Thank you for making
PharmSci 2019 a
huge success

Mark McAllister (APS Chair)
Cameron Alexander (Conference
Science Chair)

The APS Greenwich meeting saw the annual conference return to a three day format in the unique surroundings of Greenwich Universities maritime campus.

It was the first time we had brought the conference to this location and it proved to be a real success for the Academy with strong attendance over the three days.

I’d like to thank all our plenary and award lecturers who started the programme each day, they shared a mix of great science and inspirational personal stories that charted their different journeys to this point in their careers. I really enjoyed the poster sessions which were based in the Undercroft alongside the exhibition. There was a real buzz in these sessions, always busy and with a broad range of topics presented across the three days. The BBQ and black tie dinner social events made the most of the Greenwich location, the dinner in the newly restored Painted Hall will live long in the memory, a stunning backdrop for our eminent fellow awards.

The conference planning started over two years ago and has involved a very large team. The list of people to thank for making the Greenwich conference such a success is too long to list in full but Cameron Alexander and Fran Greco who led our conference team, which was supported throughout by Carol O’Connor all deserve a special note of thanks for their sustained efforts over the last two years. I’d also like to recognise the support of our conference partner, Profile Productions, for all their assistance and support at Greenwich. As one annual conference closes, planning for next year’s event picks up pace and during the closing address at Greenwich, we were delighted to share our plans to take the conference to Belfast in 2020.   Professor Martin Snowden is our science chair for next year’s conference and we will be posting further details of the event on our website very soon, hope to see you in Belfast, September 2-4th 2020!”

By Mark McAllister
APS Chair

“The biopharmaceutics FG session on Thursday, ‘Next generation delivery systems for the delivery of complex molecules’ was very popular with standing room only. Professor Randy Mrsny’s presentation on new mechanisms for the oral delivery of therapeutic proteins & peptides illustrated how a deep understanding of the fundamental biology of epithelial cell function could be utilised to provide delivery opportunities. Dr Vipul Yadav’s overview of Intract Pharma’s oral delivery approaches for monoclonals to treat inflammatory bowel disease described how conventional injectable treatments could be re-purposed in new delivery systems for potential therapeutic benefits. The 2 selected papers from submitted abstracts, Professor Andrew Lewis (Biocompatibles UK Ltd) ‘Unlocking the DEBIRI paradox’ and Dr Robert Cavanagh (University of Nottingham) ‘Screening of mixed PEG-based nanoparticles for breast cancer therapy’ continued with the next generation delivery system theme & highlighted the diversity of technologies which are being explored to effectively deliver the complex molecules for treatment of different disease states”

The role of Science Chair for the APS UK PharmSci Conference is one that is both exciting, and also slightly daunting!

This is the major UK pharmaceutical conference, and for this year the resumption of the 3-day meeting format meant that we had plenty of time to showcase the very best science in the field. However, there is never enough time for everything we want to do, and so the prioritisation of some key themes for this year was the first task for the APS UK PharmSci planning group. We decided to focus on sustainability and diversity for the meeting, and I think the breadth of topics and the range of speakers really did reflect these two key elements of what we do. From the outset, the opening plenary of Twan Lammers (Aachen) superbly indicated the importance of considering cancers as multiple diseases, and that therapies for cancers must address the huge range of genetic, phenotypic and patient-specific factors. The second plenary from Rachel Elliott (Manchester) gave some fascinating insights into health economics, and how if we want to make healthcare affordable, accessible and sustainable, we need to think from the outset about full costs and benefits analyses. Rachel also showed how complex it can be to evaluate benefits with multiple competing stakeholders, payers and providers, but that we must do so properly to ensure that we meet the needs of patients into the future. We had three outstanding lectures from our award winners Clive Roberts (Nottingham) , Abdul Basit (UCL)  and Clare Hoskins (Keele/Strathclyde), and packed lecture theatres throughout the excellent parallel sessions organised by the APS Focus Groups. We also pioneered ‘Expert Reviews’ and a Debate on Open Access publishing for this year’s meeting, with overviews of  Antibody Drug Conjugates from Mark Frigerio (Abzena) and Immunotherapies from Robin Shattock (Imperial), and panel discussions led by David Jones (Queen’s Belfast) and Anne-Marie Pordon (Elsevier). These proved very popular and promoted much discussion well into the social events!

In addition to the excellent venue in Greenwich, we had great support from the team at Profile Productions and from our University of Greenwich hosts. I also want to thank all the APS Board and Advisory Board, and especially Fran Greco, Mark McAllister and Carol O’Connor for all the exceptional hard work they contributed. The highlights for me at the meeting were the interactions with this team, and most of all, the real ‘buzz’ of scientists at all career stages around the posters, the lecture halls, the BBQ and of course at The Painted Hall…. I am sure UK PharmSci 2020 in Belfast will build on the great atmosphere we had in Greenwich this year and I look forward to seeing you all there!”

By Cameron Alexander
Conference Science Chair

Looking ahead to PharmSci 2020 in Belfast

PharmSci 2020 will be a showcase event for the Pharmaceutical Sciences pulling together academics, manufacturers and industrialists to explore the conference theme of a “holistic approach to the discovery of new medicines”. We have a tremendous conference venue at Queens University Belfast. Do please come along and join us to get a glimpse of some world leading Pharmaceutical Science.

Professor Martin Snowden Pro-Vice-Chancellor Faculty of Engineering and Science University of Greenwich

We hope to see you there!

For more information please contact Carol O’Connor ( APS Scientific Administrator ) via the link
above (info@apsgb.org)