January–February 2021: From the Editor

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With this issue, BPI celebrates its 19th birthday.

I have pretty much run out of words to talk about the year we all just endured and the changes we’ve had to make in our lives to sustain our families, businesses, and overall mental and physical health. We editors want to respond appropriately to the complex issues currently facing the biopharmaceutical industry. But with so many technologies advancing so quickly, it’s difficult for a (mostly) monthly publication such as ours to keep up. Our publication timelines are shorter than those of academic journals: three months at minimum from submission, to review, to publication — depending on available space. But what may be breaking news in January when a manuscript is accepted for a March or April issue could be superseded by publication time. We had to keep reminding ourselves of this as we planned our 2021 editorial calendar. It lists only short labels for themes, mainly, to give contributors room to address what is truly cutting edge.

Here, then, are some of the topics and themes we are planning for this year. Take it as my usual invitation to write for us. We enthusiastically welcome submissions from end-user and academic authors, industry consultants, and industry working groups. And we enjoy working with supplier and service-provider authors in collaboration with our marketing team to present new tools and technologies.

2021 Issues and Themes: The March and October issues this year have downstream processing themes; our April and November–December issues have product-development themes. The issue you have in hand and the September issue are upstream-themed issues. Special issues this year will be published in May (facility design and strategy) and June (cell and gene therapies).

Submitting a manuscript for one of our featured reports follows the same process as writing for an issue. Those themes in 2021 (in order) are vaccines (this month), assay development, cell therapy, expression systems, cell banking, formulation and fill–finish, viral vectors, and intelligent manufacturing.

BPI eBooks typically are articles of 1,500–3,000 words that allow us to delve into a specific technical issue or to present viewpoints on business or regulatory issues/trends for a broader audience than our print publications reach. The contents may be submitted articles; staff-written reports based on interviews, surveys, and research; or conference reports. Our eBook topics for 2021 (one each month) include raw materials, buffers, bioreactors/sensors, resins, cell-free synthesis, process- and product–related impurities, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapies, and speeding products to investigational new drug (IND) status.

If any of our 2021 themes and topics intrigue(s) you enough to consider writing for us, think about how your insights can help propel the biopharmaceutical industry forward, address key problems, simplify or intensify processes, and contribute to the overall body of literature. What unmet needs are specific to these themes, and what might be holding a technology back from wider adoption? We are happy to review your abstract or outline and suggest approaches to the content. Although we may not have a chance to meet with you in person for many more months yet to come, we still depend on you to keep us current and to help us drive — and provoke — change. Let us work together in 2021!

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