enthusiasm of the attendees. Executives to scientists alike, each session was well attended, and they had great questions at the end of each presentation."
Dr. Patel commented, "There was a good mixture of attendees and speakers from different disciplines. One of our clients said the event was perfect because he has a project and there were various people at the conference who represented different areas where he needs scientific expertise."
The tour of MP's facilities, conducted after the first day's sessions were complete, provided an in-depth look at the company's analytical laboratories, development services, and clinical manufacturing suites. In-house scientists explained their roles and the applications of their technology in characterization and solving formulation problems.
Said Mr. Kemp, "The speakers, too, told us they learned a lot from the event. They'd heard about what we've been doing in this sector, and now they've been able to see what we're doing, and how we interact with potential clients, academia, and more."
Dr. Patel remarked, "Our key differentiator is our marriage between high-end analytical characterization and traditional pharm-dev services. We can develop a product, but if we come across a hurdle, we have the brainpower and the expertise to solve it there and then and move onto the next stage."
There are no firm plans in place, but Dr. Patel indicated that Molecular Profiles was thrilled with the event and will explore topics for another biannual conference.