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The third Summer School on Medicines (SSM3), organized by the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), Biocat, the Université de Montréal, Montréal in Vivo, Université Paul Sabatier and Oncopôle, began classes today with an inaugural session featuring Biocat CEO Montserrat Vendrell (who also represented the Catalan Department of Health), PCB Director Fernando Albericio, Brian White-Guay, professor at the University of Montreal (Quebec); and Roland Bugat, professor at the Claudius Regaud Institute (Toulouse, Languedoc), representing this city’s Oncopôle. The sessions will be held in Barcelona, except for a visit to Toulouse on 12 and 13 July.

At the inauguration, Montserrat Vendrell highlighted the role training plays in driving the competitiveness of our biopharmaceutical sector: “Human capital is key to bringing Catalonia’s proven research abilities to the market in the form of new medications that can meet social needs. Biotechnology and the focus on personalized medicine are transforming the sector and we believe initiatives like this one are key to training the professionals that must lead this change.”

Fernando Albericio expressed the organizing committee’s satisfaction with the international expansion of SSM3, which this year includes participation from Montreal in addition to the already consolidated collaboration of Toulouse. “The school has been growing and consolidating its role because it adds value and covers an innovation need in the pharmaceutical sector. Uniting training, research and enterprise has always been one of the PCB’s priorities and the SSM3 is an example of our success in this effort.”

This innovative, multidisciplinary Summer School offers 90 hours of training including keynote speakers discussing global viewpoints, strategy and entrepreneurship, case studies, technical workshops and visits, covering the whole drug-development value chain, from concept to market.

The faculty, made up of top-notch experts from the biopharmaceutical industry and research bodies in up to seven countries, will cover a syllabus that for the first time encompasses the areas of research, business management and knowledge and the standpoint of the administration. The students, 25 selected participants from eight countries, will participate actively in the debates and present a poster on their own work. One of the values the SSM3 aims to promote is contact between future members of the sector and representatives of consolidated organizations.

Industrial Challenges session open to all professionals from the sector

One of the most noteworthy sessions is the Industrial Challenges workshop to be held 21 July, which is geared towards all registered students as well as any experts from the sector that wish to participate. This open session offers participants the opportunity to interact with expert professors from the roughly 50 companies and organizations involved, bringing together all SSM3 contributors in just one day. The workshop is organized in two sessions —morning and afternoon, led by Amgen CEO Jordi Martí and Laboratoris Salvat Managing Director Jordi Julve, respectively— and will include talks from business experts like Jo Pisani (PriceWaterhouse Coopers), Pedro Luis Sánchez (Farmaindustria), Oriol Solà-Morales (Sabirmedical), Alícia Granados (Genzyme), Joan Garcia (Xcelia), Christian van den Bos (Lonza) and Josep M. Echarri (Inveready). To register for the workshop, click here.

With the incorporation of benchmark partners from Quebec, after the 2010 agreement signed by Biocat and Montréal in Vivo, increased involvement of companies (25 plus a similar number of public institutions and centers) and the wide variety of speakers, SSM3 has become a first order training program that is sure to continue, the fourth edition to be held in July 2012 in Montreal.

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