When you think of pioneering early medicine, cutting edge drug discovery and breakthrough advances in medical device technology, you think of one place: Michigan. Right?
Okay, perhaps New Jersey, Minneapolis or San Francisco came to mind first, but Michigan is no stranger to the Life Sciences sector and has a long and storied history that predates even the automotive industry in the Motor City.
Life Science’s Humble Beginnings in Michigan
The birth of the modern pharmaceutical industry itself coincided with the founding of Upjohn in Kalamazoo in 1886 by Dr. William Upjohn when he patented a process for making pills that were digestible. Upjohn prided itself on drug discovery and research, and hired its first research scientist in 1913. Throughout the 20th century the company developed and produced antacids and antibiotics for use during World War II, the first oral anti-diabetes agent, as well as brand name drugs such as Motrin, Xanax and Rogaine.
In 1887, nearly in parallel, Luther Perrigo began to package and distribute medicines to nearby merchants. From those humble beginnings in Allegan, Michigan, Perrigo Company today is a global supplier of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription pharmaceuticals with over 10,000 employees and $4B in annual revenue.
The medical device sector enjoys a long a history in the state as well. In 1941, an orthopedic surgeon from Kalamazoo named Dr. Homer Stryker formed the Orthopedic Frame Company, a precursor to the Medical Device giant that Stryker is today. Sarns, Inc. was founded in 1960 to make equipment used in cardiac bypass surgery and that business today, Terumo Cardiovascular, employs 900 people in Ann Arbor.
The Future of Life Sciences Manufacturing in Michigan
Today, Michigan enjoys a robust life sciences community. The Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan is a leader in biomedical research and the Michigan Life Sciences Corridor (MLSC) is a $1 billion biotechnology initiative that invests in 4 state universities. Michigan’s institutions conducted more than $1.2 billion in bioscience research in 2014 and medical device manufacturing accounted for 48 percent of 2,333 patents issued between 2012 to 2015.
Explore Life Sciences in Detroit
By definition, Explore, QAD’s biggest event of the year, is about discovery. It’s designed to connect QAD’s global community of leading manufacturers. It’s an opportunity for you to meet with fellow members of the QAD community and connect with industry innovators who can share their experiences and triumphs to help you be successful.
Life Sciences companies, very similar to the ones who have called Michigan home for over a century, will be in attendance at this year’s Explore in Detroit. Like Upjohn, and QAD customers Perrigo and Stryker, they continue to pioneer, discover and innovate. These are companies who are changing and improving people’s lives every day.
In the Explore Life Sciences Breakout session I will be conducting on Tuesday afternoon, I’ll talk about some of the challenges these pioneers are confronting and how they are using QAD solutions to help them innovate, differentiate and operate more efficiently.
Hear From Life Sciences Customers at Explore
You’ll have the opportunity to hear from HeartWare and learn how they use QAD QMS to streamline their unique and complex complaint management system. Laerdal Medical will discuss their use of QAD Interoperability solutions to achieve supply chain automation and visibility. CoorsTek Medical will talk about how they are implementing the QAD QMS across six U.S. plant sites to improve their management of Non-Conformance Reports (NCRs) and Corrective Action/Preventive Actions (CAPAs) for customer complaints and manufacturing.
Check out the Explore Agenda for more information on these sessions as well as the other breakouts, training classes, demos and networking activities.