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Science & Innovation

BioPhorum Partnership Prioritizes Collaboration to Address Industry Challenges

BioPhorumAccelerating the path from insight to innovation requires knowing when to go alone and when to connect with others. Focused collaboration among researchers at leading biopharmaceutical companies has the potential to help tackle tough issues facing this sector, creating new best practices that can help the efforts of all. BioPhorum, a cross-industry collaboration comprised of representatives from more than 35 major biopharmaceutical companies, helps ensure strategic development issues that will benefit from a common approach are evaluated by some of the best and brightest across the industry.

Whether it’s defining a common approach to a technical manufacturing challenge or standardizing documentation for regulatory authorities, cross-industry collaboration can help promising innovations become trusted therapies. For research and development teams, benchmarking and information sharing can provide a very important temperature check on progress.

“Working with BioPhorum has been very valuable for our team. We are expanding our relationships, increasing our visibility, benchmarking our efforts, and helping to define industry best practices,” said Kathy Taylor, Head of Intrathecal Combination DP Development at Shire. “Benchmarking is important to understand as we evaluate our progress. We can tap group knowledge on certain technical issues and can streamline decision-making in some instances. It’s very much in keeping with Shire’s nimble, collaborative approach to innovation.”

Recently Shire hosted the BioPhorum Development Group's first face-to-face meeting at our Lexington, Mass. facility. The meeting brought together 14 representatives from 10 companies to share case studies on formulation development, particulates, and in-use compatibility with a goal of delivering of at least one publication, "Defining the Design Space for a Biopharmaceutical Product - an Intercompany Perspective on Robustness," to address the lack of a standard approaches to building drug product robustness, which in turn will deliver benefits well beyond the group.

The group also is considering a second paper focused on 'in-use compatibility', a frequent concern with medicines for rare diseases in which clinics may not have access to standardized equipment needed to formulate appropriate dosage forms.

Re-thinking traditional methods is essential for Shire to develop life-changing medications for patients who need them. By working with peer-companies in organizations like BioPhorum, we can maximize our potential to create manufacturing, human resources, IT and supply best practices that address flexibility, cost, speed and quality concerns that will drive future biopharmaceutical business drivers.

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