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VCU launches Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences


By David Schwartz
Published: April 22nd, 2019

Virginia Commonwealth University has launched the Center for Pharmaceutical Engineering and Sciences. The new center is a collaboration between the university’s School of Pharmacy and College of Engineering and will serve as a magnet for other schools and companies seeking to innovate in all aspects of the drug production process, from preclinical studies to manufacturing, formulation and packaging.

“The idea is to translate this new knowledge and discoveries into real products,” says Sandro R.P. da Rocha, a professor in the School of Pharmacy, who will serve as co-director of the center with Thomas D. Roper, who teaches in the College of Engineering.

The university hopes the center will produce collaborations between researchers at other universities and businesses. “Part of what we want to do is be able to have a place where researchers and industry can come together to actually apply for some of those unique grants and opportunities that the state of Virginia encourages,” Roper says.

Securing that kind of funding is the biggest challenge in getting products from the idea stage into customer’s hands, Roper notes. Although seed funding is often are available for the initial stages of a drug’s development, “at some point a project or therapeutic gets big,” he says. “You have to conduct a clinical trial, which is expensive or you have to scale up. …  It’s also not the place where seed money will help anymore.”

Source: Virginia Business

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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