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The First for Pharma leadership dinner

3 February 2104, convened by Michael Whitaker.
The Howden Room, Newcastle University

Focus on growth: Ian Shott, Shott Consulting

Nationally, the government continues to be strongly supportive of steps to increase manufacturing capability; of taking inventions and innovation to the next step, and to do this within the UK. This affects the entire supply chain of our industries, including energy.

UK brands: It was noted that consumers in India and China know and trust goods made in the UK, and are will pay a premium for. The cost differential between manufacturing pharmaceuticals in India and the UK has more than halved in ten years. More companies are now including the cost of quality control, transport, communication and management travel time into the calculation when comparing costs for manufacturing in the UK and elsewhere.
SMEs continue to be seen as a way to drive growth. For this reason, engagement with SMREs is seen as essential, and is expected whenever regional or national bodies have events.

Catapults are experienced as a success. Two new catapults, the Energy Systems Catapult and Diagnostics for Stratified Medicine Catapult, are due to open in 2015 –

Stratified Medicines:  Sam Whitehouse, QuantuMDx

The QuantuMDx suite of developments is intended to provide quick diagnostic genetic classification – typically so that a doctor can assess a patient while that patient is still in the treatment room – both to correctly classify the disease and to prescribe the correct drugs. When a doctor needs to determine whether a patient has dengue fever or yellow ever? When a medic in the field has to distinguish whether a feverish soldier has a cold or cholera? When a doctor in India has to accurately diagnose diseases for 6000 patients?

Stratified Medicine to prescribe Warfarin precisely
A diagnostic method is used to classify people, i.e. stratify the population. By grouping people, they can be better targeted for treatment. Linking a diagnostic tool – such as genetic testing – to the drug so that prescriptions are more accurate is an idea that has gained currency with the FDA, and other countries will follow. How is handheld genetic testing technology used in stratified medicine at QuantuMDx? Their answer to classification is in genetic knowledge about the patient. Some genetic mutations correspond to people who react adversely to medicines but that work brilliantly for people with different mutations.

Warfarin is a case in point. QuantuMDx is working on the classification of patients to determine the accurate prescription of Warfarin. This widely used drug is very difficult to prescribe accurately, and a diagnostic plus drug solution would help many, many people. The Warfarin diagnostics tests are due to reach phase 3 by 2015.

Resurrecting old drugs
Sam likes the idea of old drugs being resurrected from the phase III floors and dusted off with a companion diagnostic to get to market.

Pharmaceutical Supply Chain Innovation event: Philip Aldridge, NEPIC

Our region’s largest process industry cluster membership organisation, NEPIC, will invite over 30 SMEs to give short pitches about their products and services to the regional pharmaceutical companies. The SMEs will gain from unique access to the large pharmaceutical companies, while the pharmaceutical companies will benefit from a range of new and innovative SME offerings. Contact Philip directly for more information.

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