WPI Launches Advanced Industrial Biomanufacturing Symposium

Leaders from AbbVie, Amgen, GE Healthcare, and Shire will keynote the inaugural session set for April 4 – 5, 2016.
January 26, 2016

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In response to the evolving marketplace and technical innovations shaping the biomanufacturing industry, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) is launching the Advanced Industrial Biomanufacturing symposium to bring together industry and academic leaders working with new technologies, processes, and business practices that will have a significant impact on biomanufacturing in the near term.

The two-day event, organized by WPI life sciences and biomedical engineering faculty and hosted at the university’s Biomanufacturing Education & Training Center (BETC), will feature topics including continuous biomanufacturing; alternatives for filtration and chromatography; new expression systems and cell culture platforms; the growing importance of supply chain management; and advanced IT systems to reduce risk in biomanufacturing.

"Globalization, biosimilars, and disruptive technologies are reshaping the industry. Our goal for this new symposium is to establish a forum for people to share timely ideas and discuss the implementation of new processes, technologies, and best practices that are impacting biomanufacturing today," said Kamal Rashid, PhD, director of the BETC and research professor at WPI.

The inaugural session of the symposium will run April 4 to 5, 2016, at WPI’s Gateway Park campus in downtown Worcester, Mass. Registration is required and space is limited.

Keynote and plenary presentations:

  • "The Shrinking Footprint: Next Generation Technologies in Biomanufacturing," presented by Sam Guhan, vice president of operations at Amgen
  • "Biomanufacturing Innovations for the 21st Century," presented by Joanne Beck, senior vice president and head of Pharmaceutical Development at Shire
  • "The Era of Bioprocess Innovation: Transformations in Cost, Quality, and Speed," presented by Parrish Galliher, founder and chief technology officer of Xcellerex, now part of GE Healthcare Life Sciences
  • "Sustaining a Consistent Quality Profile Across Multiple Scales and Manufacturing Sites," presented by Ralph Lambalot, vice president of biologics development and manufacturing launch at AbbVie.

The symposium will also feature session talks by subject matter experts from Biogen, Roche Custom Biotech, GE Healthcare, Cimetrics, Pall Life Sciences, FloDesign Sonics, MilliporeSigma, Hart Design Group, PBS Biotech, MassBioEd Foundation, and faculty from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and WPI.

"We designed this as a single-track event so that participants will have access to all the content, and not have to choose between concurrent sessions," Rashid said. "Our hope is to maximize interaction and information exchange."

Funded in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the BETC is a multi-faceted resource for the biologics industry, providing a range of hands-on customized programs. The BETC works with biomanufacturers to help them train, and retrain, their employees at a state-of-the-art center removed from their own production facilities. The center also provides consulting services to help companies deal with challenges, explore new technologies, or scale up new processes.

"Development of the workforce needed to help this industry grow remains a core mission for the BETC," said Stephen P. Flavin, vice president and dean of academic and corporate engagement at WPI. "With this new symposium, we expand our impact by helping scientific and operational leaders in the industry evaluate and accelerate the adoption of new technologies and best practices."