I am writing this shortly after BPI’s publisher Brian Caine and I conducted some interviews at an east-coast supplier company. Our experience there reinforced our rationale — from the start of this publication — for continually seeking ways to build on the collegial, collaborative nature of relationships in our industry. I’ve been covering this industry as an editor since 1989; Brian, Cheryl Scott, and Maribel Rios have been involved since the mid-1990s — so we have seen technologies come and go, trends justified, and ambitions disappointed. But because we ourselves don’t specialize in any one segment, we are allowed to see a broad view of the diverse technologies (and potential synergies among them) and continually celebrate the people who passionately support advancement of ground-breaking medicines.
That is what Brian and I were remarking on as we left the interviews. We have known some of you from the beginning of our time with this industry. In fact, it is unusual for one of us to walk into a company or attend an event without seeing people we have known for years — even if we ourselves have lost track of the number of companies they have been with and positions our various contacts have held along the way.
The rewards we reap from relationships we’ve nurtured are many. Mutual comfort levels enable us to dive into in-depth conversations based on trust in how we will use such information and familiarity with BPI’s editorial products and processes. Many people with whom we discuss emerging technologies (e.g., cell therapies) and who are actively championing them are authors and suppliers we originally met through antibody engineering or downstream processing events, for example. Scientists who began as laboratory managers are now running their own start-ups or working solely on business development — and so on.
Despite the industry’s maturity and economic challenges, increased concern over costs, and so on (which some people opine has been stifling innovation), we see clearly that the entrepreneurial excitement in emerging technologies is far from stagnant. This is especially true in the regenerative medicine businesses!
My intention here isn’t to brag (although I am delighted at what we have been able to accomplish), but to explain some of our 2015 initiatives. Through our long-time collaboration with CASSS, we have a large archive of consensus papers from ongoing industry discussions. A special report series begun this year presents the most representative paper from each of five themes with summaries of the others to show something of the historical perspective and legacies we want to help maintain. This month’s supplement contains interviews from our partnership with the International Society for Cellular Therapy, one of several groups with whom we have fostered relationships to present cutting-edge cell therapy information. Collaborations with the Biotechnology Industry Organization, Interphex, our IBC colleagues, and others help us enhance their programs and our own with theater presentations and podcasts, which we then summarize for you to include everyone in the discussions.
It can be a lot of editorial products to keep track of, but we would rather provide well-targeted, usable, and current perspectives in the pages of BPI than simply play it safely. Our articles are intended to expand your connections as well by providing contact information for corresponding authors and commenting capability on our website. Let us know how else we might offer to help you succeed in your own work.