Morten Munk has 30 years of experience within the biopharmaceutical industry, including work assignments in Asia, South America, USA and Europe.
Morten Munk holds a degree in chemical engineering from the Technical University of Denmark. In 2001, he co-founded CMC Biologics A/S and held a position as vice president for business development at the company before joining NNE in 2015. Prior to this, he was principal scientist at Novo Nordisk, responsible for the chemistry, manufacturing and control development part of several projects, including development of the slow acting insulin analogue, Levemir®.
A common denominator for Morten is to ensure a holistic and broad perspective on pharma manufacturing challenges, from idea to established facilities. His key focus is to ensure fully compliant and cost-effective production through the optimal use of all relevant available knowledge and technologies, for instance in single-use systems and continuous processing.
Morten is highly motivated by knowledge and experience sharing, and is therefore actively involved in international industry organisations such as ISPE and PDA. Furthermore, he is appointed as member of scientific committees for various international conferences, as well as a member of the CMC Biologics Technical Advisory Committee, PDA Biotechnology Advisory Board and Advisory Board for Master studies at Copenhagen University on Industrial Drug Development and Regulatory Affairs.
What’s your view on the industry?
"Over the last few decades, the health care sector has made huge contributions to humanity. It continues to offer new and improved treatments for diseases that were in the past untreatable or treated insufficiently. However, these developments require increasingly specialised products. When you add to this the growing focus on reducing manufacturing costs, and increasingly unpredictable future demands for different products, the expanding product portfolio needs more flexible and agile facilities. A broad range of tools should be activated to meet this requirement, including modular approach, single use technologies, continuous processing and new operational models.
I believe we are in a transitional phase. It is more broadly acceptable that the health care industry learns from other technology-based industries and takes advantage of technological advances. In the future, we will see a closer relationship between the patient and the manufacturer. Personalized medicine may require samples from the patient, a genetic profile or other unique patient information in order to offer the patient the right treatment. The patient's condition might deteriorate in just a few weeks, so the key focus will be on the time it takes to get this information and provide the right treatment or product. It will be a huge logistical challenge: doing the manufacturing, release, and shipment of a product in just a few weeks."
Why do you work in this industry?
"Working in this industry makes me feel both humble and proud. Being part of something that has such a huge impact on peoples’ wellbeing, even life and death, is a privilege. But it also comes with responsibility. The responsibility to always have the benefit of the patient in mind and ensure that the medicine is safe and efficient. As it is so complex, it requires many dimensions of collaboration and knowledge sharing. We can only be successful by working closely together, between industry, academia and the regulatory authorities.
Working in the pharmaceutical industry has a clear purpose, offers new challenges on a daily basis, and close collaboration with inspiring and dedicated people – what more can you wish for?
Another aspect is the deep understanding required for all the different functional areas and different technologies. These include biological processes in humans and in the production organism, complex production equipment, analytical methods, production planning, quality systems, facility design and people behavior (change management) to mention a few. No day is the same, and every day brings me into contact with great and inspiring colleagues and collaboration partners around the world."
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