University of Wisconsin–Madison

Land O’ Lakes Bioanalytical Conference: Staying Ahead of the Curve

The July Land O’ Lakes Bioanalytical conference has the reputation of being innovative and keeping pace with industry trends. We sat down with planners and speakers to learn how this conference got it’s stellar reputation.

For a look at what a day at the conference is like, check out our recap blog.

Cutting Edge Topics: 

The conference topics are based on the latest innovations and trends in bioanalytical science. As this field has been changing quickly, the planners make sure cover the most up to date advances at the conference. The Tuesday morning session covered the usefulness of biomarkers in drug development such as how to use biomarkers to study mechanisms including drug metabolism and the status of transporters. Many emerging modalities were also covered including CAR-T cell therapy, siRNA, nanoparticles and proteomic and genomic biomarkers. Shyam Sarikonda, PhD, from Navigate BioPharma Services gave an intriguing talk on how flow cytometry is a valuable tool for CAR-T cell characterization in clinical trials. Based on the novelty and popular interest in these topics, you can expect more in depth exploration of them next year.

“I want us to try to build on what we started this year which is really bringing in the cutting edge programming which I haven’t seen anywhere else. I think it’s really going in depth a little more because I do expect these topics and new paradigms to mature over the next few years. So I want us to go a little more indepth next year.” Lakshmi Amaravadi, PhD, Shire

The planning committee looks to the attendees when planning the conference next year. They note which sessions are most engaging for attendees and work to incorporate more of those topics next year. A survey was passed out for attendees to express their top interests that they would like covered next year. The topics in consideration are: Regulatory Guidance, New technology and Multi-omics.

Keeping up with Regulation:

Land O’ Lakes keeps pace not just with industry trends but regulatory affairs as well. Typically the Thursday morning session is dedicated to discussions with regulators and regulatory experts. This year, on May 24 2018, the FDA released new regulation for Bioanalytical Method Validation. July Land O’ Lakes was quick to adapt and was the first conference to discuss it. 

“Timing was really good, this year we’re going to have a lot of discussions about the new FDA guidance. There’s still a lot of questions around that guidance and having the presence here of the FDA and of the agency I think will help solidify people’s questions and walk away from the meeting with a lot more confidence on what they need to do.” Randall H. Guthrie, RGH Inc.

Attendees had many questions for the FDA representatives and discussions on the interpretation of the latest guidance. They covered sample tracking, monitoring drift in bioanalytical assays, parallelism, and sample dilutions just to name a few. This session was tremendously useful for attendees and FDA representatives alike. There were so many questions they could not get to all of them so the conference will aim to focus on this again next year.

Faye Vazvaei, MS, from Roche also covered the guidance in her talk titled “Towards Global Harmonization of Bioanalytical Method Validation – ICH M10 (with reflections on the recent FDA guidance)”. She discussed AAPS upcoming guidance on bioanalytical method validation and how it goes hand in hand with the FDA’s Bioanalytical Method Validation: Guidance for Industry. She also covered several specific validation experiments involving cross validation, stability of stock solutions, whole blood stability, co-med stability and selectivity of chromatographic assays and LBAs.

Passionate and Experienced Planning Committee:

Members of the conference planning committee are devoted to this conference. They know how valuable it is to attendees and are committed to maintaining its reputation as a world renowned learning conference. They not only have years of industry experience – also but years of experience putting together the conference. Some members like Randall H. Guthrie have been on the committee since the beginning while there are also new faces like Stephanie Pasas-Farmer.

“I’ve been on the planning committee for the last 19 years and actually can probably brag about being one of the original founders” Randall H. Guthrie, RGH Inc.

Committee members are incredibly dedicated to promoting learning and sharing new ideas. They know that collaboration with colleagues has made them successful so they strive to pass on knowledge and encourage others to do so as well.

“I saw an opportunity where people were receptive to new ideas and i felt that I have the experience to promote these novel ideas that we could bring to the conference that would benefit the overall community. That’s something I am passionate about and that’s how I learned and that’s what made me pay it back in return.” Lakshmi Amaravadi, PhD, Shire

A Conference Experience Like No Other:

Land O’ Lakes Conferences offer a unique opportunity for attendees to have comprehensive discussions about their work with other professionals and experts in their field. The conference offers a deep dive into topics and networking opportunities not seen at any other conference. This is possible because of the size and structure of the conference. Planners intentionally schedule ample networking time because they know how important it is for professional development in the pharmaceutical science field.

“I like the size of the conference it’s a little bit smaller and it’s all in one area you don’t have to choose between different sessions so it has a very deep dive feeling to it which I found I could take that knowledge and go back and apply it to other areas that I’ve seen out there not only for my company and my own personal growth but also for other individuals as well. So the size of it is very helpful and conducive to learning.” Stephanie Pasas-Farmer, PhD, Bio Data Solutions, Inc.

Attendees can’t say enough about how valuable the dialogue with presenters is to them. It affords them a far deeper understanding of the latest technology.

“The size of the meeting allows it to be more of a conversation as opposed to just a series of lectures where people come and spit out a bunch of information and then you listen and take notes. Here at the Land O’ Lakes you have the ability to really interact with the presenters and you have the ability to do that not only in between talks but actually during the talks so it’s very interactive, its very casual and if you will, people let their hair down and really ask the hard questions and a real conversation occurs.” Eric Fluhler, PhD, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals

Attending Land O’ Lakes is incredibly important for furthering a career in bioanalytical science for so many reasons. It is well known for its high quality science, networking and discussions. Coordinators strategically plan the conference to promote an in-depth learning environment. Attendees include many of the industry’s experts who want to share and discuss their cutting edge work. We are excited to see what new technology they will bring next year. This is a conference you cannot miss if you are an aspiring bioanalytical scientist.

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Check out our upcoming conference: 

September 2018 DMPK