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Vol 20, No. 03, March 2016   |   Issue PDF view/purchase
Loeillot General Manager of Bioprocess Asia

GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business

Olivier Loeillot is General Manager of Bioprocess Asia for GE Healthcare’s Life Sciences business, based in Singapore. In his role, he oversees the services and technologies offered to the biopharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing industries, including helping companies improve product yields and reduce production times. Previously, Olivier was General Manager of Enterprise Solutions, a global business unit of GE Healthcare’s $1.8 billion Life Sciences division. With its flagships modular and fully disposable Biopharma manufacturing concept KUBio and Flexfactory, Enterprise Solutions business has become a key piece of the Life Science division.

Loeillot has about twenty years’ experience in the global life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. He joined GE Healthcare in 2010 from Lonza, where he held a series of senior leadership roles in general management, business development and sales. While at Lonza, Loeillot led the development of the Microbial Biopharmaceutical business from its early start to the acquisition of Cambrex Biopharma. Latterly he was Vice President of Sales for the Lonza Custom Manufacturing business. Prior to Lonza, Loeillot was head of sales at Rhodia Pharmaceuticals.

Loeillot earned his master’s degree in Chemistry in 1993 from The European High Institute of Chemistry of Strasbourg, France. He subsequently graduated from CESMA with a master’s degree in Business Administration.

GE Healthcare Life Sciences take part in Life-Saving

GE (General Electric) has grown significantly since its first contact with Singapore in 1969, and has now expanded its manufacturing plants to almost all corners in Asia. What should we know about GE Healthcare Life Science’s current presence in Asia? And what are the differences in the biopharma industry between the two competitive nations; China and Singapore?

In this issue’s Spotlights, Mr. Olivier Loeillot from GE will be sharing with us his insights and perspectives on bioprocessing in healthcare life sciences, and on sealing deals in Asia.

Loeillot has been residing in Singapore for the last 18 months. Prior to his current appointment at GE, the energetic Parisian-born general manager spent 10 years working in Switzerland in the bioprocessing and manufacturing industries. When Loeillot was hired by GE, one of the company’s aims was to develop an off-the-shelf bio-pharmaceutical manufacturing platform with a combination of enterprise solutions for companies to develop products more efficiently, and hence, to achieve better cost-effectiveness.

‘Singapore is a fantastic place to live in. It is a culturally rich city,’ said Loeillot who has not felt homesick since he commenced his work in Singapore.

He continued, ‘I’ve enjoyed adapting to the people and environment, as well as living in a new part of the world.’

GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ bioprocessing business supports the biopharmaceutical industry: technologies and services for the production of monoclonal Antibodies (mAbs), for vaccines; insulin; and for fractionation of plasma. mAbs is a fast growing industry in healthcare and GE meets this demand by focusing particularly on providing technologies and services for mAbs production and related R&D.

GE is an active partner with Singapore Universities. In 2014 A*STAR and GE Healthcare signed a five-year technology research and development collaboration agreement to co-develop the next generation of medical technologies in three areas: patient monitoring, Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). The company also has established a state-of-the-art facility at the School of Life Sciences and Chemical Technology, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore. GE Healthcare’s Fast Trak Training and Education Courses provide hands-on practical training in the latest technologies and strategies for bioprocessing, and are specifically designed to help biopharmaceutical manufacturers bring their product to market faster.

‘At GE, our vision is to help manufacturers of these vital medicines make a quality product as quickly and as effectively as possible.’ said Loeillot.

Aside from supplying the technologies and services for manufacturers, GE provides training facilities for knowledge support to industry technicians via its FastTrak programme. ‘It is important to equip technicians or users with a better understanding of our products, the bioprocessing equipment and software,’ said Loeillot. Some of GE’s notable bioprocessing bioreactors in the market are ReadyToProcess WAVE 25, WAVE Bioreactor System 500/1000, and Xcellerex XDR-50 to 2000. The average intake for each course is about 20 attendees.

GE also has a significant presence in China. With offices in Beijing and Shanghai, the company is well placed to offer support to the growing bioindustry in the country. GE works very closely with the China Food and Drug Administration providing industry expertise as regulators develop policies to ensure safety for patients.

The business instinct for Loeillot establishing a successful business partnership in China is to showcase the important and interesting networks that favour both parties. He further emphasized, ‘It is very important to understand the clients’ needs and when that is established, to do business in China is not that difficult.’

When the two leading biopharma countries, Singapore and China, were compared, Loeillot described that the difference lies in their focus. ‘China wants products that are high quality, with good efficiency and low cost. Singapore, on the other hand, has the luxury to spend more and to follow similar footsteps to those of the way companies operate in the United States.’

Over the next five years, Loeillot believes there will be more locally manufactured and registered drug products in Asia. At present although there are many biopharma companies in India and China, most drugs are still imported from the United States and Europe. ‘It will be good for us to see locally manufactured registered drugs which are then delivered to their own population, and this will help to solve some existing social problems which includes access to medical treatments.’

GE has a significant presence in Asia, and the predominant reason for its current standing may have been its regular recruitment cycles for young graduates. GE provides training for young graduates, and previous employees often find themselves returning to GE as the culture has shown to be more suitable for the development and advancement of their careers.

This featured interview was conducted by Yuhui Lin, APBN

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