We very much welcome the revitalisation of the TECHNOPHARM brand
6/3/2024 Insights Interview

We very much welcome the revitalisation of the TECHNOPHARM brand

As a conceptual sponsor of POWTECH TECHNOPHARM, the APV International Association for Pharmaceutical Technology is of great importance to the trade fair. In April, Prof Dr Sandra Klein took over the chairmanship of the scientific association. For Industry Insights, she provides an insight into the activities of the APV and her expectations of the POWTECH TECHNOPHARM after its brand relaunch.

Portrait photo of Sandra Klein, President of the APV Working Group for Pharmaceutical Process Engineering APV President Prof Sandra Klein works scientifically on in vitro drug release models. She also wants to attract young scientists to the APV's task forces on topics such as 3D printing, AI and personalised medicine.

Professor Klein, you have been President of the APV since 1 April 2024. What prompted you to take on this position?

As a young scientist, the APV offered me many advantages. It was therefore a matter of course for me to join the board when I was asked - and now to take over the presidency.
The APV is the most important organisation in Germany for the field of pharmaceutical technology and now also industrial pharmacy. It is a non-profit organisation in which the members work together very actively in their free time in the ten specialist groups and various task forces and meet in local groups. It is therefore an honour for me to take over the presidency.

What are the tasks of the specialist groups?

The members meet regularly, virtually or in person, and discuss current topics. If it makes sense, they organise seminars. One or two publications, guidelines or white papers, have already resulted from this work. Sometimes the meetings are also combined with a tour of one of the members' companies. This gives you an insight into new production areas.

How long have you been an APV member?

I joined in 2000, during my doctorate. It's an unwritten law: as a pharmaceutical technologist, you join the APV as early as possible. It was a very good move. I learnt a lot in the seminars, which you can attend as a student member for a small fee. I gained insights into numerous basic topics, but also into modern specialist areas. At the same time, it was the start of a great network.

A group of eight women and two men stand in front of a wall labelled Technology. Sandra Klein is standing in the centre. Around 1500 APV members can contribute their expertise in ten working groups, including on topics such as pharmaceutical biotechnology, solid dosage forms and pharmaceutical process engineering.

‘As the APV, we want to help shape the future of pharmacy.’

What goals have you set yourself as part of your presidency?

As the APV, we want to help shape the future of pharmacy. This means that we want to work on solutions to emerging problems ourselves and not have any ‘solution’ imposed on us. After all, our network of around 1500 members has the expertise for a wide range of pharmacy technology topics thanks to its heterogeneous composition. Like my predecessor, I would like to continue to promote this.

Can you give some examples?

We have been working on individualised medicine for some time now. We have set up a task force to look at how we can realise the production of medicines for small groups of patients. Artificial intelligence and digitalisation are currently gaining in importance. The task forces offer us the opportunity to address new topics of this kind outside the fixed structures of the specialist groups. It is very important to me to also integrate young scientists. Some task forces, such as the one on 3D printing, were even co-founded by members during their postdoc period.

With you and your predecessor Prof Breitkreuz, there are two university representatives at the head of the APV. Do experts from universities generally dominate the association?

No, the majority of our members come from the pharmaceutical industry. That is extremely important to us. We make sure that the various sectors of the pharmaceutical industry, such as research-based pharmaceutical companies, generics, excipient and contract manufacturers, as well as academia, are represented on the board. Most of the specialised groups are also chaired by industry representatives. However, a university representative is probably the best choice for the chairmanship of the board. We are never suspected of pushing a topic out of corporate interests.

Does the APV also provide impetus to national and European authorities such as the BfArM and the EMA?

That is our goal. We invite representatives of the authorities to many events in order to enter into dialogue with them. It would be very important for us to intensify the previously more active dialogue again.

Stage of the Expert Forum stagetalk 2 at POWTECH. The speaker stands in front of a wall displaying the POWTECH logo and a PowerPoint slide on the topic of AI in Pharma Manufacturing. APV has already generated added value for visitors from the pharmaceutical sector at POWTECH 2023 with numerous presentations on pharmaceutical technology topics.

‘The POWTECH TECHNOPHARM programme is highly relevant for the pharmaceutical industry.’

APV played a key role in the POWTECH trade fair being relaunched as POWTECH TECHNOPHARM in 2025. How do you feel about this?

We think that's very good. We very much regretted it when the trade fair was reduced to POWTECH a few years ago. For many in the pharmaceutical community, POWTECH alone was too specific, too focussed on mechanical process technologies. In the meantime, the trade fair programme has broadened considerably and the TECHNOPHARM brand has been revived. Everyone on the APV Board welcomed this, as the range of products and services on offer is indeed highly relevant to the pharmaceutical industry.

Please give us a brief insight into your university work.

I specialise in biorelevant in-vitro release models that can be used to predict the release of active ingredients in vivo. My current focus is on establishing such models for children of different age groups and using them in the development of paediatric dosage forms. The aim is to predict whether a dosage form or an administration condition is suitable without unnecessary experiments on animals or humans.

In conclusion: What is important to you in your private life and what do you spend your free time doing?

I'm a big football fan; when there's time, I also like to go to the stadium. I used to play myself. As a nature lover, I also enjoy going out into nature or working in the garden. I also play the clarinet, for a long time in a music club. Unfortunately, I only get to do this sporadically now. My friends, who I see far too rarely, are extremely important to me. I come from Hessen and still have a flat there, but of course I'm mainly in Greifswald. But the old friendships last. Friends are friends.

Academic career of Prof Dr Sandra Klein

Sandra Klein initially worked in the pharmaceutical industry for four years before studying pharmacy. She obtained her licence to practise as a pharmacist and her doctorate at Goethe University Frankfurt in 2005, after which she joined Eastman Chemicals in the USA as a postdoc. After a further four years as a research assistant at Goethe University, she was appointed Professor of Pharmaceutical Technology at the University of Greifswald in 2010.

Prof Klein is Chair of the APV Board, an associate member and head of the Biopharmacy Working Group of the EuPFI, a member of the AAPS and DPhG, a member of the Physical Performance Testing Expert Panel of the USP as well as a member of the editorial board of several scientific journals and editor-in-chief of DiePharmazie.


Ulla Reutner

Dr. Ulla Reutner

Chemist and freelance specialised journalist