PHARM Connect has become well known for its effectiveness in connecting professionals within the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry in the strategically important region of Central and Eastern Europe and beyond. The market leading event - organised for the 5th time - took place in Budapest on 25-26 February, with more than 400 senior decision makers of the most important companies in the pharma and biotech sector gathering in the 5 star Corinthia Grand Hotel Royal to share and discuss their challenges and meet the key solution providers of the industry.
Over 1,200 pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings were conducted between the prominent participants during the two days: a number that clearly shows the crucial role PHARM Connect as a platform plays in the growth of Central Eastern Europe's (CEE's) pharmaceutical industry. Delegates represented well over 23 countries and had the chance to get acquainted with the most up-to-date solutions to their recent challenges from automation through processing, clean rooms, laboratory equipment, packaging, logistics, biotechnology, APIs all the way to software solutions and many more. Service providers went beyond just showcasing their innovative solutions at PHARM Connect: during the course of pre-scheduled meetings each and every decision maker had the chance to discuss specific needs with numerous representatives from more than 30 vendors including Pall Life Sciences, Bürkert Fluid Control Systems, Exergy, Envirotainer, Finesse, Tiszatextil Packaging, Dycem, Blulog, Patent, Terumo, GE Intelligent Platforms, Mitsubishi Electric, ABB, Aptar Pharma, Codex, among many others. All meetings were mutually agreed upon in advance on the event's sophisticated online software, the Meeting Scheduler website, maximizing the effectiveness of the two days spent at the congress for all participants involved. Bill Frohlich, Head of Business Development at Exergy Heat Transfer Solutions in the USA summarised his experience with the following words "I was surprised that how many different countries were represented and how deep the attendees went in terms of titles and occupations. The meeting scheduler was very hectic although I really liked, we rarely had a second to breathe, except we eat lunch and that was about it, we were busy at the entire time."
The conference programme has been extremely well received by the knowledgeable audience. Dr. Erik Bogsch (Head of Biotechnology R&D Division of Gedeon Richter) opened the event with a keynote presentation about the trends and growth potentials of biosimilars and answered the question whether he considers biosimilars an advantage or threat, while Prof. Dr. Vladimir Kral (Professor at the Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT) in Prague & Director of Innovation at Zentiva Czech Republic) held a fascinating presentation on strategies in the development of generic APIs and supergeneric drug development in a fully packed conference room. Dr. Jörg Gampfer (Master Black Belt; Process Knowledge Management of Baxter Austria) and Dr. Zsolt Németh (Head of Production Gödöllő Site of GSK Vaccines) shared best practice examples during the implementation of continued process verification, a key topic due to the new regulations.
All other presentations including those of Grzegorz Brzoskowski (Regional Security Director CEE at SANOFI Poland) and Geoffroy Bessaud (AVP, Corporate Anti-counterfeiting Coordination Corporate Security at SANOFI France) on the "Anti-Counterfeiting activities at SANOFI" followed by a panel discussion on "How to Fight against Counterfeiting - Who & how?" with prominent participants such as Dr. Ibolya Csákó (Director, Hungarian National Police Headquarters Criminal Department), Major Zoltán Kövesdi (Head of the expert working group against counterfeit goods spreading on the Internet, National Board Against Counterfeiting) and Dr. Csaba Kontor (Deputy Head of the Department of Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices, Ministry of Human Resources of Hungary) and Prof. Dr. Tamás Paál (External Adviser, National Institute of Pharmacy Directorate) were praised by participating professionals, such as Dr. Erik Bogsch, Head of Biotechnology R&D Division, Gedeon Richter, "I was very impressed with the program. I think the two days really covered some of the most exciting and important areas."
"Besides cutting edge presentations and pre-scheduled one-to-one meetings, informal activities made the networking focus of the event more colourful. The cocktail reception at the end of the first day was opened by István Király, Managing Director at GSK Biologicals, who handed out the 1st ever Central Eastern European Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award in two categories.
Sanofi, the winner in the manufacturer category, was selected because the team went beyond its boundaries, took a holistic view and was brave enough to challenge the existing status quo. SANOFI clearly demonstrated an excellent customer - supplier relationship by understanding the needs of their customers. This approach clearly yielded several benefits such as cost saving of 35%, gaining new activities and saving jobs.
ABB together with its customer Gedeon Richter won in the solution provider category. ABB was selected because they went beyond Gedeon Richter's original requirements and provided solutions that helped to improve process robustness, maintain education level of the employees and most of all reduced potential human errors. It required more than just providing automation solutions but it meant understanding the process, understanding the requirements of the pharmaceutical industry, especially biotech and understanding cGMP and its new trends. This again just like in case of SANOFI requires excellent customer focus.
The award ceremony followed by the cocktail reception provided a great chance to continue the countless open ended discussions in a truly relaxed environment. Furthermore the SANOFI plant excursion was just another icing on the cake for 110 delegates, who had the opportunity to get an exclusive insight into the operations of the plant in Budapest.
TEG The Events Group - the organiser represents the pinnacle of business events in CEE. During its two days, PHARM Connect Congress made over 2,000 pre-scheduled and ad hoc one-to-one business meetings possible thanks to the TEG Meeting Scheduler website which is globally recognised as no. 1 within the industry.
Countless of ideas were born which resulted in a large amount of educational content by enabling the right senior managers and their relevant partners to find each other in the most convenient and efficient way, has led to numerous new collaborations.
An effective two days will shape the future of many attending companies, as Lenka Francišković, Head of Processes & Products Quality at Belupo in Croatia put it "What I really enjoy in this conference is the combination of presentations and the possibility and ability to meet people who are vendors in the pharmaceutical world, so this is very beneficial. It is a very active, interactive conference, very fruitful I would say this is something that I really like and what makes it unique and different from the others."Those who decided to set the pace, stay in the front row of market developments and keep the edge over competition, have all taken part and can share their experience with you further. You can reunite with them next year in Budapest, at the 5* Corinthia Grand Hotel in February 2016.