The Important Role of Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products

November 15, 2018 by Robert Beall, PMP, Director, Product Lifecycle Management

Today on the blog, a personal perspective from a colleague on the impact and importance of ATMPs and increasing patient safety.

Increasing safe and effective patient treatment opportunities for the future is one of the driving forces behind ProPharma Group’s business. It’s also the driving force behind why many individuals choose to work in the industry we do, and a particularly important reason why I personally choose to work for ProPharma Group, but more on that later.

Knowing that most people, if not all people, have had personal experience with a friend or family member dealing with terminal illness, let me share a short story with you about my dear friend Cindy.

Cindy was 26. We had grown up together in a small upstate town. She had recently graduated from LeMoyne College and aspired to be a stock broker. She had been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and all of the surgeries and treatments the doctors and specialists could attempt unfortunately were unable slow the growth. My friend Cindy passed away on Christmas day 1995. In the room next to hers, I heard her breath her last breath, alone, with her boyfriend at home.

While hospice provided pain relief to allow her to preserve dignity at her time of passing, this experience triggered something in me. I knew I wanted focus my career in helping patients, just like my friend Cindy.

Two years after my friend Cindy passed away, I was working with Dr. Shephard at the Roxane Pain Institute to efficiently provide palliative care.  Dr. Shepard told me that when he was my age, the medical community had made a pledge to wipe out cancer by the end of the century, but the solutions had proven to be elusive.  Following my passion, a few years later I was working at a large pharmaceutical company to efficiently provide Cytotoxic and Genotoxic cancer therapies. In 2011, I joined ProPharma Group to expand my ability to help patients by working with pharmaceutical innovators, including those in Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMP).

In 2012, a breakthrough. A new treatment called CAR T (Chimeric antigen receptors) Therapy was administered to 7 year old Emily Whitehead for treatment of Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. Emily was literally days from dying.  Please go to You Tube to see GE’s Fire with Fire video. Today Emily is cancer free and advancements in the CAR T field have progressed quickly in the past six years.

ProPharma Group has been working with the clients in the ATMP field for years. We have been supporting the development of ATMPS including platforms for automated production of cells and tissues for regenerative medicine applications, autologous chondrocyte implementation, hematopoietic stem cell transduction, and affinity enhanced T-cell therapies.  From developing filing strategies to supporting analytics, qualifying the equipment and validating processes, ProPharma Group provides critical services to ensure clients can provide treatments that extend quality of life. That is something I am proud to be a part of, and I know my dear friend Cindy is proud of me as well.

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