Fast Trak China Leader
Jessy Yang joined GE Healthcare Life Sciences 11 years ago, and now leads Fast Trak Services for China, where her mission is to help customers accelerate manufacturing and development for biopharmaceuticals. GE Healthcare has a Fast Trak technical center in Shanghai that provides process development and bridge manufacturing services as well as technical training for customers. These services fill a critical gap, especially in emerging markets, for new companies that don’t yet have the capabilities for process development of new drug and manufacturing for clinical trials.
Jessy’s passion for her work in the life sciences industry is contagious. “It’s very dynamic: both the science and the industry are continually evolving. There is constant change, new discoveries, new drugs and new therapies, with the ultimate goal of treating disease and improving lives.”
With a graduate degree in biochemistry, Jessy first joined GE Healthcare as an application scientist, focused on technical training for customers in China and throughout Asia. She found at GE a nurturing environment, with encouragement and opportunity to try new things and grow her skills through both training and experience. “For example, in 2015 I was appointed to lead GE Healthcare’s HyClone business in China. In this assignment I expanded my knowledge of the life sciences business and gained valuable leadership experience.”
For Jessy’s customers, the biggest challenges are production costs and time. “There are so many players in biopharma, and each company wants to reduce costs and accelerate their process. Fast Trak can help them overcome these challenges with technical expertise, know-how in product development, and process optimization to reduce costs. Therefore we are not just a supplier—we enable our customers’ success by Fast Trak technical services. We help them build their own capabilities and people, so our customers can eventually develop their new drug with their own team in their own facility eventually.”
Point of pride
Recently, Jessy’s team supported Pfizer in its pursuit to deliver two biosimilar monoclonal antibodies in China. Pfizer sought a partner that could mitigate the risks of expanding into this region while also significantly reducing the development timeline. They had purchased a KUBio to be built in Hangzhou, China, but needed to manufacture their drug in China in order to apply for regulatory approvals. Jessy’s team worked with US teams and completed the local China application batch manufacturing and technology transfer while the KUBio was being built. Pfizer saved significant time to clinic by operating in parallel and is now waiting for regulatory approvals for their first molecule.
When it comes to digital in life sciences, Jessy wants “as much as possible, as soon as possible!”
“Digital is bringing new capabilities and techniques to both development and manufacturing. Utilizing digital with automation, we can reduce costs and human error. We can reduce production time while raising safety levels of pharmaceuticals, for the ultimate benefit of the patients who depend on these treatments.”
Some words of advice
“I’ve had the opportunity to meet some students through GE’s internship program. These young people are excited about life sciences, and want to know more. My advice: Combine your academic knowledge with real-world experience. Follow your interests and passion for new therapies and approaches, new discoveries, new techniques. Continue to learn new things and keep up with the industry as it evolves.”