Science on Tap to feature talk on challenges facing pharmaceutical drug developers

March 21, 2011
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University analytical chemistry professor Peter T. Kissinger, founder of West Lafayette-based drug development company BASi, will discuss the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry at the next Science on Tap.

Peter T. Kissinger

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Kissinger will give the presentation, "The Wicked Triangle of Drug Development: Efficacy, Safety, Cost," at 6 p.m. Thursday (March 24) in the upstairs of the Lafayette Brewing Company, 622 Main St., in downtown Lafayette. This Science on Tap event, sponsored by Discovery Park and Purdue's Department of Chemistry, is free and open to the public to those ages 21 or older.

"The topic has been getting enormous attention in recent years, but there's no question the pharmaceutical industry is at a crucial stage in its history -- mergers, acquisitions, downsizings and the closing of research and development centers are symptoms," said Kissinger, a pioneer in hydrodynamic techniques for the neurosciences, modern liquid chromatography and in vivo methodology for drug metabolism.

"What is the innovation strategy for developing new drug therapies? Can we sustain what amounts to a poker game that can last 15 to 20 years? In this post-blockbuster drug era, we face a wicked problem with no clear solutions. I believe science is up to this challenge but impatience and funding restraints are severe."

Kissinger also emphasized the significant role that Indiana and Tippecanoe County play in the pharmaceutical industry, with major developers such as Eli Lilly & Co., Evonik Degussa Corp., SSCI, Endocyte Inc., BASi and others.

Kissinger launched Bioanalytical Systems Inc. in 1974, leading the Indiana life sciences company now known as BASi before retiring as president in 2007. BASi is now a public company trading on Nasdaq under the symbol BASI. Kissinger also served as chief executive officer of Prosolia Inc. and is co-founder of Phlebotics Inc.

A Discovery Park Advisory Council member, he counsels students on career opportunities in the pharmaceutical industry and has been active in development of the Purdue Research Park, having cofounded the first technology business incubator, INventure, during the late 1980s.

Kissinger has presented more than 700 invited lectures and published more than 240 scientific papers and is a Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kissinger was a finalist for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in the Indiana Heartland region for 2001 and 2002.

Before coming to Purdue, Kissinger was a research associate at the University of Kansas and an assistant professor at Michigan State University. He received a bachelor's degree in analytical chemistry from Union College and his doctoral degree in analytical chemistry from the University of North Carolina.

Science on Tap, a monthly event organized by Purdue postdoctoral biomedical engineering researchers Kate Stuart and John Paderi, provides faculty from Purdue and members of Lafayette-West Lafayette the opportunity to share their research activities in an informal setting, touching on subjects and providing presentations that are designed to appeal to a more general audience. 
Writer: Phillip Fiorini, 765-496-3133,

Sources: Peter T. Kissinger, 765-494-5200,
                  Kate Stuart, 765-496-1460,
                  Patrick Dolan, 989-600-0117,