Four events that made it a great year
I must admit, I’m a sucker for just about any list article. Show me a title such as, “8 Reasons Why…” or “10 Movies That…”, and there’s a pretty good chance I’ll click. I often find myself scrolling through the strangest lists, reviewing things that I really don’t care about – kitchen gadgets, closet organizing products, stocking stuffers. I’m hopeless. I’m compelled to click.
So, when it came time to summarize 2022, my first full year at Aldevron, I couldn’t help myself. Welcome to my first attempt at a list article! 2022 was filled with so many highlights at Aldevron that it was nearly impossible to choose, but here are the top four events that made this a great year for me:
#4 Rare Disease Day
I’ve spent the bulk of my career in the basic research space, knowing that my products were being used to progress our understanding of, and contributing to, scientific breakthroughs. However, I have been somewhat distant from clinical applications. That changed on February 28, 2022, the first time I really stopped to consider Rare Disease Day. It was also when I realized how much Aldevron’s clients (and, therefore, Aldevron and our associates) are positively impacting peoples’ lives.
Sharon King’s post, “Shining a Light on Rare Diseases,” taught me to think differently about the word “rare.” Rare Disease Day made our mission more tangible to me, showing how we help people live healthier, more enjoyable, and more productive lives. This realization, more than anything, set the tone for 2022 and beyond.
#3 A return to in-person events
Excitement turned into a bit of a disappointment in January, when we cancelled our first conference appearance of the year. However, by April, we were back in person, and it felt great. It’s hard to know which we were more excited about, meeting clients or prospective clients in person, or sitting through the talks and learning more about industry developments.
Either way, it felt wonderful. Our team captured and shared their thoughts after many of the conferences, but I think Max Sellman best captured the enthusiasm in his post, “Connecting on CRISPR.”
#2 mRNA/saRNA Manufacturing - Considerations to Accelerate the Path to Clinic Webinar
Like Rare Disease Day, this webinar helped me better understand the scope of our mission. Coming out of the success of the COVID vaccines, interest in mRNA as a modality has skyrocketed. This webinar gave me a chance to work more closely with Aldevron’s CSO, Venkata Indurthi.
He did a great job presenting this information, but he really shined during the Q&A session that followed. It was another reminder of the passion that drives Aldevron’s people each day. If you are even remotely interested in mRNA/saRNA as a modality, I highly recommend watching the webinar on-demand and checking out an in-depth Q&A document from that webinar.
And now, for my number one event of 2022...
#1 Acquisition of Nature Technology Corporation/NanoplasmidTM technology
I’m a convert. Nanoplasmid vector technology is awesome. The small (<500bp) bacterial backbone offers many benefits, including antibiotic-free selection and improved performance across a variety of cell and gene therapy applications. I’ve really enjoyed putting together the material to support such a powerful technology advancement for plasmid.
In addition to a couple of webinars, we’ve produced what I believe is a particularly strong whitepaper, Next Generation Plasmid Technology: Improving Performance Safety and Manufacturing for Today's Therapies. It relies heavily on previously published data from papers listed in the Nanoplasmid bibliography, and I’m excited to carry our Nanoplasmid Power of Small campaign into 2023.
So, there you have it. A great year is in the rearview mirror, but the next years on the horizon have even more to offer. We’re on to 2023, Aldevron’s 25th year of supporting discovery and enabling our partners to advance therapies and impact people’s lives. It’s going to be exciting.