Following its Sydney launch event in early June this year, for most participants The Bridge Program consisted of working through the online modules of information relating to the pharmaceutical commercialisation pathway. These extremely comprehensive modules provided us participants with an extensive foundation of knowledge, giving us good footing to take into the three day Residential Training Weekend in late October.
The weekend’s training was delivered in several ways. Firstly, there were presentations by prominent people in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries, as well as academics and others within the sector. Some of these presentations gave insights into various stages within the pharmaceutical commercialisation pipeline, while others gave engaging case studies of specific development stories. There were also panel discussions where the participants were able to directly engage with the expert panellists on specific topics, such as “Raising Capital” or “Working with Pharmaceutical Companies”. All these different sessions resulted in the dissemination of a breadth of in depth knowledge from the highly experienced presenters.
In addition to the presentations, us participants also had a small project to undertake. We were put into groups as owners of a fictional start-up and assigned an imaginary pharmaceutical that was at an early stage of clinical development. Each day of the course we were given opportunities to pitch our drugs to actual Pharma representatives, with the aim of convincing them to accept our drug into their current pharmaceutical pipeline. I found this aspect of the course to be an excellent learning experience, and it was also an enjoyable way to get to know my team members and to interact with the Pharma reps too.
Networking was also a major aspect of the Training Weekend. Drinks at the end of the first and last days allowed us to interact with all of the participants and speakers involved in the program. The dinner on the second night was situated right in one of the exhibition rooms at the South Australian Museum, so we were surrounded by fascinating exhibits which stimulated excellent conversations and networking opportunities with our peers.
Overall, the weekend was a fantastic educational and networking experience, which solidified and built upon the foundations we'd already developed through our work with The Bridge Program.
The Bridge Program is running again in 2018 and Expressions of Interest are open until the 2nd of Feburary 2018. Find out more here.