Plus five hours and minus fifteen degrees centigrade east, a damp and grey Boston was the location for the 12th PODD conference. With ~650 delegates and over 70 table-top stands the conference felt to be significantly larger than the last time we attended in 2019 and there was a real buzz
about the place.
PODD’s key theme throughout is partnership and collaboration. As previously, the compact stands were set-up in a significantly smaller space than at PDA, resulting in a much more cosy exhibition environment. Although not ideal for those looking for continued social distancing, it was much more conducive to personal interaction with perhaps more emphasis on discussion than demonstration. Coupled with organised 1:1 partnering/networking sessions and seeded round table discussions over lunch, the focus was strongly on encouraging and facilitating conversations.
The multi-track conference programme was of similar scale to PDA but again with a different slant. Many of the talks were in the form of panel discussions and ‘fireside chats’ so you needed to be in the room to get the benefit of these. This helped ensure good attendance and there were some excellent, open conversations on themes ranging from payer perspectives and re-imbursement, the role of early-stage companies in accelerating novel drug delivery, and practical advice for successful partnering.
Overall the topics covered are broader at PODD, with much more content covering the drug product and therapy areas than was seen at PDA. There is also a broader range of device technologies presented including oral administration to deliver drugs via the stomach and intestine and methods to deliver through the blood/brain barrier. Three separate streams of seventeen 15-minute technology presentations in one afternoon requires impressive organisation and moderating skills but delivers a great deal of very interesting content.