Sitting Down With… Jinling Chen, Vice President, Pharmaceutical Development Services, WuXi STA, China.
Jinling Chen |
What was your focus in the early days of your career?
Following my PhD in physical chemistry, I worked in the US for over 20 years. My early career focused on drug delivery technologies. I really enjoyed the challenges in this field and I worked for a number of big players including AstraZeneca and BMS for about 10 years. I ended up with over twenty patents in drug delivery technology! But it’s good to branch out to other areas. In 2002, I moved to Houston and worked for smaller pharmaceutical and biotech companies. The switch gave me the opportunity to diversify – roles are usually quite specialized in big pharma companies, but for the next 15 years I had the opportunity to work in drug development, research, clinical supply, analytical, NDA fillings and taking products to launch. I really enjoyed learning about different aspects of pharma development!
How have you found the move to the outsourcing sector?
The pharma industry has changed a lot over the years. When I was working for the large pharmas, they had substantial R&D departments in-house. Today, strategic outsourcing is much more common, so it was a good time to make the switch. Luckily, skills from pharma manufacturers are perfectly transferable to the contract services sector and it’s interesting to see the industry from different perspectives. Having had my whole career in the US, I didn’t quite know what to expect going back to China and working with the team in Shanghai, but I was taken aback by the dedication of everyone at the company.
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