Session Descriptions

Pharmfest Logo at Montclair State University

The Changing Landscape

April 3, 2012
8:30 a.m.
University Conference Center
Session Description

Opening Session:

Overcoming Today's Pharma Challenge: Building on Past Successes with a Focus on Science,
People, and Partnerships

The past several years have brought many economic and regulatory changes that have impacted the pharmaceutical industry, resulting in mergers and acquisitions, reduced provider interactions, and increased market competition from generic drug companies. At the same time, the industry as a whole has faced the challenge of adapting to multiple patent expirations, which potentially profoundly influence investor decisions, placing additional pressure on the developing drug pipelines of many Pharma companies. It takes a minimum of 10-15 years of rigorous science to develop a single drug from discovery to launch, and the inherent risk is critically significant with only about 25 drug approvals annually by the Federal Drug Administration in the United States. Not surprisingly, as an industry we focus on our recent filings and approvals, but important adaptations have taken place that build upon the industry's
earlier successes. These continue to positively impact world health and improve the lives of patients and their families.
Today, this panel will explore how our industry is building on these past successes: by focusing on innovations in science and technology, creating work cultures that foster collaborative leadership, and partnering across academia and biotech companies to move drug discovery forward to improve health and prevent diseases.

Session A-1:

Start-up Enterprises and the Pharmaceutical Sector: Challenges and Innovations in Today's Marketplace

Start-up entities remain essential in ensuring the long-term innovation and competitiveness of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries in New Jersey and the region. The risks and rewards of start-up enterprises are, in many ways, magnified in the pharmaceutical technology sector. In addition to the actual technology and the associated business model that an enterprise seeks to exploit, access to capital, information asymmetry, knowledge transferability, and intellectual property issues represent unique challenges and opportunities for the biotech entrepreneur.
This panel session will address the critical role that life science start-ups represent in the biotech value chain and will consider the ways in which public and private sector entities are seeking to support and strengthen these enterprises.

Session A-2:

The Convergence of the Biotech, Pharma, Medical Devices, and Diagnostics Industries: Challenges and Opportunities

As the traditional 'Big Pharma' companies consider their business model and look to collaborate with biotechnology, medical device, and diagnostics companies, and in some cases consider generics and biosimilars as strategies for profitability and growth, the lines are becoming increasingly blurred. With this development come challenges and opportunities. This panel will discuss what that means to these various industries and the future of innovation.

Session B-1:

New Trends in Pharmaceutical Sales and Market Research

The pharmaceutical sales and marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years with emerging biotech products, new technology proliferation, greater cost consciousness, and increased global sales of pharmaceuticals. At the center of this highly regulated industry emerges an increase of communications, digital marketing efforts, social media, and sales force success strategies. Pharmaceutical marketing is heavily centered on new trends in sales management and market research.

This panel session will discuss some of the emerging trends in this area, such as the use of sales technologies, direct-to-consumer and direct-to-physician marketing communications, use of multimedia, social media and virtual communities, electronic detailing, prescription data mining, and cloud computing. Opportunities created by these trends in terms of more targeted marketing, customized sales solutions, intelligent sales support systems, and cost savings, as well as challenges such as data privacy and security issues, re-training for salespersons, and effective measurement of ROI will be discussed.

Session B-2:

Computational Drug Design

The pharmaceutical industry is faced with a never-ending need for streamlining the drug discovery process. Technologies need to be identified and developed which allow for the rapid identification of lead drug candidates, such as computational approaches. This panel will examine the current status of computational drug discovery technology and its application to the rapid identification of drug leads.

Session C-1:

Drilling Down: New Jersey's Life Sciences Vendor Community

Over the past 100 years, as New Jersey's life sciences industry has grown into the greatest cluster of pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical technology companies in the world, a comprehensive support system of specialized vendors, providing goods and services to the industry, has also evolved. Ranging from glass manufacturers to marketers to patent attorneys, these vendors comprise the infrastructure that New Jersey's life sciences companies have come to rely on. This panel will examine the critical role these vendors play in the industry and their future role in the changing life sciences business model.

Session C-2:

Small Molecule and Biologic Drug Discovery and Development

In recent years, the discovery and development of biologics such as monoclonal antibodies and vaccines has assumed an increasing importance in the portfolio of pharmaceutical companies. The range of therapeutic applications for large molecules is also growing as the field expands.

Small molecule drug discovery remains an essential component of drug discovery and development.

This panel session will provide perspectives on the relative advantages and disadvantages of each approach in terms of discovery, development, and therapeutic utility for small and large molecules. It will also highlight key differences and points of overlap between these two areas of pharmaceutical research and drug discovery.

Session D:

Career Success in the Changing Pharma Industry

A panel of Montclair State University alumni will share information about their careers and offer advice to assist those who are interested in pursuing careers in the pharmaceutical industry. As Montclair State graduates of various majors, the panelists will focus on the wide variety of professional opportunities in Pharma that extend beyond the traditional perception of researchers in lab coats. These alumni have experiences that demonstrate that the industry includes opportunities not only in drug development and manufacturing, but also in management, production, sales, quality control, marketing, accounting, IT, Human Resources, etc.. The career information and the discussion will be extremely helpful to Montclair State students as they consider how to pursue their career goals as graduates and the potential for employment in the industry.