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Live Webcast: Understanding Polymorphism to De-Risk Drug Development

Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 11am EDT| 8am PDT| 4pm BST| 5pm CEST

Event Overview:

Determining the polymorphism of a drug—the propensity of a molecule to crystallize in different crystalline arrangements, to form crystalline salts and/or non-salt cocrystals—allows for rational selection of the proper solid form/polymorph for further development. In this webcast, learn about the basic concepts of the physical phenomenon of crystalline polymorphism in drug molecules and the techniques used to discover and characterize polymorphs. Explore the effects that different polymorphs may have during drug dissolution and solubilization in the body and resultant bioavailability levels. The benefits of understanding possible polymorphs from a commercial business and risk reduction standpoint will be explored.

Key Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the definitions of drug solid form, polymorphism, crystallinity, and amorphicity.
  2. Understand the physical nature of polymorphism and the techniques used to find polymorphs, salts, and cocrystals.
  3. Develop an appreciation of the importance of profiling polymorphism in drugs for the following factors:
    • As a key component of selecting the proper solid form for development
    • As a necessary inclusion in key regulatory filings
    • As an asset for intellectual property filings, which can prevent competitors from legally formulating your drug using a polymorph not under patent protection.

Who Should Attend:

Scientists, managers, and regulatory professionals involved in small molecule drug development, from early-stage preformulation through late-stage approval.


Steven Johnston, P.h.D.
Director Pharmaceutical Development
Pace Analytical Life Sciences

Steven is a 20+ year pharma veteran. He began his career in protein science in crystallography, with key first publications in the ubiquitin/proteasome system (UCH-L3, Reg-alpha) and immunology (IL-12). Steven attained a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of Utah in 1998 and completed post-doctoral work at Wyeth. After post-doc, Steven expanded into structural bioinformatics at the Whitehead Institute, where he created and brought to practice a structural bioinformatics initiative as a member of the Biocomputing Core Facility. Steven later joined the Pharmaceutical Development Department at Vertex Pharmaceuticals in 2005, focusing on small molecule preformulation, solid form discovery and structural elucidation. At Vertex, Steven was a leader on the teams that brought forth three breakthrough drug approvals, Incivek (HCV), Kalydeco (CF) and Orkambi (CF). He is currently a Director of Pharmaceutical Development at Pace Analytical Life Sciences, where he focuses on oral and parenteral delivery of small molecules and peptides/proteins.