Ask BioPhorum – a second brain for BioPhorum members

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Whilst the filling and finish process is straightforward to describe, it is exquisitely complicated to get right and be assured and assure health authorities that the product reaches stringent quality standards. Even small deviations from standards can result in expensive losses and delay supply to patients of vital therapies.  Experience and expertize matter.  Ask BioPhorum is a valued member resource which enables subject matter experts to tap into a collective ‘second brain’.

What is Ask BioPhorum

At its most basic, Ask BioPhorum is a connected way to ask questions across its membership of leading biopharmaceutical manufacturers. It provides members access to the experience of its large and growing membership through simply asking each other questions. These can take the form of modest ‘does anyone know how to…’ style questions, through to mini-benchmarking surveys that have the potential to drive future collaborative efforts.

 BioPhorum Fill Finish (FF) has been among the more active communities in terms of asking and responding to questions, with many companies making the most of the opportunity to learn.

“What I like about Ask BioPhorum is that I have a tool at my fingertips – which provides access to a multitude of peer companies, in which I can ask technical questions and expect timely responses from a broad section of the industry,” said Dan O’Mahony of Merck. “The tool provides an easy benchmarking opportunity.”

Curating the past to facilitate the future

Recently, the FF leadership community has seen an upsurge in engagement with Ask BioPhorum. The number of questions in 2019 and 2020 averaged at around 60, though in 2021 this number was surpassed by the end of the third quarter.

With this vital tool set to move from its current online home, iMeet, to BioPhorum’s new SharePoint Hub, the FF team has sought to maximize the value of past questions currently held on iMeet. Protecting the repository of closed questions and benchmarks and making it easier to search and access the responses is very much needed if the value of those responses is to be retained.

To address this, the FF team has assessed each of the more significant of the historical questions, dating back to 2014. By describing each of these questions into topics using key words, it has been possible to collate them – and their responses – into an indexed and classified PDF resource that allows rapid access to the topics and questions. With all responses blinded to ensure confidentiality, it will be easy for members to share the resource internally, bolstering the collective value.

Nearly 120 questions have been pulled together in this way so far, with approximately another 50 to be added shortly to complete the resource right up to the end of 2021 and tying in with the move to the new SharePoint Hub. In conclusion, “Ask BioPhorum is a useful and convenient tool which allows us to quickly tap into a vast network of knowledge and experience to not only help resolve shared industry problems,” adds Chris Burns of Bayer. “But it also provides a larger perspective from the biotechnology community which can be leveraged to align internal stakeholders when needed, to gain support for proposed changes, formulate regulatory responses, and resolve discrepancies.”

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