Training and tech transfer: The inside story
ISAB Product Specialist Dr Mikael Mikko trains customers who have purchased the PreciseInhale platform onsite, in their labs. How do they find the technology transfer?
Dr Mikael Mikko trains customers onsite in their labs, helping them install and master the paradigm-shifting dry powder aerosol platform PreciseInhale. In November 2014, for example, he travelled to an inhalation pharmaceutical developer in Southern Europe with ISAB founder Per Gerde to install PreciseInhale and train the lab team. How does a technology transfer work, and how do customers find it?
“The PreciseInhale platform is extremely sophisticated, but also extremely compact,” says Dr Mikko. “Logistics are straightforward for us and the client. Despite offering so many benefits the system can be installed into even quite crowded labs in a matter of hours.”
The lab team Mikko trained was four scientists, the lab team that of a typical large-sized inhaled pharmaceuticals developer.
“With small group training everybody gets the chance to use the system with their own hands. This was the first training session on the overall system, another ISAB scientist, Dr Ewa Selg, travels down later to train the group in the in vivo modules. Often clients have had a researcher in our labs using the system for step one pilot research, so people are already familiar with its capabilities and we know client researchers extremely well. But meeting the whole team, getting inside their work and getting to know them on first name terms means future support is based on insiders’ knowledge and strong trust. It makes the relationship stronger and more productive for all of us.”
The system has advanced, customizable software uniquely developed for PreciseInhale, monitoring aerosol concentration, pressure readings and air flow . “They adapted to the software quickly. It is very intuitive and easy to use,” says Mikko. “There aren’t a lot of complex steps. You don’t have to change your whole way of working to benefit. The team was able to start using the system directly after training.”
Load, feed, shoot
The dry powder aerosolization process impressed the team: “It is very intuitive,” says Dr Mikko. “With the powder chamber you just take it out, load it, feed it and shoot. The pressure regulation is carried out by valves which are automatically regulated when initiated. Finally, we took the system apart and showed them how to clean it. The team were very positive and pleased with the system’s ease-of-use considering how many extra capabilities it delivers. As you get more used to it you discover the real range of its capabilities, but basic aerosolization take no more than a few hours training for most scientists and lab technicians.”
For companies purchasing the system it means lab team members do not have to be removed from their work for more than half a day in order to master the new technology. They can then train additional users themselves.
“This system fills a need,” says Mikko. “Inhaled drug developers and aerosol researchers want to know with precision exactly how much they are dosing animals. Where possible they want to be able to reduce the number of animals they need to dose in tests. And they don’t want to use a lot of substance. PreciseInhale enables all this.”
New range of consumables
Dr Mikko has also started developing a new range of consumables accessible to all users of the ISAB systems. Including silicon tubings that connect to the system’s compartments, and different filters adapted for each module that can be used with the PreciseInhale system.
“The consumables are reasonably priced and include filters, tubes and insertion components for intratracheal intubation. For clients this means new parts more quickly and more closely tailored – direct from us, not suppliers.”
ISAB’s 3-step approach to purchase
Step 1: Contract Research / Pilot study
Contract Research (CR) at ISAB labs in Stockholm lets customers use the system and modules on their own projects, familiarizing and mastering the technology. Customers can:
- Explore the system’s capabilities flexibly on their own projects in their own time
- Experience the strategic synergies possible with a 7-module system
- Learn how to operate the system onsite at our labs in Stockholm
- Select the modules most valuable for them for purchase
Step 2: Purchase
PreciseInhale is a compact system, easily transported, and installation is undemanding for an infrastructural platform. Technology transfer is:
- Quick, delivery time is 15 weeks or less
- Easy, the full system can be installed in less than one day
- Supported, ISAB experts bring their exceptional expertise to support you at your site during installation
Step 3: Training and services
Full training and service support follows installation. Customers choose from a flexible training menu following installation, ordering the right amount of training according to whether they have carried out CR themselves at the ISAB labs. Service and support includes:
- 48-hour backup guaranteed in the event of problems
- 2hr notice guaranteed for telephone support
- Flexible training programmes