On 30th and 31st May 2018, Phacilitate held the SIG Automation event at The Grove Hotel, London. The event brought together around 120 senior individuals in the advanced therapy space, representing therapeutics developers, manufacturers, C(D)MOs, consultants, vendors, and other significant stakeholders. The event was held in a workshop-style format, designed to maximise the volume of discussion and generate insights through topic-lead, structured conversations. Outcomes of the event are to be formally published through a Rapporteurs Report, and a peer-reviewed journal submission.
Amongst all the issues raised, that of standardising fluid tubing formats for enhanced connectivity and de-risked manufacturing was arguably the most significant, having also been a major theme of the 2017 SIG Automation event. There are two major components of this: the physical characteristics such as size and connectivity, and the polymer chemistry. There was a clear call to arms both in the workshop-style discussion groups and in summarising remarks from the plenary speakers for an initiative designed to tackle this issue, and it was suggested by Stephen Ward (Cell & Gene Therapy Catapult) that a forum such as Phacilitate’s SIG Automation might be opportune.