RALEIGH  – With Research Triangle Park ranked the eighth largest biopharma cluster in the U.S. according to GEN, it is no surprise that more than 1,000 biotech manufacturing professionals are expected in Raleigh on Tuesday for the 25th Annual Life Sciences and Technology Conference.

Presented by ISPE-CaSA (International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering – Carolina-South Atlantic Chapter), the conference will focus on cutting-edge technologies designed to improve the delivery of drugs to patients with life-threatening illnesses.

The keynote address will be presented by Paul McKenzie, PhD, EVP of Biogen. He handles global manufacturing and operations of the company’s advanced biologics manufacturing facility in Solothurn, Switzerland.

Educational sessions will cover manufacturing operations, automation, maintenance & reliability and facilities of the future. Visiting from Denmark is Lars Olsen, assembly & packaging global technology partner at NNE. A medical device counterfeit and fraud expert, Olsen will discuss the regulatory requirements for serialization, as well as provide insights on the latest packaging trends.

Local Impact and Expertise

Looking at the statewide impact of the biotech industry, WRAL TechWire contributor and NC COIN Executive Director Joe Magno recently wrote that North Carolina’s life sciences sector is comprised of more than 650 companies contributing an estimated $86B to the economy. The industry provides more than 63,000 jobs across the state and indirectly impacts an additional 260,000 employees. A significant number of the workers are engaged in advanced manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Many of the educational sessions will be led by local experts. Worthy of special attention is long-time NC State University Teaching Fellow, Jeff Odum, CPIP will sign his latest book, “Process Architecture in Biomanufacturing Facility Design.” Odum is the author of more than 80 published works on critical industry issues. He serves as strategic manufacturing concept group global technology partner at NNE. The book was co-authored with Michael C. Flickinger, Ph.D. Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at NC State University and Associate Director for Academy Program at the Golden LEAF Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC).

Industry Growth and Career Advancement

Maintaining and growing the workforce in the area is of key interest to the industry. To that end, there is a specific track of seminars geared towards introducing students to the roles, processes and career possibilities in the industry. Many of the 200+ exhibitors will also have HR representatives staffing their booths to discuss specific employment opportunities.

While only 29 percent of the science and engineering workforce is female according to the National Girls Collaborative Project, more than 45 percent of the workforce in the pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturing industry is female, as reported by Data USA. To honor the achievements of these highly-skilled individuals, ISPE-CaSA will be hosting a special Women In Pharma networking reception at 3 pm.

In celebration of the 25th anniversary, organizers have opened the doors to make the conference accessible to everyone in the industry – pharmaceutical manufacturing employees are invited to attend free of charge. The complimentary registration must be submitted in advance of the conference online, and is subject to verification through the employer’s HR department.

Advance registration for ISPE-CaSA members is $65 and $75 for non-members. Registration at the door on the day of the event is $85. Students who register online and present a valid student ID at the door will receive a discounted rate of $15 for ISPE-CaSA members and $25 for non-members. Registration includes food, parking and beverages throughout the day. The event will conclude with a reception for all attendees featuring complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.