Dr Alina Depkat is the customer relations manager at time:matters, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, the largest airline in Europe. She is leading their initiative into cell therapy and has written a review about her experience as a first-timer at a Phacilitate event
Phacilitate Leaders Europe 2017 was an exceptional platform for the exchange of experiences between key players in cell and gene therapy, including emerging biotech companies with cutting-edge science, big pharma, regulators and service providers. New treatments, such as CAR-T cells, which recently passed the first steps in clinical trials are moving towards commercialised products with tremendous speed. Attending the conference for the first time it was amazing to see how personalised treatments are raising the need for a customised supply chain, which puts a seamless chain of custody and speed into the forefront.
The industry’s end goal of delivering a high-quality product to every patient depends not only on innovative technology and manufacturing but also on specialised logistics partners.
Coming from the field of tailor-made logistics, two questions arose in every conversation:
- How can we retain control of time-critical starting material and ensure reliable handling of cryo-frozen products at airports?
- How can the lead time be reduced to speed up the vein-to-vein process for each patient?
As time:matters has the expertise to tackle both of these logistics challenges, the discussions I participated in at the meeting were very interesting. We are process owners for the handling of sensitive shipment at airport and on aircrafts and ensure special requirements like ‘do not x-ray’ or ‘do-not tilt’. Our first-hand experience is that the tightest levels of control and excursion-free, on time shipments cannot be achieved by automation alone, but mainly by personal supervision of each individual shipment by trained specialists.
Looking to future Phacilitate meetings, our goal will be to provide a stronger contribution of our logistics expertise to make the cell and gene therapy community even better connected.