13 Sep 2017 Pharmaceutical Chemistry Degree Leads to Employment at Asia’s Largest Integrated Insulin Manufacturing Facility
I am Tey Hui Yin who graduated with a First Class Honours in BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry from IMU in October 2016. I am currently working in the Quality Control Analytical (QCA) Department in Biocon Sdn Bhd. Biocon Malaysia is Asia’s largest integrated Insulin Manufacturing facility, which is the highest foreign investment in Malaysia’s biotechnology sector to-date.
I am glad to be a part of Biocon as it is a great learning platform for fresh graduates who are interested in the biopharmaceutical sector. Currently, Biocon Sdn. Bhd. manufactures the Drug Substance for Biocon’s range of rh-insulin and insulin analogues as well as Drug Products in vials, cartridges and devices.
There are five subsection in QCA Department, namely raw material team, in-process team, finished product team, analytical support team and quality system team. I am one of the members in the in-process team. In-process team provide analytical support to both Production Drug Substance Department and Production Drug Product Department.
We analyse most of the in-process routine samples by HPLC and GC, then we provide the analysis results to the Production Department within a short turnaround time to carry out the following stage of manufacturing.
The knowledge I gained in Pharmaceutical Analysis module at IMU have assisted me in generating and understanding analytical results. With the knowledge I gained in the module, I am able to discuss analytical results with colleagues and superior. Sometimes, I assist in troubleshooting HPLC and GC systems too. All the topics and knowledge I gained in the module are useful and are always applicable in my workplace, for example, analytical method validation, cleaning validation, GMP guideline, GDP guideline and etc.
I appreciate all the knowledge that I’ve learned in the Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme. I still refer to my lecture notes from time to time in order to solve problems that I faced at work.
In addition, as a part of QCA in-process team members, I have to familiarise myself with the entire process of manufacturing insulin analogues, ranging from upstream fermentation stage, downstream crystallisation stage, enzyme reaction stage and purification stage, in order to communicate with colleagues from production department effectively.
The manufacturing process of insulin analogues is complicated. However, the background in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology modules have aided me in better understanding the manufacturing process.
To support the Production Department, the QCA in-process team have to work in rotating shifts. There are pros and cons working in rotating shifts. At the beginning, I thought I will suffer.
However, after few months working on rotation, the situation is not as terrible as I initially think. Irregular working hours allowed me to avoid traffic jams and the crowd during weekends. I am able to settle my personal affairs during weekdays without applying for annual leave too. In addition, working in shifts made me a better team player.
Confidence and trust have to be built among the team members. I have been trained to improve my self-confidence and also have higher confidence level on others. I appreciate all the soft skills I gained from IMU and the friendliness from my colleagues which have allowed me to adapt in a new environment in a very short period of time.
Biocon Sdn Bhd has just started its first commercialised batch of insulin injection in November 2016. By commercialising Biocon products in the Malaysian market, we are producing high quality yet affordable insulin injection for diabetic patients. I felt proud to get a chance to play a role in Biocon. There are a lot for me to deepen my knowledge and experience in Biocon. I appreciate all the opportunities given and I hope we can make more contribution to the society in future.