Who we are
Biotherapeutics and Vaccines.
Biotherapeutics is a rapidly growing area of pharmaceutical science and represents drug products that are manufactured in, extracted from or partially synthesised from a living source – human, animal, plant, or microbial. It includes proteins (purified or produced by DNA recombinant technology), blood and blood products, vaccines, antibodies, nucleic acids and somatic and non-somatic cells and represents the most significant source of new products coming to market. It presents new opportunities for the therapeutic resolution of medical problems that have either been beyond the scope of traditional small molecule drugs or they may offer a more effective treatment regimen. It also presents new challenges in our understanding of design, analysis, manufacture, dosing, delivery and biological monitoring of this complex group of medicines.
The Biotherapeutics and Vaccines Focus Group brings together individuals from a range of disciplines from academia to industry to reflect the unique challenges that are presented by this exciting area of pharmaceutical sciences and welcomes those who are interested in this area.
The Focus Group is currently represented by academic staff and a range of individuals from Pharmaceutical companies including Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer. Bespak, Arecor and Envigo. Many of our members have interests that span other focus groups and we welcome opportunities to work together to provide bespoke day courses and facilitate the contribution of breaking news in our area of expertise at our annual conference.
The aims of the group are as follows:
• To encourage understanding of biotherapeutics and the increasing role they play in Pharmaceutical Sciences
• To facilitate opportunities for education, training and development across the disciplines of science and practice
• To highlight new areas of development that impact on the use and monitoring of biotherapeutics
• To provide a forum for scientific and technological challenges relating to the development and regulation of Biomolecules and Vaccines
• To collaborate with other organisations active in the field and those within the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences to establish joint meetings, synergies and dialogue
My interest is to understand the mechanisms of the vascular complications of diabetes and from this to develop novel treatment and screening models for new therapeutics. This predominately involves the use of biological compounds (DNA and proteins) and reflects my wider interest in the area of delivery, formulation, characterisation and legislation of Biotherapeutics. In addition to my research interests I have been instrumental in developing the course curriculum for teaching to prospective Pharmacists at RGU in order that they are able to respond effectively to the use of Biological compounds within their work environment. This is an exciting area and the majority of new therapeutics coming onto the market are of this nature and present their own unique challenges.
Dr Frank Thielmann is a Material Scientist by training. I joined the Novartis Biologics Manufacturing department as the Lead for PMO & Operational Excellence in 2016. In July 2018 I took on additional responsibility as an Operational Excellence Lead on the Novartis European manufacturing site for Cell & Gene Therapeutics.
Dr Kevin King’s work with Pfizer’s global research units to ensure that our biotherapeutic molecules and vaccines are designed to have quality attributes that will meet the target product profile and the necessary physiochemical profile to enable their success in the marketplace. My industrial scientific leadership roles have focused on R&D in areas such as analytical characterization, formulation and process development. This has led to successful development of analytical, formulation and delivery technologies for a broad range of biotherapeutic modalities such as recombinant proteins, vaccines and cell and gene therapies from the discovery stage to commercial launch.
With over 20 years of experience in the formulation, development and delivery of biotherapeutics I have a keen interest in the evolution of biological therapies, especially the challenges these bring to delivery, specifically combination products including a biotherapeutic and a drug delivery device.