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Covidien Visit
April 29, 2009

Tour of Covidien Pharmaceutical Research and Development Facilities, Webster Groves, MO

Sponsored and organized by the St Louis Section–YCC

The Younger Chemists Committee (YCC) and the Chemistry Club of Saint Louis University visited the Covidien Webster Groves Technical Center on April 29, 2009. The event was tailored to younger chemists including students, post-docs, and early career chemists. Participants learned about the drug development process.

Dr Arindam Roy, chair of the YCC, began the event by welcoming the audience of about 40 guests, and then gave a brief introduction of YCC–St Louis and the other YCC officers.

Dr Keith Stine, immediate past chair of the local ACS section, talked about how YCC is relevant to the ACS and applauded the YCC leadership before thanking Covidien for hosting this event. Following the introduction, four distinguished Covidien representatives gave presentations discussing the pharmaceutical research and development processes at Covidien.
Forest Crawford, Training Manager of Research and Development, talked about the general nature of Covidien as a business and specific activities at the Webster Groves Technical Center. He provided an overview of Covidien facilities and infrastructure related to R & D.
Dr Stephen Wu, Technical Fellow, Pharmaceutical Research and Development, talked about the drug development process in An Overview of Drug Development Process and Controlled Drug Delivery Technology. In his presentation, he discussed the importance of delivering the right amount of the drug to a targeted area of the body to best help the patient.
Senior Director of Pharmaceutical Research and Development Dr Cliff Herman’s presentation Formulation Science and Career Choices captivated the audience. He emphasized collaboration among departments engaged in bringing a drug to market. He emphasized that both education and experience learned on the job are needed to be successful. Many students do not become aware of formulation science as a career choice during their studies, despite it being a key part of bringing many products to market.
Dr Robert Klute, Senior Research Associate, Center for Analytical Research, introduced the Analytical Technologies in Pharmaceutical R & D, including a wide range of state-of-the-art analytical equipment used in characterizing the pharmaceuticals.
Dr Stine presented a certificate to each speaker on behalf of the local ACS and YCC to thank them for their participation.

Following the presentations, the guests were divided into two groups for tours of the research facilities and pilot plant and the analytical facility.

Ms Becky Burns and Mr Preston Walker led the pilot plant tour. They showed some of the equipment used in the mixing and formulation of a pharmaceutical to prepare a dosage form, and described some of the procedures that are followed to ensure that the right amount of the drug is in every tablet or capsule.

Drs Arindam Roy and Robert Klute gave a tour to the analytical facility, showing the setup of equipment, their uses and capabilities. The tour culminated with time for the guests to network before leaving.

Compiled by Dayna Turner, Arindam Roy, and Eric Bruton

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