Scientist Snapshot | Mathew Minardi, EVP and Site Head at Cary

06th Oct 2022

At Sterling, our highly experienced team members and their passion for what they do are central to who we are. This month, we spoke with Mat Minardi, Executive Vice President and Site Head at the Cary facility, to learn more about his role and how Sterling’s Cary site supports customers’ early phase projects.

Can you briefly describe your background and current role at Sterling?

During my undergraduate studies at Clemson University, I worked on cannabinoid research for a professor named John Huffman. Then, while I was pursuing my PhD at Arizona State University, I performed research involving oncology molecules and natural products chemistry with Professor George Pettit. I developed a strong interest in the pharmaceutical industry, and began working in the CDMO space as a process chemist just after receiving my PhD. This role provided me a wide range of experience, from technology transfers of commercial products and energetic chemistry to large-scale chromatography, impurity analysis and more.

I then joined Noramco, a Johnson & Johnson company, starting off as a process chemist. This position gave me a wealth of experience in developing processes at a plant scale and bringing them to a commercial scale. I went on to work in a variety of roles within that organisation over the years, with responsibilities ranging from process optimisation to regulatory affairs, technical services, internal and external manufacturing, project management, and sales. During my time there, I was able to see projects through from inception to commercialisation and develop a robust understanding of requirements along the way.

After that, I served as VP of Technical Services for Accord Healthcare, where I handled tech transfers for finished dosage forms, M&A evaluation, supplier relationships, and business development. Collectively, my experiences over the years have given me a unique perspective, as I’ve been on both sides of the CDMO fence. This enables me to really understand the customer’s perspective and expectations as well as the CDMO’s vantage point, which has proven to be advantageous in my role at Sterling today.

I joined Sterling as EVP and Site Head for Cary after they acquired the site in 2019. Cary focuses on preclinical and early phase clinical projects, and we always work to meet customers’ early phase requirements while setting their projects up for long-term success. This requires a high level of flexibility, as customers tend to prioritise time and budget for early stage projects. In addition to overseeing operations and ensuring that we repeatedly deliver excellent results, I also look at opportunities to continually innovate and expand our capacity at Cary in order to maximise value for our customers.

What made you decide to join the Sterling team?

I could tell that Sterling really holds true to its values to be caring, be transparent, be reliable, and be willing, which are values that I share. I see these values in action every day in my position. The customer is always number one, followed closely by our team and our community. I believe that when you prioritise these three things, organisational success is a natural result. To me, it is evident that the entire Sterling team shares these beliefs, and it is rewarding to be a part of an organisation that remains true to its values.

Fast Facts

ROLE
Executive Vice President & Site Head, Cary

JOINED STERLING
2019

EDUCATION
PhD in Synthetic Chemistry,
Arizona State University

SPECIALISATIONS
Process chemistry,
GMP, GLP, research & development,
technology transfer,
business development,
regulatory affairs

In addition, people development is a real passion of mine, and has been throughout my career. It’s really exciting to support people in achieving their professional goals, and to see people I’ve worked with over the years go on to do great things.

What are some of your top priorities in your position?

From a technical standpoint, my team is focused on delivering our customers scientific excellence in every project. We carefully consider their requirements, including budget and time considerations, to develop high quality processes that meet their objectives. Some of our strengths are route scouting, proof of concept, early phase clinical supply and method development, among other areas. We are also focused on considering the long-term implications of early phase decisions, helping to ensure the continued quality and success of each project as it progresses to later stages of the molecule lifecycle.

In addition, people development is a real passion of mine, and has been throughout my career. It’s really exciting to support people in achieving their professional goals, and to see people I’ve worked with over the years go on to do great things. From my perspective, helping people to excel is one of the most critical parts of my role, and it’s rewarding to help them continually succeed.

What’s next for the Cary site?

We are always looking to raise the bar when it comes to our capabilities and technologies. This includes continuing to bring experienced scientists onto our team, as well as investing in new labs and GMP suites. Our team has already expanded significantly since Sterling acquired the Cary site, and we continue to find new ways to innovate and better serve our customers’ complex requirements. This is especially critical as molecule complexity in the market continues to rise, and the demand for specialised technologies increases.

More specifically, we are investing in flow chemistry equipment at Cary to add continuous manufacturing capabilities, as well as acquiring more analytical equipment to expand our offerings. With more capacity, more capabilities, and more specialised equipment, we will be able to support an even broader range of project needs for our customers.

In general, the same reasons a customer would choose to work with Sterling on any project hold true for early phase. Scientific excellence and partnership are our main priorities in every project. We strive to be easy to do business with, while delivering a high level of scientific expertise and specialised capabilities.

Why should a customer choose to work with Sterling for early phase projects?

In general, the same reasons a customer would choose to work with Sterling on any project hold true for early phase. Scientific excellence and partnership are our main priorities in every project. We strive to be easy to do business with, while delivering a high level of scientific expertise and specialised capabilities.

Our skilled team members, extensive expertise and world-class equipment enable us to help our clients achieve excellent results in their early phase projects. We work to overcome a broad range of complex technical challenges for our customers. Beyond our chemistry, we also support customers through funding guidance, regulatory considerations and other areas. Our capabilities in GMP manufacturing and controlled substance handling enable us to support a wide range of project requirements.

Of course, partnership is particularly important to us, and we work collaboratively with our customers to fully understand their needs. Since we support such a wide range of projects, we know that each has its own unique specifications and objectives. As a result, we work in a really agile and flexible way to tailor our approach for each project and apply our team’s wealth of expertise to overcome challenges. In my opinion, that is what truly sets us apart.

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