Between prescriptions or taking something for a headache or joint pain, we use drugs every day. Dr. Mary Krause is ensuring that the drugs you take are safe and of the best quality.
Krause focuses on late-stage development of biologic drug products at Bristol-Myers Squibb in the Parenterals Science and Technology group.
An alumna of Missouri State University, Krause returned Aug. 23 to discuss the drug development process: what goes into them, why and how are they manufactured, produced and commercialized.
Biologic drugs, or drugs with protein-based active ingredients, are harder to manage than traditional therapeutic compounds. Biologic drugs are usually stored ready to use in an injectable form rather than a pill or a topical solution. This means keeping the drug stable is an additional challenge.
“As part of a drug product development team, our job is to formulate the protein to keep it stable and unmodified until it reaches the patient, to make sure they are receiving a drug that is safe and fully active,” Krause said.
Though biologic drugs have their own unique challenges, Krause thinks they are worth it. With the ever-expanding realm of diseases, biologic drugs could be used for nearly every area of medicine.
Krause earned her BS in chemistry and MS in chemistry from Missouri State through the accelerated master’s program.
“Having such a strong background in the fundamentals of chemistry has helped tremendously. I regularly use modified versions of the techniques that I first learned in the lab while at Missouri State,” Krause said.
Though she wanted to teach, her desire to directly work on life-saving medications led her to where she is today.
“A big part of what we do is consider what is best for the patient who will eventually receive our drug product,” Krause said. “This patient-centricity and remembering who we are working for is a big part of why I love my job.”