Dr Philippe Fernandes, Janssen, Beerse

Philippe graduated as a PhD in 2005 from the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, where he carried his research in applying methodologies to solve crystal structures from X-ray powder data, by exploiting the differential thermal extension exhibited by organic crystals.

He continued supporting the pharmaceutical sciences activities as a post-doc during a collaborative project targeting the control and prediction of the organic solid state (CPOSS), where he provided experimental support to the crystal structure prediction (CSP) generated by Prof Sally Price (UCL).

Following his academic experience, Philippe was contracted in 2008 to set up a dedicated solid-state service offering within Onyx Scientific, a Sunderland based CRO (now part of Onyx ipca). Philippe used automated platforms and chemometrics analysis to speed up the process of carrying polymorph and salt screening. Within the CRO, Philippe also carried out basic crystallisation screens and was exposed to crystallisation scale up, which was a learning opportunity.

He continued applying his knowledge applied to solid-state/crystallisation at a Cambridge based CRO from 2011, @ Pharmorphix, part of Johnson Matthey. He was the project manager for the US portfolio. Philippe was also responsible for the park of X-Ray instruments where he carried out basic repairs/maintenance of the instruments, learning about the pros and cons of each instrument. He also pushed the limits of X-ray diffraction analysis by providing structure solutions from powder data and applying where possible Rietveld analysis even for quantification purposes. He also purchased one of the first X-ray instrument with the tomography module. Philippe investigated widely the use of cocrystals either applied to the Pharmaceutical industry (generating new IP) or within the agrochemical industry. In Cambridge, Philippe collaborated intensively with the Cambridge crystallographic data centre by suggesting and beta testing their software. One of the highlight at Pharmorphix was a troubleshooting project through the crystallisation studies of a unique polymer used by the US armed forces to stop the bleeding of injured soldiers.

Currently, Philippe holds a managerial position at Janssen, Beerse, where he continues applying/sharing the knowledge gained in solid-state since the early 2000s, applying it to crystallisation, manufacturing and within drug product development. Philippe’s current interest focusses on the use of machine learning algorithm within the Pharmaceutical industry, looking towards future use of artificial intelligence whilst still passionate about X-ray technology/instrumentation (tomography applications).

Philippe’s philosophy is that challenges/difficult projects presented are a learning opportunity and successes can only come from fruitful collaboration.

Research Expertise

Synchrotron imaging/structures and computational solid state