Widening the decades-long cooperation between Semmelweis University and Egis is of key importance as common work between the industrial and the scientific/academic fields has become an unavoidable common interest. The knowledge base and the amount of information in the medical and health sciences doubles every two years, and the pharmaceutical industry is one of the fastest developing research fields in the world, pointed out Dr. Béla Merkely. The rector of Semmelweis University highlighted that the goal of the signed strategic agreement is, among other things, to strengthen the R&D cooperation between the university and Egis and to ensure that pharmaceutical students gain skills that will also meet future industrial demands. He added that it is also planned to set up an international knowledge center to meet the new market demand and to support economic development.
Dr. István Hodász, CEO of Egis Pharmaceuticals, emphasized that the pharmaceutical industry is already a key sector in Hungary, and it will stay that way in the coming decades as well. It has been agreed that Egis will set up an onsite department of university faculty at its sites so that the students can attend university classes, professional training and interactive plant visits in a real, industrial environment and in the unique, scientific and technological training center of Egis. Egis has gained century-long experience in pharmaceutical development and in the international marketing of medicines. Dr. István Hodász added that Egis also shares this knowledge with the university so that its proven wide experience and extensive market skills help the university to put its product development concepts into practice.
In the field of R&D, the two partners are going to work together in several exciting fields in the future. In the field of active substance development, research into the application of even more environmentally friendly chemical procedures, e.g. green chemistry, is opening new prospects not only in terms of technology but also with regard to the environment and the economy.
Involving already existing, innovative industrial technologies into university research and selling the results (technological transfer) is an area that is yet to be explored, and it also forms a part of the cooperation.
As was also the case earlier, the parties take efforts to apply for R&D tenders as consortium partners and to possibly set up joint start-up and spin-off ventures that start out from the university and later become viable, innovative companies that carry the reputation of the Hungarian pharmaceutical industry and the Hungarian talent all over the world.
It is a cardinal point to create an appropriate educational environment for promoting talents and innovative ideas so that future pharmacists and doctors will be able to join the international competition and, after graduation, they contribute added value with their work to the development of the health industry.
The latter idea will be promoted by the Hőgyes-Schöpf-Merei Pharmaceutical Research Center – to be built under the Semmelweis XXI Development project – which will provide Semmelweis University with the opportunity to become one of the top 100 universities of the world. It is also important for Egis that future pharmacists receive training that is adapted to the quickly changing industrial environment. To that end, as was announced upon signing the agreement, the company advised the management of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences already in the initial planning phase about the quality assurance requirements that the new Pharmaceutical Research Center has to fulfill with regard to pharmaceutical production and research.
Egis also launched practice-oriented university courses, e.g. Pharmaceutical industry from A to Z, an accredited half-year training scheme for credit points, compiled and conducted by the professionals of Egis, or the gap-filler drug registration course, which has also been successfully running at Semmelweis University for years.
Under the ongoing cooperation between the partners, the instruments and laboratory equipment that are still in good condition and that are to be replaced in the instrument fleet of Egis are regularly transferred to Semmelweis University for further use at the university’s institutes. Over the past five years, instruments and laboratory equipment worth more than HUF 30 million have been delivered to help practical work at the institutes.
The results and the experience of the strategic cooperation that has been launched today will be regularly reviewed and assessed, and the forthcoming tasks will be specified by a work committee.
Source: Semmelweis University, Egis
Photo: Attila Kovács – Semmelweis University