Since July 2016, the university and privately held pharma and biotechnology company have collaborated to develop two courses designed to enhance workforce education and prepare students for a career in pharmaceutical sciences.
Beginning in the spring of 2017, UNCW students had the opportunity to take an elective course co-taught by the Alcami team, "Pharmaceutical Drug Development and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) of Medicinal Products for Human and Veterinary Use." A group of full-time Alcami employees from various functional areas, such as manufacturing, packaging, quality and laboratory operations, team-taught the lecture-based course. This course was designed to provide students with an overview of the drug development process from concept to commercialization, focusing specifically on current good manufacturing practices (cGMP). At the same time, students were introduced to available career opportunities and prepared for initiating a career in science, business or other roles within the pharmaceutical industry or related medical fields.
"This type of collaborative program is a first for Alcami, and we are excited and encouraged about the high level of interest and positive feedback that we have received," says Dr. Stephan Kutzer, Ph.D., Alcami President and CEO. "We are committed to building and maintaining strong relationships within the communities in which we operate, and with such a highly regarded university in our own backyard, we are privileged to have the opportunity to share our expertise with the university's students. We look forward to continuing this partnership this upcoming fall."
A second laboratory-based course will be taught this fall at UNCW's state-of-the-art marine biology center (MARBIONC). The Alcami GMP Training Lab will facilitate this course offering by focusing on the application of cGMPs in a drug development and testing laboratory.
"We are excited to have Alcami as one of the primary tenants in the MARBIONC building," said Dr. Ron Vetter, UNCW's Associate Provost for Research and Dean of the Graduate School. "These private and public partnerships that focus on biotechnology, analytical sciences, and pharmaceutical research and development are just the kind of activities we envisioned for the facility when it was built."
UNCW and Alcami continue to discuss ways to grow and expand the relationship, including adding more internship opportunities for students, exploring collaborative research projects, and establishing innovative platform technologies for the development and manufacturing of Biologics. Alcami has over 20 years of experience in biotherapeutic analytical development to share with UNCW students. Alcami scientists are equipped with the technology and armed with the expertise to support a wide variety of biotherapeutic products, including peptides, proteins, antibodies, antibody drug conjugates (ADC), and cell and gene therapies.