Modern Biopharmaceuticals

Editor's Message

Mens Sana in Corpore Sano - Rationale for "Modern Biopharmaceuticals"

"I have a dream ..." Once, on an early Sunday morning in 2003, "the 50th anniversary year of DNA discovery", I woke up and had the idea to bring together all the world-renowned leaders from biotech academia and industry, in order to publish a comprehensive book on modern biopharmaceuticals.
As learned from nature, some things happen best - if at all - spontaneously. So, I contacted some of my friends, presented the idea and discussed with them the current hot topics in the Life Sciences arena. Very quickly a list with topics and authors emerged, which I presented to Wiley-VCH - and they spontaneously agreed to publish this book.
From my past career I knew a number of highly educated scientists and managers in the LifeSciences: first, when I studied biotechnology and did my diploma thesis at the GBF (Gesellschaft für Biotechnologische Forschung), then when I worked in the biotech industry with Professor Norbert Riedel, before I went on to also study biochemistry and do my PhD at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) with Professor Robert Huber. This was also a spontaneous move: I remember quite well, when I stopped by at the MPI on my way back from a snowboard trip in the Munich hills. Quite naively, I asked if I could talk to the Nobel Prize laureate Professor Huber - asking for the opportunity to work in one of the most famous laboratories in the world without even having an appointment. It was an incredible honor that he accepted. Now - as my teacher and co-founder of our biotech start-up - he encouraged me to write this book and was also willing to contribute to this endeavor. I am also pleased that a colleague from this start-up company is contributing with a chapter on genetically engineered factor IXa with 7000 times increased activity.

I hope that the reader will agree that this book is the first of its kind, introducing a comprehensive set of technologies recently developed, showing their impact on drug development, discussing paradigm shifts in the healthcare system and also reflecting these changes in industrial research. Compiling this wealth of information in a sophisticated manner was only possible if all chapters were written by the experts themselves, and most of them are working in academic institutes and (often in their own) biotech companies at the same time. The authors come from some of the world's most famous academic institutes, and biotech companies, such as CalTech, Cambridge, Charité, ETH Zurich, Fraunhofer-Institute, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Karolinska, Kyoto University, London Imperial College, Max-Planck-Institute, MIT, Moscow and Polish Academy of Sciences, NCI, NIH, Oxford, Princeton, Scripps, Seoul University, Stanford, Technion, Weizmann, Yale. They are CEOs, Board Members or Global R & D Heads of world-class companies, e.g. Amgen, Bayer, Baxter, Berlex, Crucell, DSM, DuPont Merck, Genentech, Genzyme, Invitrogen, Lonza, McKinsey, Mologen, Monsanto, MorphoSys, Novartis, Novo Nordisk, Philips, Roche, SmithKline, Schering - and from FDA.
This profound and balanced mixture of academia and industry was intended to make the book equally appealing to scientists at research institutes, physicians at hospitals, students at universities and laboratory technical staff from areas like medicine, all different areas of LifeSciences, as well as other healthcare professionals. It is my hope that it will serve as an inspiration for all professionals in the field, since it offers a very good framework for understanding the complex nature of biopharmaceuticals, the mainstay of modern medicine.

We all know that since the remarkable "debut of modern biopharmaceuticals", the field of pharmaceutical biotechnology has evolved tremendously. By comparison, when I follow how quickly (life) sciences advance, it would make Newton's apple appear to fall in slow motion. I am very happy that people who contributed most to this fast and exciting development of biopharmaceuticals, who helped to usher in a golden age of molecular biology, also contributed to Modern Biopharmaceuticals - Design, Development and Optimization. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of the authors for their excellent contributions and hope that the reader will enjoy this fantastic collection of scientific art.

Jörg Knäblein

Scientific Advisor, Executive Boardmember and designated President of "European Association of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology", EAPB

CEO and Managing Director of "Global Pharma Specialists", GPS

May 2005