The 14 and 15th of February, Umeå Biotech Incubator organised an Early Drug Development course open to both in-house projects and academics. 20 participants attended, 100 percent would recommend the course, and 90 percent evaluated the content as “very informative”.

The two-day course was sought after. Half of the two dozen signed up participants were academics from Umeå University not yet associated with the incubator – the rest we’re in some way involved with, or in charge of, development projects or companies already connected with Umeå Biotech Incubator.

It is not the first time that the medical incubator in Umeå organises a specialized course in early drug developent. One of them reported that she missed a similar event last year – and had been looking forward a new chance in 2017.

Importance of scientific documentation highlighted

The aim of the course was to conveny better insights in to key elements and requirements during early drug development. The more than 2 cm thick compendium with lecture notes covered everything from documenting and Good Laboratory Practice (GLP) to legislation and early phase non-clinical development.
Saeed Ahmad from the dept. of organic Chemistry holds a Post Doc position at Umeå University. He was very pleased with the content when asked in the afternoon of the second course day.

– I have precious experience from medicinal chemistry and still it was very good to learn more about the importance of scientific documentation, proper notes and availability, he said.

Experienced course leaders used to international setting

The invited guest speakers in charge of the course came from the Netherlands and are currently working for Kinesis Pharma – a part of the Venn Life Science Group. Ilonka van Hoof has worked at Organon (currently MSD) for over 10 years.  She is now the director of non-clinical development at Kinesis Pharma, and is leading a group of five non-clinical experts.

Carina Sonnega has over 25 years of experience with pharmaceuticals from both industry and public sector work as an assessor for the Dutch authorities. She is a senior consultant in regulatory affairs and CMC, and also fulfills the role of regulatory lead at Kinesis Pharma. She has held similar courses in Taiwan, Korea the Netherlands and Belgium before – but this was the first time in Sweden.

– It’s been a very good group with a lot of interaction. As we had an internactive session early in the programme, we’ve been able to adjust and be flexible about what content is most important for the participants and their projects right now, she says.

Carine Sonnega finds the educational work stimulating and enjoys sharing knowledge and connecting with academics and people who create the early lead compounds.

– Sometimes, we get projects out of it, and that is of course our company’s rationale for arranging these courses, she explains.

Course rated highly – delivered above expectations

Overall, the course evaluation tell of a very apprieciated two-day course. 100 percent of the participants said they would recommend the course to a collegue. 80 percent thought the educational level was “just right” while 20 percent found it too high. 63 percent reported that their overall opinion was “much better” or “better” than expected.

As for hearing about the course – 80 percent of the participants either got a personal recommendation (42%) or received a direct invitation by e-mail (37%). Since the preferred information channel is e-mail or newsletter, the incubator will therefore continue to send out invites to similar events in the future.

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