Voices from organisations supporting the Master's programme in Pharmaceutical Technology: Discovery, Development and Production
Dr. Peter Ellmark
"The breakthroughs in the field of Immuno-oncology have triggered a world-wide race to cure cancer. However, many challenges remain and there is an urgent need for new talented scientists and engineers that can help solve the remaining pieces of the puzzle. Alligator has the ambition to be a leading biotech company in this field and will therefore need highly qualified and dedicated people. Importantly, young scientists at LTH have already contributed to this process by developing proteins that through further commercial development have progressed into clinical evaluation."
Dr. Helen Sjögren, Principal Scientist, Global Pharmaceutical R&D
What have you worked with during your years in industry?
"I work as principal scientist at a pharmaceutical company in Denmark. I have been working in the pharma industry my whole life, in Germany, Sweden and Denmark. I have worked both in production, in an analytical lab, and for the last 15 years with pharmaceutical development of peptide and protein drugs. I have a MSc from LTH and a PhD in physical chemistry."
What is the present state and the future of this industry? Why is it interesting to work in pharmaceutical industry?
"The pharmaceutical industry is a very research focused industry, where the strive of developing new and better drugs drives the daily work. At the same time, the regulatory requirements are constantly increasing, which gives a strong focus on continuous improvements, in research and development, but also in commercial production. Overall, the pharmaceutical industry is a great place to work, especially if you like a dynamic and constantly changing work environment. At the same time, the regulatory requirements on documentation in the pharma industry are more strict than in any other area. To be able to work very accurate, but without losing creativity or pace is key, especially in the R&D organisation.
There are many positions in the pharmaceutical industry where a Master's degree in Pharmaceutical Technology: Discovery, Development and Production fits well; defining new targets or molecules in discovery, working with everything from cell line development, up- and downstream purification, development of analytical methods, product formulation, drug delivery design, and process development etc in development. You can also work in regulatory, quality assurance or patent departments. Additionally, in commercial production there are many suitable positions, as process engineers, in quality control labs etc. An MSc Pharm is also a good background in the marketing and sales organisations. The possibilities are quite simply too many to list here."
What do graduates need to succeed in this industry or what do you look for in a graduate?
"As the pharmaceutical industry is rapidly developing, it is important to have a desire to continuously change and improve according to new working standards. At the same time, it is crucial to follow regulations and guidelines for the pharmaceutical industry and also to be able to work and document the work very systematically and accurate. It is an industry where a high level of scientific knowledge and understanding is expected. If you like to develop and learn new things during your whole working life, this is the perfect place for you."
In what ways does this programme help students to become desirable job applicants in your field?
"The MSc Pharm gives a broad background and understanding of the different fields of relevance for the pharmaceutical industry. It is important to have an understanding of the overall pharmaceutical development process, ranging from discovery to regulatory knowledge and pharmaceutical production, ideally, as in this MSc programme, combined with basic knowledge in human physiology and medicinal chemistry."
Dr. Peter Ellmark, Alligator Bioscience
Dr. Helen Sjögren, Ferring Pharmaceuticals