The “Advanced & Breakthrough Therapies – From Idea to Patient” event took place on June 13, 2019 in Living Tomorrow Brussels. A perfect setting for approximately hundred professionals active within the wider Belgian advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMP) ecosystem. The purpose of the event was to drill down deeper into various aspects related to bringing ATMPs from lab to patient. ATMPs are becoming a reality, and they have the potential to revolutionise the biotech industry.
Bart Van Acker, CEO of QbD and recently named “Flanders’ Young Entrepreneur of the Year” kicked off the event. After a brief intro, Bart passed the word to Bram Keymolen, Co-founder of Eye-Tec. Bram addressed the state of good manufacturing practice (GMP) for ATMPs, discussing challenges and guidelines in this regard. Then Antleron CEO Jan Schrooten took the stand and inspired the public with his session on innovative technologies fueling personalized cell therapy.
After the break, Philippe Willemsen, Process Optimization Manager Novadip, elaborated on potential ATMP manufacturing challenges related to scaling and control strategy when going from lab to patient. Jean-Paul Deslypere shared lessons learned from cell therapy trials and questioned whether or not it is time for a new approach.
Then Ingrid Maes, Managing Director Inovigate, came forward for her presentation. She highlighted innovative end-to-end funding solutions for breakthrough therapies. Ingrid also served as the moderator for a panel discussion with the following persons:
· Philippe De Backer, Belgian Minister of Digital Agenda and Telecommunication
· Pascale Engelen, Co-Managing Director Flanders.bio
· Annie Hubert, Senior Director Alliance for Regenerative Medicine
· Rudy De Cock, Director Health & Value at Pfizer
· Michel Geelhand, General Manager Oncology at Novartis
· Bram Keymolen, Co-founder Eye-Tec
· Jan Schrooten, CEO Antleron
The vivid panel discussion covered various angles including innovation, technology, production, quality, legislation, collaboration, funding, societal impact, etc. As a conclusion, the panel looked toward the future and made suggestions for real improvements on different aspects.