Secondee focus: Philip Berry - Innovation Scholar
Tell us about your background
I am an entrepreneurially minded multidisciplinary scientist with considerable experience in both academic and pharmaceutical industry. Over the last 18 years, I have been involved with the development of novel analytical methods in the biomedical field, gaining a reputation for rapid problem solving and imaginative troubleshooting across a wide range of techniques, instruments and chemical entities. More than a decade working with regulations such as GCP, GCLP, EMA and FDA bioanalytical method validation has led to numerous instances of assay cross-validation against pre-existing 'gold-standard' equipment and quality assurance for CE marking. I am now manager of a national therapeutic drug monitoring laboratory (Newcastle Cancer Centre Pharmacology Group) based in Newcastle University where we conduct pharmacokinetic analysis for the most challenging patients in paediatric oncology. I am keen to adapt these centralised practices towards a point-ofcare testing approach to expand the clinical benefit of routine drug monitoring for dose personalisation
What is the secondment goal?
This 3-year part-time secondment will support the transfer of knowledge, skills and experience for the advancement of therapeutic drug monitoring to the point-of-care. I am looking forward to engaging with the Translational and Technology Developments teams at Vesynta to support their innovation needs, whilst also propelling my career aspirations to become a leader in pharmacology innovation.
How will you be supporting Vesynta?
I hope to leverage my background in software programming and deep knowledge of the drug monitoring workstreams to support user interface and user experience optimisation for both hardware and software, ensuring satisfaction of user requirements. I shall also support assay validation against our gold-standard test methods, as well as expanding Vesynta’s current assay portfolio to address wider patient populations and disease indications.
What do you hope to gain from the secondment?
I am keen to partake in Vesynta’s impressive plans to interact with key technology stakeholders, including patients, parents, nurses and clinicians. Getting this unique perspective from end-users and end-beneficiaries is essential to help in my goal to improve existing therapeutic drug monitoring practices. Crucially, it will help me support the development of other novel services or devices for innovators in the future. Once the innovation reaches maturation, I hope to gain an insight of the regulatory landscape to aid iterative device and service design to ensure compliance is incorporated and that the intended use within the market is clearly defined.
What excites you about personalised dosing?
The potential for each patient to receive exactly the correct dose of the correct drug at the correct time could be a real game-changer in terms of both treatment efficacy and reduced toxicity. There is already a large backlog of well-established drugs which could be used in a more focussed manner within existing treatment protocols. A personalised approach really has the power to treat each patients cancer as a unique treatment intervention and tailor the approach accordingly. Point of care monitoring of patients is a crucial aspect of this and I’m excited to be a part of it.