Meeting of 2/23/17: ‘Process Chemistry In Drug Development’

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-7-10-54-pmMeeting at Quigley’s Restaurant
593 Columbia Turnpike
East Greenbush, NY
February 23, 2017

Members Attending (16+): Debbie Rodriguez, Roberto Martinez, Murray Forth, Bill Dowd, Jim Leyhane, Andy Leyhane, A.J. Amato, Carole Spencer, Peter Brown, Debbie Brown, April Dowd, Charlie Foote, Ray Hannan, Dick Drumm, Stewart Wagner, Phil Kellerman. (Plus cameo appearances by Ron Annis and Carol Orvis.)

Guests: None.

PROGRAM: “The Role of Process Chemistry In Drug Development”

Andy Leyhane speaking to the club.

Andy Leyhane, a member of our club’s Board of Directors, presented a talk on “The Role of Process Chemistry In Drug Development,” subtitled “A Little About What I Do At Work.”

Andy, who holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Union College and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Boston College, is a process chemist with AMRI, formerly known as Albany Molecular Research Institute.

AMRI is a 3,500-employee company headquartered in Albany with locations throughout the U.S. as well as in India, the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain. Essentially, it helps other companies develop pharmaceuticals and, once those companies have completed clinical trials and received Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval, rejoins the process to manufacture the drugs.

Andy’s work involves taking drugs from a small-scale experimental level and shepherding them through the process until turning them over to the company’s manufacturing plant in Rensselaer.

He also touched on a number of other elements in the research, trials, and manufacturing process. Among them:

• Only about 1 in 10 drugs that enter into clinical trials make it to market.

• The average cost 0f developing a new drug is in the $2 billion range.

• The lifetime of a drug patent is 20 years. During that time the company holding the patent has to recoup its investment and turn a profit.  Because companies sometimes begin exercising their rights early to protect their research, the effective life 0f the patent once the drug actually is on the market can become less than 20 years.

Business & Announcements

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-47-42-pmA SPECIAL THANK YOU — On this, the 112th birthday of Rotary International, President Debbie Rodriguez greeted attendees and called the meeting to order. She asked April Dowd to read a note she and Bill received from the Rensselaer woman whose family our club adopted for Christmas through the Circles of Mercy family aid organization. The woman said she has been raising her three great-grandchildren all their lives and, despite the fact she now is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, she said because of the generosity of our club this was the best Christmas the family has had “and probably ever will have.”

screen-shot-2017-02-23-at-9-49-22-pmCOMMUNITY CELEBRATION DINNER — The buffet dinner to be held at 5:30 p.m. next Tuesday at Moscatiello’s Restaurant in North Greenbush to honor people from  various parts of the community for their “Service Above Self” is sold out. Intended honorees have been informed of their selection. We also have sold numerous $100 sponsorships, a number of them to club members. All profits from the event will go toward supporting our club’s community service projects.

SIMULATOR GOLF — Reservations are coming in strong for our winter Indoor Simulator Golf Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, March 11, at Burden Lake Country Club. We have room for just two more foursomes. Anyone interested in playing should contact Murray Forth ASAP.

EVENT REMINDERS — Two “Rotary Home Cooking” events are on the schedule: a cocktail party mixer at the Brewer residence on  Saturday, March 25, for club members and guests; “An Agave Experience” of Mexican-inspired tapas and a guided tasting of upscale tequilas and mezcals at the Dowd residence on Saturday, April 8. … Our  next electronics-and-paper recycling event is set for Saturday, April 29, again at the Wainschaf Associates warehouse in Rensselaer.

NEXT MEETING: 6:15 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at Quigley’s. The scheduled speaker is Rotarian Steven Miller who will offer a presentation on the “Bangladesh Pediatric Cataract Surgery Project.”

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