March 2021: From the Editor

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In my short time as BPI’s resident novice, I have been impressed with this industry’s interdisciplinarity and collaborative spirit. Executives tell me that biopharmaceutical companies have not always been so multifaceted in their expertise or so willing to forge partnerships across organizations and over the industry–academia divide. I am lucky to have started working with you when I did late in 2019.

That is not to regard the biopharmaceutical industry with rose-tinted glasses. Many elements of biomanufacturing remain closely guarded secrets, and competition across businesses remains lively. But even before the COVID-19 pandemic, I noticed during conferences and interviews how much life-science professionals want to share what they know, learn what they don’t, and invite scientists from other organizations and fields to join the conversation.

For that, I thank you. Rapid development and testing of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and antivirals has required a shared sense of purpose, and the industry will need such inclusivity and receptiveness going forward. As the pandemic has emphasized, developing treatments for complex diseases requires all the perspectives, alliances, and resources that can be garnered.

In 2021, BPI hopes to emulate and facilitate your collegiality and curiosity. Since starting with BPI, I’ve relished learning not only from biologists and chemists, but also from data scientists, engineers, and physicists whose efforts contribute to innovation in biologics manufacture. This year, BPI will continue reporting such perspectives, especially in its featured reports on analytical technologies and intelligent manufacturing.

Meanwhile, our partners across Informa Connect are joining forces to help life-science professionals synthesize perspectives from across the biopharmaceutical industry. Previously distinct, the BPI and the Cell and Gene Therapy Manufacturing and Commercialization conference networks will converge throughout 2021 to present BPI West (29–31 March, a digital event), BPI Asia (5–8 April, a digital event), and the flagship BioProcess International (20–23 September, tentatively a hybrid event). Informa Connect also will host a timely COVID-19 Therapeutic Development and Production conference (26–27 April) and the annual Well-Characterized Biologics and Bioassays meeting (26–28 October).

For life-science professionals who want to explore specific topics during 2021, our conference partners are expanding their Digital Weeks webinar series to include segments on cell therapy (5–7 April), downstream processing and viral safety (24–27 May), continuous processing and analytics (21–24 June), and viral vectors (November 2021). These series will enable attendees to delve into focused topics yet explore them from a wide range of business and technical vantages.

Please consider joining some of those invaluable multifaceted discussions — you can start online at https://informaconnect.com/biotech-pharma — and let us know what topics and perspectives you find most fruitful. The biopharmaceutical industry is growing precisely because people such as you are willing to write, speak, and otherwise share what you know across dynamic intellectual networks.

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