Welcome to the M Lab™ Collaboration Centers!
Enter a space where you can explore new ideas, learn innovative techniques, and work side by side with technical experts to solve your toughest problems in life science.
Chin Bin Tan |
sponsored by Millipore Sigma
The M Lab™ Collaboration Centers were set up as non-GMP spaces that pharmaceutical manufacturers could visit to explore both novel and proven processes and technologies, such as renowned core technologies, but also applications offered as part of our BioContinuum™ Platform for intensified, connected or continuous bioprocessing, without interrupting operations at their own plant. Engineers and scientists from both sides – the customer’s scientists and engineers and the experts at the M Lab™ Collaboration Center – can come together to test, optimize, intensify and troubleshoot processes. In addition, customers can visit the M Lab™ Collaboration Centers to learn best practices and techniques through our training programs.
The first M Lab™ Collaboration Center was set up in Asia because this is a rapidly growing market where there is a need for access to expert biomanufacturing knowledge and training. The population as a whole is demanding improved medicines and can afford new medicines, which has led to a boom in the biopharma market. There is a real need for new biologics and new technologies (intensified processes and single-use systems hold particular interest in Asia, as well as cell and gene therapies). Asian biopharma companies are rapidly trying to catch up with their western counterparts, but there is a shortage of experienced biopharma workers in the region. As a result, we are seeing a desire to train large numbers of people in a short space of time to get new facilities up and running.
Host countries have welcomed the M Lab™ Collaboration Centers. The centers aren’t just used by private companies; we also partner with governments. In Singapore, we signed an agreement with the government training agency to be one of their key training centres for the biologics industry. Since then we’ve done a significant amount of industry training, including training with big pharma companies who have signed up to the government program. To date, we have trained 70 percent of the Singapore pharmaceutical workforce – 80 percent of whom are employed today in manufacturing operations. In China, we have been training NMPA (National Medical Products Administration) inspectors. China has more than 30 provinces, and the technology management team (part of the M Lab™ Collaboration Centers network) partnered with the NMPA to train inspectors at the provincial level. The team in China says our key differentiator in the region is the depth of our expertise.
Training can be customized, depending on the customer’s needs, but we also offer our own training programs, which are all tailored to the different countries where they take place due to local regulatory requirements and language. We also have a lot of good interactions with associations like the PDA (Parenteral Drug Association) and ISPE (International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineers) – and sometimes they even arrange for their own meetings or training to take place at our M Lab™ Collaboration Centers.
Today, there are nine M Lab™ Collaboration Centers spread out across North America, South America, Europe and Asia – and we have 200 experts working in the centers. Initiatives like the M Lab™ Collaboration Centers are seen by governments as active investments that will help them to develop their own biopharmaceutical workforces because of the opportunities for training – and I’m really proud that the M Lab™ Collaboration Centers are helping to develop human resource ecosystems.
Chin Bin Tan, Head of Technology Management, APAC at MilliporeSigma.
The life science business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany operates as MilliporeSigma in the U.S. and Canada.
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