Each year, more than 330 exhibitors provide their expertise, display their products and technology, and communicate their services to the 6,500+ attendees of the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo. SOT is fortunate to have many partners who have been exhibiting at the meeting for decades. In anticipation of the upcoming 57th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, two of the organizations who have been exhibiting at the SOT Annual Meeting for more than 40 years share their insights on the industry, trends over the years, and exhibiting at the annual meeting.
About the 40-Year + Exhibiting Companies
Charles River is composed of toxicologists, pathologists, veterinary surgeons, regulatory specialists, and support personnel, who have a strong mechanistic understanding of drug toxicity, bolstering the organization’s ability to determine potential risk factors early in the drug development process. Many of its scientists have served on, or are currently participating in, regulatory and industry body working groups, and the organization works hard to ensure that its products, services, and processes keep pace with the rapid evolution of science, technology, and the ever-changing needs of its clients’ product development.
Covance is a leading drug development company, offering a comprehensive menu of toxicology services, both in good laboratory (GLP) and non-GLP settings, across a global network of modern lab sites. The organization supports toxicologists in biopharmaceutical companies large and small with clinical and non-clinical testing services, consultation, and data insights that enhance and accelerate their drug development.
In your 40+ years of affiliation with SOT, what are some of the notable changes that have impacted your industry and toxicology? How do you see toxicology and your industry evolving over the next 5–10 years?
Charles River: Contract research organizations (CROs) have a unique perspective that allows us to look across the industry over time. Interestingly, the methodology of drug development has changed little and does not vary much between companies. While the molecules and study endpoints have evolved and changed with new molecular entities, study designs have changed little. A 1-, 3-, and 9-month study contains the same number of animals, the same basic endpoints, the same tissue lists, etc., as they did decades ago. What has changed is the speed of analysis, interpretation, and reporting of those studies. The industry is looking for ways to complete studies faster, more efficiently, and more cost effectively. In the next five to 10 years, we expect to see a need for faster and more efficient transfer of data from CROs to clients and regulatory agencies. Additionally, we expect to see more emphasis on the 3Rs (replacement, reduction, and refinement) related to animal research and more development programs relying on in vitro and in silico technologies.
Covance: The most powerful example recently of industry evolution has been the emergence of biologics and immunology/immunotoxicology testing. As we learn more about the body’s immune system and its response to disease-fighting agents, the need for related validated assays and endpoint analysis continues to grow.
With the SOT Annual Meeting and ToxExpo approaching, what guidance would you give to participants (attendees and exhibitors) to help them maximize their experience?
Charles River: For both attendees and exhibitors, getting the most out of ToxExpo requires advance preparation. For attendees, this means searching through the exhibitor information available online at the SOT website to identify those vendors who offer the products and services that are of most interest to them and their organization.
Covance: To get the most out of the meeting, we encourage attendees to ask questions, test hypotheses, share best practices—in short, interact with the community.
What will be your organization’s focus at ToxExpo this year?
Charles River: Our focus at ToxExpo this year will be four-fold. The first will be to convey our passion for scientific excellence, thought leadership, and commitment to the scientific community through program participation. The second focus will be to connect in-person with specific clients to continue with ongoing scientific and business relations discussions. The third focus will be to convey to our clients and potential clients the advantages of partnering with Charles River. And finally, our fourth focus will be to recruit great candidates to address our growing business needs.
Covance: Covance’s focus at ToxExpo 2018 is three-fold: 1) Our investment / expansion in this space; 2) immunology and immunotoxicology (I & I) solutions; and 3) our package of early phase development solutions for biopharma clients.
From March 12 to March 14, the ToxExpo exhibitors are available to assist attendees with a range of needs: they offer an array of products and services; they employ toxicology experts who can partner with you on projects; they are looking for talented individuals to join their teams; and so much in more. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to network with the leading companies and individuals in toxicology, and visit the ToxExpo as frequently as you can.