5 Stories we are eager to share

Q4 2017

1. Meet Dr. Jingqi Huang

Meet Dr. Jingqi Huang If there’s one thing you should know about Dr. Jingqi Huang, it’s that she’s all about teamwork.
 
Throughout her professional career, which began as a doctor to her current position as Vice President of in vivo Pharmacology, she recognizes that teamwork is essential, and she thrives on keeping her team challenged and motivated.
 
As one of the first members of Pharmaron’s in vivo pharmacology team, she eagerly accepted the challenges with growing a new department. Now eight years later, Jingqi is proud of the team and the department she has grown.
 
By instilling trust, being honest and respectful and recognizing those who make contributions, she has created a team that is confident, innovative and eager to take on new partner projects. Establishing focused specialty areas within her team has been a key factor to building confidence. This approach allows team members to answer detailed questions easily, as well as present their new knowledge to their peers in team meetings. As a result, Jingqi finds the team meetings to be full of energy and excitement.
 
Jingqi’s in vivo pharmacology team works closely with Pharmaron’s in vitro biology and PK teams. Such collaboration typically starts from discussion of a particular study with a partner, followed by study plan formulation, execution, discussion of results, data interpretation and conclusion.
 
As a result of her team’s efforts, models across different therapeutic areas have been established and validated. These models include oncology (PDX, CDX, imaging, resistant, immuno-oncology), CNS, inflammation and pain, in addition to hemostasis, leukocytopenia, intestine mobility, anemia, wounding/healing and renal failure. The team is proud to support our major pharma and biotech partners by testing the efficacy and assessing TE/PD biomarkers in diseased animal models for small and large molecules in the drug discovery process.
 
To emphasize the importance of teamwork, Jingqi plans team building events throughout the year. Events range from pot-luck lunches to more elaborate adventures, such as rafting and Jeep rides through the mountains.
 
“As my team grows, team building becomes even more important. It’s a chance for us to have fun and get to know each other better outside of the lab. The energy and enthusiasm each event brings back to the office makes me look forward to the next one.”
 
About Dr. Jingqi Huang
Jingqi Huang is Vice President of in vivo Pharmacology and joined Pharmaron in 2009. Prior to this, she worked as a research pharmacologist at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research in Montreal, Canada and Human Genetic Laboratories, Research Institute of McGill University Teaching Hospital (Montreal Children’s Hospital).

In addition, she has 3 years of clinical practice background. She received her M.D. from Tianjin Medical University in China and a M.Sc. in Pathology from McGill University in Canada. She has co-authored several scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, including four cover page articles. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, spending time outside and planning her team’s next adventure.
 
 

2. Innovative Research Published

At Pharmaron, innovative science is our goal for each project. We are proud to be co-authors of peer-reviewed journal publications and patent applications with our partners. In 2017 there were many key publications that included research co-authored by Pharmaron’s team. The full list can be found on our website.

Below is a selected list of these research publications.
  • An investigation into the prediction of in vivo clearance for a range of Flavin-containing monooxygenase substrates, Drug Metabolism and Disposition, 2017, 45, 1060-1067.
  • Discovery of Pyrazolo[1,5-a]pyrimidine B-Cell Lymphoma 6 (BCL6) Binders and Optimization to High Affinity Macrocyclic Inhibitors, J. Med. Chem. 2017, 60, 4386-4402.
  • Structure-Guided Discovery of Potent and Selective Inhibitors of ERK1/2 from a Modestly Active and Promiscuous Chemical Start Point. Ward, J. Med. Chem. 2017, 60, 3438-3450.

3. Ningbo Site Opening

On Friday, November 3, 2017, Pharmaron held its official opening of the Ningbo-Hangzhou Bay campus. This site will be integrated with Pharmaron’s global R&D service platform and has capacity for thousands of scientists to provide R&D services to partners around the world. The location gives us the ability to tap into the talent pool in the Greater Shanghai region as well as interact with clients in the region with ease.

Dr. Boliang Lou, Chairman and CEO, spoke at the opening ceremony, which included hundreds of attendees, including partners, local government officials, fellows of Chinese Academy of Sciences and staff. “We are striving to become a global leading life sciences CRO. Today is another example of Pharmaron’s journey to making what seemed impossible, possible.”

4. Forum on Innovation for Life Sciences

In honor of the Ningbo-Hangzhou Bay campus opening and our commitment to science and technology, a forum was held the day of the Ningbo site ceremony.
 
Nine speakers from academia and industry presented on topics covering novel and effective synthetic methodologies including chiral and non-chiral catalysis and fluorine chemistry, highly efficient total synthesis of complex natural products, automation of synthesis and its integration with bioassays, the discovery of new generation of drugs against cancer, autoimmune diseases and anemia and the importance of crystallization in late development.
 
These talks are representative of the current state-of-the-art of synthetic organic chemistry, crystallization technology, and drug discovery and development in the global academia and industry. The speakers also discussed the industry’s strategic thinking on how to transform fundamentally drug discovery and development performance, with case studies.

Speakers:
  • Prof. Qilin Zhou, Nankai University
  • Dr. Robert Geertman, Janssen Research and Development
  • Dr. Michael Kress, Merck Sharp & Dohme
  • Dr. Michael Varney, Genentech
  • Dr. Stevan Djuric, AbbVie
  • Dr. Sergii Pazenok, Bayer AG
  • Dr. Helmut Haning, Bayer AG
  • Dr. Peter Toogood, Lycera
  • Prof. Darren Dixon, University of Oxford

5. Two Teams in Sync: in vitro Biology & in vivo Pharmacology

Pharmaron’s in vitro biology and in vivo pharmacology teams are an integral part of our drug R&D service platform. The two teams work together to advance the understanding of novel biological targets for their disease-modifying efficacy and identify potential safety liabilities in diverse areas, such as oncology, CNS, metabolic and CV diseases and inflammation/pain. This is done by characterizing the biological effect from in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo settings with both small and large molecules entities.
 
The seamless partnership between in vitro biology and in vitro pharmacology groups extends to all the in vivo programs, as the in-life studies are accompanied by timely ex vivo pharmacology/in vitro and in vivo DMPK, target engagement and biomarkers measurements to help design and interpret the in vivo efficacy data. The tight collaboration leads to better study planning and faster issue identification/resolution, ensures accelerated program advancement and most importantly, provides high quality data.
 
 
Download Newsletter