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The Solvias Science Day – Celebrating its tenth edition

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FLORIAN WEIGHARDT
chimica oggi/Chemistry Today
florian@teknoscienze.com

And here we are. The Solvias Science Day celebrated its tenth consecutive edition on November 3rd 2011 at the Congress Centre of Basel, Switzerland. The Solvias Science Days each year bring together leading scientists from the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industry and from the world of research to share new ideas and best practices in this very dynamic and fast developing field of primary importance. The most important goal of the Solvias Science Days is represented by the presentation and discussion of new strategies, ideas, and solutions in the field of chemical development and analytical chemistry by leading experts from universities, the life science industry as well as by Solvias’ scientists.
This year 189 scientists gathered to follow the general lecture and the extremely dense three parallel sessions, which were held during one day.
The general lecture, which introduced the event, was held by Dr. Wolfgang Albrecht, Head of Chemical Research at Ratiopharm GmbH, Germany. A well-known company producing generic drugs. His lecture, entitled “The Generic Industry: Braking Force or Driving Force for Innovations in Big Pharma?”, analyzed relationships, issues and opportunities occurring between the drug discovery process achieved by pharmaceutical industry, the patenting process and methods and tricks used to prolong the patent coverage and the generic drug industry keeping over the production once patents are expiring.
More in detail, the speech started form one assumption and provocation: during the last 60 years, big pharma companies have launched approximately one new molecular entity per year, compared to 2-3 needed to achieve their objectives in terms of growth. Moreover, the expiry of patents and the introduction of generic versions of innovative drugs will cause dramatic losses of revenues for most companies. Within this frame the generic industry could be the driver for pharma innovations by stimulating research for novel molecules, instead of being a negative factor as someone could think at a first glance. The speech was of extreme interest and well documented with several real life examples, showcasing the topic from a totally different viewpoint people from the pharma industry and research are used to.
The subsequent lectures were separated into three parallel sessions with a focus on synthetic, catalytic and analytical aspects of research and development processes as well as on solid-state chemistry framed by special talks and case studies.
The talks of the Chemical Development and Catalysis session were: “Organocatalysis - A New Tool for Industry” held by Karl Anker Jørgensen (Center for Catalysis, University of Aarhus, Denmark); “Total-, Semi- and Mutasynthesis – Three Faces of One Coin” held by Andreas Kirschning (Institute of Organic Chemistry, Leibniz University of Hanover, Germany); “Progress and Problems in The Total Synthesis of Anticancer Polyketides held by Ian Paterson (Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, UK); “Catalysis with Bio-Relevant Metals: Enabling Technology for Sustainable Synthesis and Energy Technologies” held by Prof. Dr. Matthias Beller (Leibniz  Institute for Catalysis, University of Rostock, Germany). The talks of the Solid-State Development session were: “π π Stacking Polymorphism” held by Josef Breu (University Bayreuth, Germany); “How to Analyze Aqueous Nanoparticle Suspensions” held by Michal Borkovec (Department of Inorganic, Analytical and Applied Chemistry, University of Geneva, Switzerland); “Crystalline Forms and Patents in The Pharmaceutical Industry” held by Heinz-Josef Deussen (Leo Pharma, Ballerup, Denmark); “General View on Chiral Discrimination in The Solid-State and on a New Variant of Preferential Crystallization (ASPreCISE)” held by Gérard Coquerel (University of Rouen, France) and “Scale Up and Advances in Drug Substance Design for Solid Oral Dosage Forms” held by. Andreas Schreiner, (Novartis, Switzerland). Finally, the talks of the Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Analysis session were: “Success Factors and Trends for Biopharmaceuticals in The EU” held by Gabrielle Dallmann (Dallmann-Consultancy, CEO Pharmatching GmbH, Freiburg, Germany); “New Molecular Tools for Elucidation of Proteolytic Intermediates in the Oligomerisation - Aggregation of Misfolding - Aggregating Neurodegenerative Proteins Using Ion Mobility - and Affinity - Mass Spectrometry” held by Michael Przybylski (Department of Chemistry, University of Konstanz, Germany); “Automated Electrophysiology for Ion-Channel Pharmaceutical Screening and Physiology” held by Peter Ruppersberg (CEO Valtronic, Switzerland); “Biomarker Discovery and Validation Using High Resolution LC-MS” held by Kai Scheffler (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Germany) and “Importance of Formulation for the Proof of Concept and for the Success of Biopharmaceuticals” held by Tudor Arvinte (Therapeomic Inc, Bio Center, University of Basel, Switzerland)  The Event was also the set for honoring the winner of the Solvias Ligand Contest. The jury honored Dr. Syuzanna R. Harutyunyan for her contributions in the area of asymmetric catalysis and the application of Solvias ligands. Dr. Harutyunyan showed in her presentation of the prize-winning contribution that the longstanding paradigm of copper(I) based catalysts favoring 1,4-selectivity over 1,2-selectivity in the addition of Grignard reagents is not fully justified and that highly valuable chiral tertiary and secondary alcohols can be now accessed through copper(I) chemistry.The 10th anniversary of the event was clearly a success: all comments from customers and colleagues, which attended it demonstrated that the 10th Solvias Science Day successfully achieved its goals.