Research Foundation News

August 22, 2018

Registration deadline is Oct. 10 for workshop on pharmaceutical manufacturing research at Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind – Purdue University’s Advanced Lyophilization Technology Consortium (LyoHUB) and ASTM International E55 Committee on Manufacture of Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Products will host a workshop on pharmaceutical manufacturing and lyophilization research, followed by two days of ASTM committee meetings.

Due to high demand, the workshop being held on Oct. 23 has moved to Lawson Computer Science Building Room 1142. The ASTM Committee E55 meetings on October 24-25  will still be held at the Indiana Manufacturing Institute, located in the Purdue Research Park,

LyoHUB is pleased to announce that the keynote speaker is Joan Byrne, vice president science and technology - biologics and combination products at AbbVie. Byrne will present "The Lyophilization Learning Curve - A Biopharmaceutical Perspective."

Byrne is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in biology and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago. She served as the associate director of development manufacturing and microbiology at Pharmacia for 12 years before becoming the director of parenteral drug products at Abbott Laboratories. She moved to AbbVie’s laboratories in Ireland in 2013 where she has held the positions of divisional vice president of product quality assurance, vice President of biologics quality assurance and vice president of biologics and combination products. She currently serves as vice president operations science and technology –biologics and combination products at AbbVie.

 “LyoHUB has become a connecting point for people interested in lyophilization,” said Elizabeth Topp, LyoHUB co-director and professor in Purdue’s Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy. “Industry and academia come together through LyoHUB, with a balance of industry and academic voices.”

Pharmaceutical lyophilization refers to the freeze-drying process in pharmaceutical manufacturing that improves compounds’ stability and shelf-life. This essential technology originally enhanced medicinal preservation of antibiotics and blood plasma, making new treatments possible, such as a room-temperature stored live virus vaccines. Today, lyophilization is essential for the manufacturing of a multitude of critical pharmaceutical drugs and diagnostic reagents.

“Of the last 10 years’ worth of FDA-approved biopharmaceuticals, 40 percent were manufactured in a lyophilized dosage form,” said Alina Alexeenko, LyoHUB co-director and a Purdue professor in the School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. “Lyophilization is the least known of the most important technologies in the 20th century, because it had a major role in the eradication of the small pox epidemic and is now enabling many life-saving medicines.”

LyoHUB, a Purdue-based consortium comprised of academics and industry professionals, was cofounded by Alexeenko and Topp. The group’s primary mission is advancing lyophilization technology and production value through industry-oriented, academic-supported feedback.

Lyophilization is among the most time-consuming and expensive unit operations in pharmaceutical manufacturing, with an energy efficiency of less than 5%, batch mode operation, open-loop processing and lack of in-line quality monitoring. The regulatory process can also discourage companies from introducing new technologies to make efficiency and time saving improvements to their process.

ASTM seeks to change this situation, and others like it, by developing science-based consensus standards in manufacturing and product quality for pharmaceutical manufacturing. The ASTM Committee E55 on the Manufacture of Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Products, cosponsor of the October conference with LyoHUB, brings together equipment manufacturers, end-users of the equipment and academics from around the globe to work on consensus standards.

Co-directors Alexeenko and Topp, said they hope by hosting the conference and workshop, LyoHUB can inspire discussion within the E55 Committee about lyophilization consensus standards and the advancement of the technology.

Event Details

  • Tuesday, Oct. 23—Purdue LyoHUB hosts 2018 ASTM E55 Workshop on Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Lyophilization Research in Purdue’s Lawson Science Building Room 1124, followed by a poster session in Birck Nanotechnology Center from 3-5pm.

Wednesday, Oct. 24 and Thursday Oct. 25—standards development meetings of Committee E55 on Manufacture of Pharmaceutical and Biopharmaceutical Products will be held at the Indiana Manufacturing Institute (3975 N 100 W, West Lafayette IN 47907)

About LyoHUB

The goal of the Advanced Lyophilization Technology Consortium (LyoHUB) is to advance the science and technology of freeze-drying/lyophilization. The consortium has been established by a grant in 2015 from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with a mandate to develop a lyophilization technology roadmap and cultivate a group to make needed advancements in this area. LyoHUB has been listening to industry needs and engaging academia to assist in approaching complex freeze-dry technology issues. LyoHUB’s members include companies in the pharmaceutical sector, equipment and excipient manufacturers, software companies and university researchers, who combine their expertise and resources to accomplish common goals. Immediate objectives are: (i) to identify and disseminate best practices for lyophilization equipment performance, testing and validation and (ii) to conduct applied research to advance lyophilization processes and products. For more information about LyoHUB, visit their website at

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation and is the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The Purdue Research Park manages the Purdue Technology Centers in five sites across the state of Indiana with locations in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany. The more than 260 companies located in the park network employ about 5,000 people. In 2016, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities co-named the Purdue Research Park a top recipient for an Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Designation for its work in entrepreneurship. For more information about leasing space in the Purdue Research Park, contact 765-588-3470 or click Purdue Research Park.

Writer: Kelsey Henry, 765-588-3342,

Purdue Research Foundation Contact: Tom Coyne, 765-558-1044,

Sources: Alina Alexeenko,

Elizabeth Topp,

Jennifer Gray,

Research Foundation News

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