Five minutes at CPhI worldwide with …
ChemistryToday/PharmaHorizon: You recently made two new appointments to your Executive Committee. What does this mean for Envigo?
Both our Chief Commercial Officer, Craig Boyd, and the President of EMEA Operations, Lizanne Muller, have been recruited to drive further growth at Envigo and enhance service delivery to customers across the pharmaceutical, chemicals and crop protection industries.Craig is focused upon the continued success and expansion of Envigo through his leadership of the commercial team, ensuring our sales, marketing and scientific teams meet the evolving needs of our customers and assist them in reaching their development goals through the best possible experience of partnering with us.
Lizanne’s responsibilities lie upon optimizing the quality and delivery of Envigo’s Contract Research Services and Research Services Model operations across Europe and Asia ensuring that the customer remains at the heart of how Envigo operates.
CT/PH: What do contractors ask from a CRO now? What level of integration do customers need?
All of our customers demand high quality data generation and consistent service performance. Customer relations continue to evolve into close working partnerships where Envigo understands the development needs and aims of the products we work with, these relationships ensure that we can deliver the optimal scientific package whilst offering a positive overall experience of working together. To meet these needs Envigo has put in place systems, processes and structures, supported by key appointments to ensure data is generated on budget and to agreed timelines.
Customers increasingly require an integrated solution to achieve success and maximize the value they get from sometimes-limited resources. Our integrated pharmaceutical products and services allow customers to access both specialized research models and contract R&D expertise in order to maximize their investment. Our experienced product development consultants, program managers and regulatory professionals ensure development programs follow a successful path that meets the stringent regulations we work to.
CT/PH: What actions are ongoing to reduce animal models in pharma R&D?
The reduction, refinement and replacement of animals is culturally embedded at the heart Envigo. We ethically consider the design and execution of every study that we perform and animal we supply. Our technical and scientific teams play an industry-leading role in developing alternatives and refining study designs to ensure optimal data is generated to meet scientific and regulatory needs. In addition to our own R&D efforts we work closely with organizations such as the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of animals in research (NC3Rs), via participation in several working groups.
CT/PH: On the other hand, what innovations do you bring in animal models?
We introduce new animal models to the marketplace, such as our R2G2 model launched earlier this year – a Rag2/IL2R double knockout mouse that particularly supports researchers in oncology, and infectious disease research.
CT/PH: There is a feeling it is harder and harder to find new drugs, despite increasing investment. How do you think we will overcome this impasse?
Customers access Envigo’s services in order to better understand biology and hence develop novel products. Some industry observers have suggested that we are now in an era where biology is king. The ability to measure translatable human biology in animal models due the availability of relevant biomarkers and technology to measure them and also interpret the data is at an all-time high.
There is increased focus upon finding the correct patient who will respond to a particular therapeutic and this research begins in preclinical investigations. Equally, predicting the potential safety risks to patients of therapeutics starts earlier in the development process than ever before. It is essential that researchers identify a range of common factors/barriers that can slow or even prevent a drug progressing through development, ensuring that they can confidently invest in taking a drug candidate to the market. Envigo’s range of de-risking services include assays for some of the most common issues that a new chemical entity needs to overcome before being approved – Drug-drug interactions (DDI), genotoxicity, cardiotoxicity, neuro toxicity and Drug Induced Liver Injury (DILI) assessment – as well as specialist tests such as endocrine disruption and photo safety assays.
CT/PH: What future technologies will transform biologicals?
There are several monoclonal antibodies targeting checkpoint molecules that are demonstrating significant clinical advantages in the oncology area. In R&D, many companies are looking to develop increasingly novel approaches to targeting these receptors. CAR-T cell technologies, where a patient’s own immune cells are engineered to treat cancer, are also particularly promising.
CT/PH: Why do you think Envigo is the best choice as a CRO?
Envigo is founded on the principle that research partnerships depend on unmatched expertise, unwavering dedication to customer service and shared goals. When developers partner with us, they can be assured that we’ve one thing in mind – successful delivery of robust data. Envigo understands that the development journey can be long and challenging but more importantly it is possible to overcome those hurdles by working in partnership.