September 2020: From the Editor

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I’m writing this from the height of our pandemic summer, and you’re reading it in the fall — in this strange year of time flying while seeming to stand still. We editors have worked from home for years, so our lives haven’t changed as much over the past few months as yours might have. Our Informa conference organizers, however, have seen their jobs transform radically. They’ve managed to pivot deftly toward virtual events, and I hope you’ve enjoyed some of those by now. We sure do miss seeing our readers and authors in person, but the lack of physical travel can allow us all to tune in to more discussions than we might have otherwise.

We’ve been thinking of you a lot lately, too. Late summer is when the BPI editors, publisher, and sales staff begin planning our schedule for the next year. Of course, we consider what topics are getting a lot of your attention this year — hmmm, vaccines, anyone? — but we also like to get ahead of the trends when we can. That can be a challenge. Sometimes the editors are ready and excited to tackle a topic that advertisers are wary of approaching (e.g., biosimilars in 2013), but our readers often thank us after the fact for pushing the envelope a bit (e.g., process design way back in 2008). It’s a balancing act every time.

Our “featured report” supplements dive deep into relatively established subject matter with multiple viewpoints. So I hope that you’ll consider contributing on a 2021 topic such as vaccines, assay development, expression systems, cell banking, formulation and drug-product manufacturing, viral vectors, and intelligent manufacturing. Alternatively, you might have something in the works that lends itself to an eBook — where we like to be more nimble in planning and take a more forward-looking approach.

Meanwhile, we’re hoping to start a new tradition that lets us all look back a bit. This has been one crazy year, but through it all BPI has published some exciting work from around the world. To celebrate the best of it, we look to you in our first readers’ choice awards. Nominations were drawn from your engagement with our website’s familiar categories: upstream production, downstream processing, manufacturing, analytical methods, and business strategy. Finalists were the most downloaded articles from September 2019 through June 2020. By the time you read this, I hope you’ve already voted for your favorites in our Survey Monkey form online. We’ll present the winners in eBook form later this year. Look for expert commentary from our editors, advisors, and advertisers alongside updates from the winning authors, too.

Sports were never my thing, but I take my career role as a cheerleader for the biopharmaceutical industry seriously. At BPI, we all do. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on your work more than anything ever has. “The whole world is watching,” once a protest cry, has taken on a whole new meaning for BPI’s authors and readers. That attention can be daunting, but it also highlights the importance of your contribution to public health around the world. We’re here to support those efforts in any way we can.

Finally, we editors hate to say goodbye to our publisher — who on page 3 is too humble to tell you that this magazine would not exist if not for his courage and tenacity nearly two decades ago. He has been our champion, our torchbearer, and our friend all that time — so much more than a mere “boss.” To say that he will be missed is a vast understatement.

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