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World Pharmaceutical Frontiers 2021 Vol. 1

Editorial Editor Tim Gunn Sub-editor Phoebe Galbraith Production manager Dave Stanford Group art director Henrik Williams Designer Martin Faulkner Head of content Jake Sharp

Commercial Sales manager Nathan Park Client services executive Derek Deschamps Managing director William Crocker

World Pharmaceutical Frontiers is published by Progressive Media International.

Registered in England No. 06212740.

John Carpenter House, John Carpenter Street, London, EC4Y 0AN, UK

ISSN 1742-3791 © 2021

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, photocopying or otherwise, without prior permission of the publisher and copyright owner. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, the publisher accepts no responsibility for errors/omissions.

The products and services advertised are those of individual authors and are not necessarily endorsed by or connected with the publisher. The opinions expressed in the articles within this publication are those of individual authors and not necessarily those of the publisher.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Single issue price: UK £38 EU €59 US $78 RoW $78 One year: Two year:


his edition of World Pharmaceutical Frontiers may overuse the word ‘revolution’. That’s a common state of affairs in the business press, but, this time, dizzy readers will be forgiven for stepping away to confirm which way is currently up. After a year spent with work and life turned inside- out on the kitchen table, it would be nice for things to settle back into their old boxes and balance. Alas, for once, all the talk of change might mean something. It’s 2021. Drug delivery, manufacturing and the overall pharmaceutical supply chain are a bigger part of our days than ever and, each modulating each, they all look different from one hour to the next. We add personal factories to the production network every time an mRNA vaccine is delivered. Meanwhile, the blockchain and smart technologies being used to track that distribution effort are linking digital silos into a virtual double of the road and airport system. In doing so, they are mapping a route for cell and gene therapy supply chains, which both start and end in patients. Oh, and then there’s the urgent need to share vaccines fairly across the globe – and the even more encompassing threat of climate change. Far from ending, the pandemic has grown more vicious than ever before. There is no accurate data on the toll Covid-19 is currently taking on India, but the country is struggling to source either the oxygen to keep people alive or the firewood to cremate the dead.

Shortly after receiving my first dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, I interviewed Pieter Cullis, the ‘godfather’ of the lipid nanoparticles that made it possible (page 9). He pointed out how well-suited LNP-encapsulated mRNA systems are for producing new proteins from neurons in the brain. As Mae Losasso writes in her account of Industry 4.0 on page 40, a revolution takes more than new ideas. Actually turning our thinking apparatus into a new type of factory might seem like a bit much, but we need it to be the start of something more.

Tim Gunn, editor

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