On Friday, September 9, industry leaders and innovators gathered at NJIT for BioNJ’s 2022 Manufacturing Briefing. BioCentriq was proud to serve as a sponsor, and CEO Haro Hartounian, Ph.D., welcomed attendees with opening remarks along with BioNJ President & CEO Debbie Hart and NJIT President Teik C. Lim, Ph.D., MSc. The event included lively panel discussions and a tour of the new McKinsey & Company Digital Capability Center, which is operated by BioCentriq.
“It was fantastic to have so many incredible thought leaders and industry experts gather right next to the BioCentriq headquarters. New Jersey is quickly becoming a hotspot for biopharma innovation, and we’re proud to be at the forefront of that effort alongside key players like BioNJ,” said Haro Hartounian, Ph.D.
Prior to, and because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for greater capacity and more efficient biopharma manufacturing has grown exponentially, and it has become crucial for companies to stay ahead of emerging trends, technologies, and strategies. Laurie Lanoue, MBA, Partner at McKinsey & Company, spoke about the industry trends shaping the manufacturing strategies of the future. There was also a panel discussion about lessons learned from the pandemic, including the post-pandemic cliff, supply chain instability, and how to implement these lessons into current manufacturing strategy.
BioCentriq’s Director of Business Development, Chathuranga De Silva, Ph.D., participated in the panel discussion, “Strategy to Accelerate Manufacturing Performance and Productivity of Tomorrow,” which was moderated by John Tomtishen, Vice President of Operations at Cellares. The panel discussed what’s to come, including breakthroughs in digital, technology enablement, process yield improvements, and the growing pool of talent. Other panelists included David Gardner, Executive Director of Master Data & Digital Strategy at Bristol Myers Squibb, Gene Schaefer, MSc, ScD, Senior Fellow at The National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), and Orlando Serani, Program Architect, Advanced Therapies Supply Chain at Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.
“I am honored to have had the opportunity to speak alongside industry leaders on this topic. Cell and gene therapy is in its infancy, much like the biologics industry was thirty-five years ago. There is immense effort underway to create technology, processes, and systems that scale these complex therapies for the masses. I am excited for the future of CGT and humbled by the opportunity to highlight some of the advances that we see in the industry today,” said Chathuranga De Silva, Ph.D.
The keynote speech was given by Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER) at the FDA, who was brought back to this year’s event by popular demand—and for good reason. Dr. Marks gave critical insight on the importance of quality manufacturing for biologics and the need for manufacturing capacity, not only for products in development but also for future surge capacity in case of emergency. He also provided guidance and resources for manufacturers.
After raffling off a $200 gift card for one lucky attendee, BioCentriq’s Assistant Project Manager Benjamin Hughes and McKinsey & Company’s Manager of Digital Capability Centers North America Sara Loewenthal gave a sold-out tour of the Digital Capability Center (DCC). The DCC is a state-of-the-art learning facility that helps biopharma companies to deploy digital capabilities, reimagine their operations functions beyond the four walls of a manufacturing facility, and scale the changes across workforces. It features a model cell-therapy-manufacturing facility to provide biopharma companies with an immersive learning experience that simulates the journey to operational excellence.
“This was a hugely successful event that demonstrated both the enthusiasm and dedication of New Jersey’s talented biopharma workforce. I’m confident this area will continue to grow and produce invaluable personnel, technologies, and therapies as we head into the future,” said Amy Lamperti, Senior Vice President of Commercialization at BioCentriq.