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Education that connects to market needs: new course for master’s students focuses on quality in drug development

Immediately connect with the needs of industry with your master’s degree. The new course Practical Aspects of Quality Management in Pharma and Biotech provides just that. The LACDR and LUMC set up the course together with the Biotech Training Facility, located at the Leiden Bio Science Park. The first students have now started.

‘There is a great need for people with knowledge in the field of quality and quality control in the development and production of drugs and vaccines. That is what several companies at the Leiden Bio Science Park (LBSP) indicated to us,’ say Miranda van Eck and Jolanda van der Zee, programme directors of the Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences (BPS) and Biomedical Sciences (BMS) master programmes. Van Eck is a professor at LACDR and Van der Zee is an associate professor at LUMC. ‘The rapid scientific developments in regenerative medicine call for a new generation of researchers with quality knowledge for this complex group of drugs.’

The first students get a tour around de facilities of Biotech Training Facility

Working in cleanrooms

During the course, students not only learn about the basics of quality during drug production, but also get to work themselves in the clean rooms, the super-clean production areas of the Biotech Training Facility (BTF). ‘It is a fantastic milestone that BTF can provide the industrial practical training for these two master’s programmes,’ said Ronald Kompier, director of BTF. Students from both the BPS and BMS master’s programmes follow this training together with professionals from the pharmaceutical industry. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive not only six study credits but also eight partial certificates from the BTF.

First students just started

The first students have just started. They spent the first few days receiving lectures on the importance of quality thinking and quality control in the development and production of living drugs and on regenerative medicine. Pauline Meij, head of the Center for Cell and Gene Therapy (LUMC) was their first lecturer along with Françoise Carlotti, head of LUMC’s Islet Research lab. In addition, the students were given a tour of the Biotech Training Facility (BTF)  facilities and took their first steps into the world of regulatory quality standards for drug manufacturing, or Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Upon successful completion of the course, students are offered a research internship. Van Eck and Van der zee: ‘This way they can immediately put their knowledge into practice.’

Drug discovery and development

The research of Leiden University, LUMC and LACDR focuses on developing the medicine of the future. Regenerative medicine and drug discovery and development play a prominent role in this research area.

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