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By Biocat

Students from the life sciences sector —graduate, masters, doctoral and postdoctoral students—, members of the biopharmaceutical industry and of regulatory agencies, researchers, scientific journalists and other professionals with links to the subject participated in the fourth edition of the Summer School on Medicines (SSM4) held in Montreal and Quebec City (Quebec, Canada) from 2 to 13 July 2012.

The Summer School on Medicines —organized jointly by the University of Montreal, BiopolisQuébec, the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), Biocat, Oncopôle, Paul Sabatier University and the InnaBioSanté Foundation— has consolidated its place as a benchmark life sciences training program by contributing value added and covering the training needs of professionals in the biopharmaceutical sector. 25 students (5 from Catalonia, 5 from France and 15 from Canada) participated in this fourth edition of the program and all of them rated the initiative very highly, especially in terms of their own professional growth.

For two weeks, more than 40 experts from the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, and from the academic research arena in countries including the United States, Canada, France and Spain, provided training through master classes, case studies, technical sessions and visits, which allowed participants to learn about all the phases of drug production and development, from idea to market, including highly important aspects like business development, funding (venture capital), public-private partnership, market access and open innovation. From Catalonia, participants included Dr. Jordi Quintana, director of the PCB Drug Discovery Platform, and Dr. Ivo Gut, director of the National Genome Analysis Center (CNAG).

Students highlight top-notch training received

The University of Montreal and Biocat awarded four grants to students from Catalonia, who were unanimous in rating the training received “extremely highly”, especially because “the training we received covers all the stages of drug development and does so combining theory and practical knowledge,” explains Roger Prades, one of the grantees who is currently working at Iproteos, a spin-off of the University of Barcelona and the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), that focuses on research and development of new therapeutic strategies based on peptidic protease inhibition to treat diseases of the central nervous system.

Daniel Moreno, who is studying the Masters degree in Translation Medicine offered by the University of Barcelona at their Clínic Campus, expressed a similar opinion: “In addition to the wonderful welcome and organization of the school, the classes were offered in a logical order that allowed us to improve our knowledge from target identification through drug development, and all of the stages in between, as well as the legal and business aspects of the sector.”

Another point on which the Catalan students that participated in the SSM4 agreed was that “we not only learned about the different aspects involved in drug development but did so from expert industry leaders, academics and scientists, investors, consultants, etc. and this gave us a wide-reaching view of the process." All of these students also rated highly that this edition of the school was held in Quebec, where biotechnology is being encouraged “as an industry of the future with clear value added.”

Biocat (Innovation Department)
Tel. +34 93 310 33 89

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