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Recap of PODD 2016

  • October 28, 2016

  • PODD 2016 Day One: October 27 Recap

    The sixth annual Partnership Opportunities in Drug Delivery (PODD) conference is officially underway at Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza.

    If you missed Day One of the conference, we can’t replicate the partnering and networking, but we can provide you with a closer look at five key topics that were discussed on Day One at PODD 2016.

    1. Innovation in Medicine

    A new class of medical devices may transform the biomedical space – miniature implantable devices.

    PODD Chair Barbara Lueckel pointed out these devices could change the way biomedical companies treat many diseases.

    “The idea is to think very differently about how to treat diseases like diabetes and asthma,” she stated.

    Lueckel also noted the development of a one-touch insulin patch pump and other state-of-the-art drug delivery devices could create many opportunities for biomedical companies worldwide.

    “There is a huge growth opportunity for the companies in this field … and the patients,” she said.

    2. Extended-Release Drug Delivery Systems

    Imagine what it would be like if an individual could ingest a single capsule to treat a chronic disease over the course of a week, month or year. Now, gastrointestinal drug delivery devices for extended release are being developed to transform this idea into a reality.

    Robert Langer, David H. Koch Institute Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), examined the concept of “super-long” active drug delivery systems and their potential impact on adherence to treatment of chronic diseases in his keynote address to PODD 2016 attendees.

    Langer stated the impact of poor adherence grows as the burden of chronic disease increases globally.

    Conversely, technology could redefine what long-acting oral formulation means for both biomedical companies and patients, leading to advanced drug delivery systems to improve treatment adherence.

    “If you could make a drug last longer and longer, you’d probably have less of a chance of forgetting to take it, and adherence will go up,” Langer said.

    3. Creative Partnerships in Healthcare

    What differentiates a traditional partnership from a creative one in the healthcare space? Richard Korsmeyer, PhD, Executive Director of Advanced External Projects and the Technology & Innovation Group at Pfizer, outlined the key differences between these partnerships during a PODD 2016 panel discussion.

    “In a traditional model, one party has an asset that it thinks is worth something, and the other party has money,” he said. “But there are healthcare needs that are not met by that model, and we need to find more creative ways to partner to create opportunities.”

    Ultimately, creative partnerships may deliver many benefits for biomedical companies and patients.

    These partnerships enable biomedical companies to identify and address opportunities in the healthcare market, which may lead to improved patient outcomes.

    “Creative partnering is not just nice to have, it’s a must-have these days,” said PJ Anand, CEO of biotechnology company Alcoyne Lifesciences. “The key here is not just to innovate on the technologies but to innovate on the business model.”

    4. Lessons Learned from Successful Drug Delivery Partnerships

    Several AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Starpharma representatives discussed what it takes to foster mutually beneficial drug delivery partnerships as they examined a partnering case study at PODD 2016.

    Adam McNulty, Business Development Manager of Scientific Partnering & Alliances at AstraZeneca, noted his company wants to work with “the best and the brightest.” As such, to develop a successful drug delivery partnership, AstraZeneca searches for partners who drive innovation.

    “If you founded the technology and developed it, we want to work with you,” McNulty noted.

    Of course, maintaining consistent communication can make a world of difference for biomedical companies that want to reap the benefits of long-lasting drug delivery partnerships.

    “There is nothing like having that face-to-face interaction,” said Tony Eglezos, Vice President of Business Development at Starpharma. “An important thing through any collaboration is there is a constant dialogue, and if issues do come up, you need to manage them quickly.”

    5. The Drug Delivery Landscape

    The drug delivery landscape is rapidly evolving. In fact, at least one biomedical market expert has compared the landscape to the Roman Empire – perhaps for good reason.

    “I think drug delivery is a little like the Roman Empire,” Josef Bossart, PhD, Executive Editor at PharmaCircle, told PODD 2016 attendees. “The Roman Empire never fell. … [And even though] drug delivery has changed, it’s still critically important.”

    Bossart pointed out the number of drug delivery-related transactions has been flat over the past decade, and technology deals in the drug delivery space have decreased as well.

    However, biomedical companies can learn from the past and use this information to better understand how the drug delivery landscape may continue to evolve.

    Day One of PODD 2016 has reached its conclusion, and Day Two is right around the corner.

    Check out our blog and follow the Twitter hashtag #PODD2016 for the latest PODD 2016 news and updates.


    PODD 2016 Day Two: October 28 Recap

    The sixth annual Partnership Opportunities in Drug Delivery (PODD) conference ended Friday after a series of keynote presentations, panel discussions and partnering meetings.

    Here are five highlights from Day Two of PODD 2016.

    1. InCube Labs CEO Discusses Innovations in Drug Delivery

    Mir Imran, CEO of clinical research firm InCube Labs, provided a glimpse into the future of transdermal, implantable and biological drug delivery in his keynote address to PODD attendees.

    Transdermal drug delivery has grown exponentially over the past few decades and generates roughly $7 billion annually, Imran said. Furthermore, Imran stated the transdermal drug delivery market may continue to grow based on the rising demand for estrogen, fentanyl and nicotine patches.

    Implantable drug delivery is becoming increasingly popular as well. It offers a reliable drug delivery option for treatment of chronic diseases, Imran said, and boasts limited side effects and better efficacy compared to other treatment options.

    Lastly, Imran said biological drug delivery has been called the “holy grail” of drug delivery options, and the Rani Therapeutics robotic pill and other biological products eventually could replace numerous injectable drugs for chronic diseases.

    2. Biogen’s SVP of Technical Development Explores the Future of Biomanufacturing

    Jorg Thommes, Senior Vice President of Technical Development at Biogen, discussed the next generation of manufacturing proteins, small molecules, oligonucleotides and gene therapy products in his keynote presentation to PODD attendees.

    Biomanufacturing has evolved from an art into a science over the past few years, according to Thommes, and having the right biomanufacturing processes in place could deliver many benefits for biomedical companies.

    “Operations is a competitive advantage,” he said. “We have to think about how we’ll make a lot of antibodies with very little money.”

    Thommes emphasized the importance of process technologies, process controls and facility design in biomanufacturing.

    He noted biomedical companies that focus on these areas will be equipped to handle myriad biomanufacturing challenges and can scale their operations effectively.

    3. Biomedical Professionals Share Their Thoughts on High Viscosity Drug Device Strategies and Solutions

    Several biomedical professionals offered insights into their high viscosity drug device strategies and solutions at PODD 2016.

    Bill Welch, Chief Technology Officer at Phillips-Medisize, stated high viscosity drug devices can drive improved patient outcomes. As a result, the demand for these devices may increase over the next few years.

    “The creativity of our industry is really being tapped to create these devices,” Welch told PODD attendees.

    Ultimately, biomedical companies must be able to identify the challenges associated with high viscosity drugs.

    “We are trying to assist either the patient or the supplier by introducing [new devices]. The longer the device sits on a patient’s body, new problems may come into the picture,” said Atul Patel, Biogen’s Director of Device Development.

    Chris McKenzie, Business Development Specialist at Battelle, added that he believes biomedical companies need to understand the true value of high viscosity drug devices to devise effective strategies and solutions.

    “Make sure you have the fundamental understanding of your technology and be able to articulate it,” he stated.

    4. Pharmaceutical Companies Highlight Their Partnering Strategies

    Finding the right partner in the drug delivery market may seem impossible at times, and several pharmaceutical company representatives discussed their partnering strategies.

    What defines a great partner? Anthony Trupiano, Head of Combination Product Device Development for Research and Development at biopharmaceutical company Shire, said expertise remains paramount.

    “There are some great companies out there with some great expertise, and we need to leverage that expertise that is out there,” he said.

    For Allergan, the company utilizes an “Open Science” research and development model to drive healthcare innovation.

    James Cunningham, Allergan’s Director of Ocular Drug Delivery, stated Open Science empowers his company to embrace new ideas and innovations. Thus, Allergan is ready to drive partnerships that may deliver long-lasting results.

    Meanwhile, Marta Corcoran, Senior Scientist for Drug Delivery and Development at MedImmune, pointed out her company prioritizes patient centricity. As such, MedImmune leverages alliances, licensing arrangements and other partnerships to foster innovation, Corcoran said.

    5. Digital Therapeutics Experts Discuss the Opportunities and Challenges of Digital Drug Delivery

    Technology has transformed the medical landscape, and this trend appears likely to continue into the foreseeable future. However, biomedical companies that address the opportunities and challenges of digital drug delivery today may be better equipped to manage new digital drug technologies as soon as they become available.

    “I think of digital drug delivery as digital drug therapy,” said Christopher Coletta, former Director of Drug Delivery Innovation at Amgen. “Connectivity is starting to be incorporated into drug delivery devices, and we need to consider how that is going to drive value (for stakeholders).”

    In addition, data analytics are becoming increasingly common among businesses and consumers and may reshape the drug delivery landscape.

    Data analytics empower biomedical companies to learn about chronic diseases and tailor patient treatments based on a wealth of patient data. At the same time, data analytics raise regulatory and privacy concerns.

    Eric Elenko, Executive Vice President of Science and Technology at PureTech, stated data analytics can drive biomedical enhancements if they preserve patient privacy and correspond to the workflow of the current healthcare system.

    “Data analytics need to be done in a way that is beneficial to the physician and the patient,” he said.

    PODD 2016 is over, but planning for next year’s conference is already underway.

    Be sure to check back for updates about PODD 2017, which will take place Oct. 19 and 20, 2017 at Boston’s Marriott Copley Plaza.