The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) reports that Johnson & Johnson (J & J) will once again be hosting the Kilmer Conference, inviting leaders from the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, regulatory agencies, academia, contract sterilizers and laboratories, and hospital central supply departments to New Brunswick, N.J. to discuss challenges, pose questions, and exchange ideas about sterility assurance.
This invitation-only event will be held May 2-5, 2016. The Kilmer Conference takes its name from Fred Kilmer, the director of J & J’s scientific laboratory from 1889–1934. Between 1976 and 2003, J & J hosted eight Kilmer Conferences that focused on advancements in sterilization, new validation methods, and world health issues.
“We’re very excited to bring back the Kilmer Conference, which has been a landmark event for building the field of sterilization and sterility assurance over the past 40 years,” says Joyce Hansen, vice president of sterility assurance at J&J. “The Kilmer events give our professional community a forum to share best practices and exchange ideas. This is supported by the fact that all of the concepts and technical research first presented at Kilmer Conferences are still in use today; real innovation happens at these events.”
With the pace of innovation accelerating over the past decade, new demands have been placed on sterility assurance professionals, highlighting the relevance of collaboration and the need to proactively adapt to change, according to Hansen. “The revived Kilmer Conference remains an incredibly relevant and important forum for our profession, especially as we continuously update our methods to an ever-increasing rate of innovation,” Hansen adds. “What used to take five to 10 years can now take 18 to 24 months. This acceleration has spurred us to identify new and innovative ways to obtain the information necessary for validation, which helps deliver new drugs and devices to patients more quickly. As I see it, this means becoming stronger in five core areas: competency, community, connection, career, and collaboration.”
AAMI is serving as one of the supporting organizations for the conference’s revival.
“AAMI is very committed to supporting a strong community of experts in the field of sterility assurance, and we feel fortunate to work with partners such as Johnson & Johnson to ensure we offer the best resources possible to today's professionals and the emerging leaders who will take the science to the next level,” says AAMI president Mary Logan.
Logan noted that AAMI is preparing to launch a new certification in industrial sterilization this fall and will be hosting back-to-back sterilization workshops on May 2 in conjunction with the conference—Packaging for Terminally Sterilized Medical Devices, How to Find Your Way in this Globally Regulated Industry and Applying Novel Sterilization Processes to Healthcare Products. The proceedings from past Kilmer Conferences have been published in eight separate volumes and were donated by J & J to AAMI last year. These proceedings cover topics such as environmental controls in manufacturing, the importance of bioburden in sterile processing, pyrogen testing, ethylene oxide sterilization, regulatory considerations, gamma sterilization, and validation challenges.