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Connecting synchrotron applications to pharma innovation


ESRF scientists and the BDO, together with synchrotron and neutron experts gathered in Gothenburg (Sweden) for exploring future capabilities and challenges in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry.

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AstraZeneca gathered over 30 external and about 40 internal synchrotron and neutron experts in Gothenburg for discussing challenges and issues in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry, as well as exploring the influence of synchrotron applications and neutron techniques on future capabilities.

Anna Pettersen, Senior Scientist, Pharmaceutical Technology and Development, explained that“it is important for AstraZeneca to have a close dialog with experts in order to adapt our science to meet future demands, and to be frontiers in this area of expertise. Hosting this symposium at our site is also a great opportunity to stimulate the biotechnology sector in the region.”

Participating in the two day symposium (11-12 October) were scientists from the ESRF, MaxIV, Institute Laue-Langevin and European Spallation Centre. Besides fruitful discussions, the two days were made up by oral presentations, accompanied by poster presentations as well as demonstrations of lab equipment."The aim was to establish a creative environment where we could discuss and learn more from each other. Specifically, what challenges and issues the pharma industry is facing now and in the future, as well as what synchrotron and neutron abilities are present today and will be present in the future”, says Petersen.

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Two moments of the symposium, with ESRF scientists presenting the techniques of the ESRF.

For Ed Mitchell, head of the BDO at the ESRF, this was "an incredible opportunity to hear first-hand what the R&I challenges are for the coming years in pharma and medtech companies".

The main topics covered in the meeting were:

  •        3D imaging of structures of tens of nanometres to millimetres in size
  •        Quasi-chemical contrast related to density, crystallinity or refractive index differences
  •        High spatial resolution and follow dynamics processes
  •        Investigation of coatings, particles and surface contamination
  •        Solid-state chemistry, phase changes, chemical crystallography
  •        Surface and interfacial crystallography and spectroscopy
  •        Bio-imaging on cells, implants, bone, whole organs, animal models etc.; including dynamic and longitudinal studies
  •        Formulation of biologicals, nano vectors, dynamic and in-vitro towards in-vivo systems