GSK: Mark Wilson shares his enthusiasm about the need for challenge in the drug delivery space




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Video title: GSK: Mark Wilson shares his enthusiasm about the need for challenge in the drug delivery space
Released on: September 28, 2011. © PharmaTelevision Ltd
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In this episode of PharmaTelevision News Review, Fintan Walton talks to Mark Wilson, Director of Collaborative Management of GSK.
Issues in Formulation area
Fintan Walton:
Hello and welcome to PharmaTelevision News Review here at the LESI Conference in London 2011. On this show, I have Mark Wilson, who is the Director of Collaborative Management for pre-clinical work at GSK that pre-clinical work includes formulation, drug delivery and affiliated technologies. Welcome to the show.
Mark Wilson:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton:
Mark, you're obviously involved with LESI and the conference here, we'll talk about that in a moment, but just want to talk a little bit about your role at GSK , that role as I understand it is in the area of particularly in pre-clinical, but also in the area of formulation?
Mark Wilson:
That's correct.
Fintan Walton:
Now having watched drugs go through clinical trials and one of the big issues is formulation once you've got a drug it's important to have a good formulation sometimes those formulations have to be quite sophisticated, the question for you Mark is have we reached saturation point in terms of a number of solutions to a formulation problem?
Mark Wilson:
Well as anybody in drug delivery would know there are many potential providers of drug delivery technologies. I think many of those providers have very early stage ideas and I think there are probably very few matured technologies in the marketplace and I think if you look at the whole PAT, QbD, 21st Century manufacturing initiative by the regulators which really put wind in the sales are some of the technical activities in the big companies it would be really foolish to suggest that you know we should stick with the approaches many of which we've developed essentially from the 1880's through the 1920's that we currently use to manufacture drug products including manufacturing and formulation are internally linked you actually need a cost effective manufacturing process, you could need release at the right point in the body and therefore drug delivery remains very important, and I think it would be you know shocking if we would in fact set the current state of affairs, so it's great that there is this constants that are well spring of ideas, drug delivery is a very difficult game and we see many, many companies that's in someways are struggled to develop to a fully commercial technology and usually, yes talking frankly there is a need for a partnership with the big organization such as GSK to almost pull that technologies through to maturity. So I think there is a need for new technology, I think there is a need for new approaches that we are up against some real fundamentals in terms of biology, in terms of limitations in the materials that we can use, but I think we have to push the industry forward and I think we will continue to see this area evolve, so actually I am very positive and very enthusiastic that we really need to keep challenging ourselves in this particular space.
Mark Wilson's role in collaboration management
Fintan Walton:
Right and your role within GSK within the job precision I described earlier which is in collaboration management you are involved in these collaborations with these various companies?
Mark Wilson:
That's right, so for many years GSK has been running essentially a large internal technology incubator and the model is that we have worked with a series of external partners either to bring an element of a technology and in which case GSK would tend to own the output or we'll actually work with people, help develop the technology and allow that organization to sort of use that with the rest of the industry. So there is a drug delivery evaluation role, a drug delivery sort of commercial deal role linked around GSK 's needs and also around this internal incubator, so I think that's given me a decent sense of what is out there, what is possible and how the world is developing and I think it's really positive that we are seeing some development, the challenge always is to make that leap to a fully commercialized technology which is very, very difficult you know from what may be great concepts, but that would lead to commercialization is very difficult.
Fintan Walton:
And also making sure that the regulatory bodies were on your side in that process for that?
Mark Wilson:
This is the whole thing, it's having the manufacturing plant, it's actually is running through the quality checks through the validations through the regulatory aspects all of those things that happened late in product development and don't happen and really can't happen until you get a late stage product to work on.
Changes in collaborative arrangements over the past five years
Fintan Walton:
Right, now you've been involved I think in over 200 collaborative arrangements, I am seeing lots of deals go through at GSK , do you think that things have changed over the time that you follow these collaborations, are we in a new phase, a different phase than we were let's say five-years ago?
Mark Wilson:
I think everybody is aware of how difficult it is for a pure play small drug delivery company to make that model work, so we are seeing drug delivery companies that have reached moderate scale become essentially specialty pharma drug way positioning organizations and I think that is a very sensible and rational response to that situation, if you are a drug delivery organization waiting for new arrival of projects and arrival of deals from large pharma partners you are not really in control of our own destiny so those are great projects to have, those are great projects to be working on, but if you are a small organization you need to be you know in charge of what will happen to the company. So I think that's been the really significant development over the last 5 to 10-years, I think we still see wide variety of technologies emerging, we have perhaps seen fewer technologies reach true commercialization then perhaps you or I would have expected 10-years ago and perhaps that slightly discouraging, but then know there are many things happening in the industry and that's perhaps just a consequence of those broader factors.
GSK's new out-licensing initiative in drug delivery technologies
Fintan Walton:
Yes, exactly just following the trend, but also interestingly GSK itself has got its own technology in drug delivery technology what you are doing is now out-licensing, could you tell us little bit about that initiative within GSK ?
Mark Wilson:
Yes certainly, so GSK is a and it's large company, it's a large multinational, it is rich in technology it has invested the millions the 10's of millions to develop the technologies it needs for its compound and in certain cases in certain areas of drug delivery that there is a really quite niche applications, so when the new CEO Andrew Witty arrived two to three-years ago his view was that it was, yes did not make sense for GSK to keep these technologies back and what we had was a set of late stage technologies really had rebuilt clinical manufacturing or commercial launch facilities for specific applications and really just seeing to make commercial sense to open those up to the broader industry, interestingly because of the work that we've done we had a set of technologies and in particular there are three that are very mature and so you know we just started engaging with people outside GSK and we have a you know interest from a number of companies in accessing those technologies.
Fintan Walton:
So it's quite a new initiative and quite a different initiative for GSK ?
Mark Wilson:
Yes, that's fair to say, it's one that before we did it GSK thought very hard about, very positively having decided to do it, it is being done full bloodedly so we have the support of the head of R&D, support of the head of manufacturing and this was actually was a initiative spark by the CEO and I think that's just really helps when you're trying to do something new in a very large operating company, but it is an interesting message, so I am out now at conferences selling GSK 's technologies and it's something that strikes people as new and there always often double take of so what you are doing here absolutely but I think it's very, very positive for GSK and actually for the industry because I do see these are good approaches.
Fintan Walton:
So Mark, could you tell us little bit of more specifically what type of technologies you're now out licensing?
Mark Wilson:
There are three main technologies one is a medium milling, bead milling approach where we have a commercial facility as know-how, we have a control release platform difficult which we believe is (indiscernable)C2 of combinations and in particular it's very robust to sort of food effects fed-fasted effect, the one of the technology I think is very exciting is something that we call liquid-dispensing technology and what we do is we actually print a solution or a suspension of the active a very potent actives on to a placebo tablet and we use the patent system so each tablet is tracked individually through the system and each tablet has dose verifications so if there should be an error in dose dispensing we can guarantee that tablet is removed so not only is the dose exceptionally accurate so this is a in some ways better than six sigma manufacturing approach, but we actually can guarantee that the tablet we provide to the patient does have the exact dose required and this is a shirt-sleeves environment for manufacturing very high potent compounds, so as with these other technologies to some degree its niche, but I think it's very, very beautiful technology and it really just makes sense to try and provide that you know to the broader environment.
Fintan Walton:
And the application of that particular technology must be quite broad?
Mark Wilson:
Well potentially it's useable for dose ranging studies, potentially it's useable for different low dose formulations, it really is limited to low dose compounds so this is pharmaceutics there are problems within every aspect you try to explore there is no panacea, but it is a very beautiful very well engineered approach to low dose compounds we designed it for micrograms so potentially we have taken the technology up to a few milligrams, but for compounds that need those specifications it's a very attractive a beautifully contained approach which solves a lot of containment issues and a lot of containment expense, there is something that we've received it's a very positive reaction to when we've been exposing fruits to GSK 's development work to the outside world.
LES: Key challenges ahead
Fintan Walton:
And Mark, we can't go any further without saying that you are obviously President of the LES here in Great Britain in Ireland, congratulations on that role you've also taken on the task of making sure that this conference the LESI conference here in London the international conference has taken place and it is now underway, for what I have seen it's been going extremely well, just going straight to your role with as President within LES, how would you describe what's happening within the organization and what are the key challenges that an organization like LES has?
Mark Wilson:
Well LES I think is a wonderful organization and it's very unique, so it brings together there is sort of legal community lawyers, patent attorneys with the commercial business development opportunity and the university sector and so it's a very rich blend, a very rich mix and it's a different environment to the legal conferences, all those sort of pharmaceutical business development meetings that you and I attend, so there is some richness in the blend it's also almost old fashioned in that it's a learner society it's bringing people together to share best practices, so people doing pharmaceutical evaluations can check trade notes with people in the own industry running evaluations, and I think there is a learning across sector that actually is very, very powerful, certainly LES is very interested in providing mentoring, in providing training courses, providing education and that's a really big activity for the society globally, it's also a very global organization so it operates in many countries, it has over 10,000 members globally and in this building we have 600 delegates free from around the world there are Zimbabwe, Nigeria all of the Asian countries as well as Europe and the US and again there is a sort of richness to that mix which is something that perhaps you and I don't always come across in our sort of conference travels.
Fintan Walton:
So how would you describe this conference, I mean how success this has been in your view?
Mark Wilson:
We are very, very pleased I think we have an excellent program and is that blend and is the fact that we have people from around the world coming to London that too to share best practice which actually really adds to the richness of LES. The challenge for LES in the United Kingdom is to really I think get the message out that we are here that this is what we are about and in particular we are trying to build links with several of the major multinationals to see how best LES can develop in education, mentoring, best practice sharing offering that really supports that industrial community. So I think LES is to a degree may be sort of kept it's light hidden in the United Kingdom, we have vested friends I think it's true to say in very many major multinationals and so we are just trying to gather that together and say where which we targeting our focus, what are the things that would really be of value and so that we could push this message out and provide useful products to that community.
Fintan Walton:
Mark Wilson, thank you very much for coming on the show.
Mark Wilson:
Thank you.
Fintan Walton
Dr Fintan Walton is the Founder and CEO of PharmaVentures . After completing his doctoral research on the genetics of cell proliferation at the University of Michigan(US)and Trinity College (Dublin, Ireland), Dr Walton gained broad commercial experience in biotechnology in management positions at Bass and Celltech plc (1982-1992).
Mark Wilson
Director
Mark Wilson is Director, Collaboration Management, Europe for the Pharmaceutical Development department of GlaxoSmithKline's pre-clinical development division. He is responsible for the licensing and collaboration activity of the formulation department of GSK , which operates globally and which employs approximately 10% of GSK 's R&D headcount. Mark has worked for SmithKline Beecham and GSK in a licensing role for the last seven years and has been involved in over 100 commercial transactions and alliances. His work for the last 18 months has been concentrated on corporate venturing activity. He originally trained as an engineer and holds a Master's degree and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Leeds, in addition to an MBA from Columbia University and London Business School.
PharmaVentures
PharmaVentures is a corporate finance and transactions advisory firm that has served hundreds of clients worldwide in relation to their strategic deal making in the pharmaceutical, life science and healthcare sectors. Our key offerings include: Transactions / deal negotiations; Product / technology valuations; Deal term advice; Due diligence & expert reports; Strategy formulation; Alliance management; and Expert opinion for litigation/arbitration cases. PharmaVentures provides the global expertise to ensure our clients generate the highest possible return on investment from all their deal making activities. We have experience of all therapeutic areas and can offer advice on both product and technology commercialisation.
GlaxoSmithKline
The GlaxoSmithKline together with its subsidiaries, engages in the discovery, development, manufacture, and marketing of pharmaceutical products, over the counter ( OTC) medicines, and health-related consumer products worldwide. Its principal pharmaceutical products in various therapeutic areas comprise respiratory , HIV, central nervous system , cardiovascular and urogenital , metabolic , anti-bacterials , oncology and emesis , and vaccines and dermatologicals . Additionally, the company provides nutritional healthcare products consisting of Lucozade, an energy and sports drinks for energy and hydration; Horlicks, a malted, milk-based drink and food for nutrition application; and Ribena, a blackcurrant juice-based drink. GlaxoSmithKline plc was founded in 1935 and is headquartered in Brentford, the United Kingdom.