Clinical Development Internship Experience
By Alexander An on August 25th, 2022
I believe that an internship is an essential experience for students who are interested in pursuing a career in the pharmaceutical industry following pharmacy school. There are a variety of functions within the industry including medical affairs, market access, health policy, clinical development, and more. With so many areas to explore in the industry, it can be difficult for pharmacy students to pick which path is best for them. This is where an internship comes into play.
Internships provide unique chances for pharmacy students to learn about a particular functional area and specific therapeutic disease state. They provide excellent opportunities to see firsthand if the career path you think you are interested in is really something you want to pursue after school. For example, I was interested in learning about different jobs in the pharmaceutical industry that focused on oncology. This curiosity led me to work as a clinical development intern at Springworks Therapeutics this past summer. Springworks’ pipeline consists of drugs that treat rare oncology diseases such as desmoid tumors and neurofibromatosis.
At first, I was intimidated to work with such brilliant minds since I had no experience at all. However, after interacting with everyone during the meetings, I quickly learned how kind my co-workers were. Additionally, I was given projects throughout the internship related to the clinical development of Nirogacestat and Mirdametinib - oral medications that are used to treat desmoid tumors and neurofibromatosis type 1, respectively. For example, I got to work on an investigator brochure, initial pediatric study plan, and literature search on the drugs' mechanisms. But the highlight of my internship was getting to chat with people from various departments of Springworks ranging from marketing to medical affairs. It was truly inspiring to hear the distinct reasons why each person joined the search for novel therapies in a rare oncology field - one which currently has no approved treatments. Overall, this internship made me certain that, after pharmacy school, I want to pursue oncology as a therapeutic area within the pharmaceutical industry.