Keeping Pace With Trends and Developments in Analytical Science
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As part of efforts to enable scientists to keep pace with the latest trends and developments in the field of analytical science, Thermo Fisher Scientific is hosting Innovation Summits, a series of virtual conferences where experiences and insights can be shared globally.
Technology Networks spoke with Peter Zipfell, product marketing manager for Thermo Fisher Scientific, to learn more about the Innovation Summits and the key themes that will be explored at the events. In this interview, Peter also shares his thoughts on current trends in analytical technologies and software.
Anna MacDonald (AM): Can you tell us more about the Thermo Fisher Scientific Innovation Summit series?
Peter Zipfell (PZ): Recent events have meant that face-to-face meetings are not possible and we had to sadly cancel our planned face-to-face events including the Chromeleon CDS symposium and many other chromatography user meetings and conferences. The challenge was really to come up with an event that was not just a replacement, but potentially a little different and even better in some areas. When you sit down and work it out, the possibilities of virtual events are very exciting and almost endless. The idea of a global event was very appealing, if not a little daunting. In science the learning process is constant and the challenges of finding new solutions are increasing all the time. This event has always been about sharing knowledge, which plays a big part in simplifying the many processes involved.
AM: What can attendees expect to learn from attending the summits? Can you tell us about some of the key themes that will be explored in the two symposium pathways?
PZ: With two events covering software and analytical sciences, attendees can understand the full portfolio that’s on offer, providing complete workflows and connecting many parts of the business – all under one umbrella at the same time. Attendees can discover how to leverage the full power of Chromeleon CDS and associated analytical science techniques to enhance the way they and their lab works to deliver improved efficiency, connectivity and compliance.
Both events will feature speakers from leading companies and institutions such as Astra Zeneca, Pharmaron Biologics, SGS Health Science, Roche, NIBRT and Sanofi amongst many others.
Multiple sessions will be run, each lasting 90 mins with multiple short presentations and the opportunity to ask questions through live Q & A.
In the Chromeleon Software pathway, the themes of IT, the lab, compliance and mass spectrometry (MS) will be covered. Focus will be on best practices, recent and future advances in software and analytical science and what leading companies are doing to achieve their business and research goals.
As a brief summary these sessions will be structured around:
· Making compliance easier than ever while maintaining data integrity, with considerations for computer system validation (CSV)
· System administration including cloud adoption, business continuity and enterprise connectivity
· Streamlining laboratory processes to improve efficiency and productivity in the laboratory
· New capabilities for MS, method development and application driven workflows
· Best practices and tips and tricks from Thermo Fisher experts to help you get the most out of your software.
The Advancing Analytical Science pathway is focusing in on pharma and biopharma applications. The aim is to ensure that scientists, both new and experienced, can make a real difference in their work. We will have guest speakers to answer questions, covering all aspects of analytical science, be that HPLC, GC or IC and to help attendees tweak their workflows, improve their methods and learn how to adopt new technologies.
Topics covered will include:
· Accelerating pharmaceutical characterization
· Advanced analytical solutions
· Advances in large biomolecules analysis
· Chromatography with advanced detection methods
· Micro-flow proteomics and poster session
· Mass spectrometry and automation
AM: How will the symposiums promote sharing of experiences and insights between chromatography users and experts?
PZ: Using an on-demand approach users can literally organize their own agenda, so that it fits in with their own schedule. This means you get every opportunity to watch presentations, from either pathway, even if they were to clash. No-one misses out on the information that’s available and that certainly promotes the opportunity to share ideas. In addition, we have many leading industry speakers and Thermo Fisher experts that will be on hand to answer questions as and when they arise.
The event has been carefully planned so that current industry issues are tackled with streams that cover IT, the lab, compliance and MS as well as hot topics in pharma and biopharma. This is turn will lead to discussions that will resonate with many of the attendees and will give the opportunity for us all to learn.
With resource libraries and interactive booths there is also a host of useful collateral that can be accessed freely, whenever it’s convenient.
AM: What current trends are you seeing for analytical technologies and software?
PZ: There has been huge interest from businesses shifting their applications to the cloud, so that they can leverage advantages such as scalability – ease of growing an installation or scaling back if necessary, lowering costs – companies paying for what they use and alleviating some of the other IT responsibilities like failover mechanisms and data recovery. Overall, connectivity from multiple software platforms is also a topic that generates quite a lot of attention.
When you focus on the lab we see the continual challenge of driving efficiency through automated workflows, smart tools for processing data and ensuring that there is a focus on ease-of-use with the consolidation of many software platforms. This is particularly evident for MS where we see the transition to a single software platform for both MS and chromatography – one that can even handle high resolution accurate mass (HRAM) data, control instruments, and acquire and process the data.
Instrumentation is now about having incredible robustness, highest up-time, diagnostic features to enable self-service and this is on top of the usual drive for more sensitivity and reproducibility. We’ve seen this push because therapeutic agents are now more complex in nature with proteins and peptides becoming more common targets of interest. This has also led to the movement of MS instrumentation into routine laboratories like QC.
The landscape for regulatory requirements is constantly evolving and businesses face the onerous task of having a deeper understanding of their data. Software, like a chromatography data system, needs to have the right tools to investigate and highlight any areas of concern. The goal is to make compliance, validation and qualification easier, so as to maintain data integrity and ensure companies are “audit ready”. Higher transparency and the push for better drug quality has brought about the potential transformation of the pharmaceutical industry, a concept referred to as “Pharma 4.0”. This current trend may see the evolution towards higher levels of stability for manufacturing, and a more information rich environment.
AM: What do you think the future holds for virtual meetings compared to face-to-face events?
PZ: Virtual events have an amazing reach, which is truly global. This provides an opportunity to connect customers and colleagues from around the world, with the ability to share a wider breath of knowledge from a range of industries. With a face-to-face event the attendance tends be more localized and there are sometimes restrictions, such as cost or time, that can prevent people from joining. These barriers can be removed and a more flexible schedule can be created to accommodate many time zones and different languages. I see huge potential for the Innovation Summit series, but it doesn’t necessarily replace face-to-face meetings, where interactions are often by chance and in general will lead to a better quality of relationship building. I see virtual meetings as a fantastic accompaniment to traditional face-to-face meetings. The world is constantly evolving, so we must take advantage of the technologies we have in order to provide solutions for different situations.
Peter Zipfell was speaking to Anna MacDonald, Science Writer for Technology Networks.