Dr. Natasa Skoko, head of Biotechnology Development at ICGEB

Science Technology and Innovation

Biotechnology Development Group Leader, Natasa Skoko, reports on recent visits to labs in South America, as her Group prepares to run a major training workshop later this year. 

Our Group focuses on the development of technologies for the production of biotherapeutic products to increase know-how and capabilities of pharmaceutical industries in Member States. We do this by transferring technologies for the production and quality control of biopharmaceuticals from lab to pilot scale – including technologies for long-lasting insulins.

This can benefit, not only our Member States, but addresses the issue of rising costs world-wide, that can force people to ration their medication.

“Because access to medicines is a fundamental human right”, Dr. Skoko spends time, she says “building relationships, not a business”. She recently returned from a roadshow in South America, presenting the work of the BDU in companies and labs in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. “We are dedicated to the research, development and quality certification of biosimilar drugs, destined to revolutionise the pharmaceutical market in coming years”, continues Skoko.

Our laboratories in Trieste are set up as a state-of-the-art pharmaceutical industry, wherein training courses are also offered to staff from pharmaceutical companies to reproduce production techniques in their own countries.

Dr. Skoko also attended the Biotech Future Forum 2022 in Belgrade, Serbia in October, hosted by the Government and the World Economic Forum (WEF), and the Group is now preparing for a major biomanufacturing training to take place in December this year.

Dr. Skoko and the work of her team to scale up biopharmaceuticals for industry is the subject of one of the recent videos in the series “The Goals of Science”.