Biopharmaceutical Manufacturing and Single-Use Technologies 2019 Meeting in Review

In July the small town of Wädenswil, Switzerland saw suppliers, manufacturers and academics meet at Biotech 2019, the fifth meeting on the topic of “Biopharmaceutical manufacturing and Single-Use Technologies”.  This year’s theme, “Process intensification and continuous bioprocessing with single-use devices”, proved to be both timely and popular.  The experienced organizers scheduled a comprehensive agenda of oral presentations, poster exhibitions, industrial workshops and panel discussions.

During the primary two-day program, delegates were exposed to the most recent developments on the topics of upstream bioprocess intensification and continuous bioprocessing, as well as the most recent approaches to challenges faced by downstream processing.  Inspired by the DECHEMA status paper “Facility of the Future”, the program included papers on such topics as single use system market trends; approaches to bioprocess intensification; continuous processing equipment and operations; and bioprocess applications of 3D bioprinting, digital technologies and modular facility design.

The after-congress event on day three highlighted a new potential market opening up in the life science industry. This “Symposium on cellular agriculture” introduced the varied technologies and practical applications involved in culturing plant and animal cells in the production of food.  Papers on a range of potential products and technology to approach them illustrated the expertise and collaboration required from both food and biotechnology specialists.  Even for those following particular aspects of the field, surprising accomplishments on related approaches were reviled.

There isn’t space to inform on all the bonus activities the delegates were treated to, but I will mention two:  The extended dinner cruise on Lake Zurich was second-to-none, and the ability to actually taste chocolate produced from T. cacao fruit cells cultured in a bioreactor in vitro was a truly unique experience.

Keep an eye on Biotechnet Switzerland, in collaboration with the Swiss Biotech Association (SBA) as plans develop for the next Biotech conference in 2022.