Scientist Spotlight: A Journey of Innovation with Shailesh Mistry

Spotlight Shay

In this Scientist Spotlight, we talk to Development Manager, Shailesh Mistry, about his career, current role and what he enjoys about working at Upperton. 

Tell us about your background in the pharmaceutical industry?

My journey in the pharmaceutical industry began with a bachelor’s in medical science from the University of Birmingham. Specialising in respiratory and cardiovascular science, I quickly moved towards the specialism of inhaled therapies and drugs delivered into the lungs. It is where my passion lies, a field that is now the cornerstone of my career.

In 2003, I embarked on my professional journey at Quadrant Drug Delivery in Nottingham, where I had the privilege of meeting Nikki Whitfield, our current Upperton CEO, during a chance interview. Years later, I found myself drawn to the vibrant culture of innovation at Upperton under Richard Johnson, joining as a Senior Scientist in 2017. A decision that has helped shaped my career ever since.

What is your current role?

I’m a Development Manager and have been at Upperton for 6 ½ years. I’ve witnessed the company’s remarkable growth and evolution, from a modest team of 10 when I started in 2017, to the dynamic organization it is today. It’s changed hugely since I started. We have outgrown office and lab space three times, and now offer end-to-end integrated services – it’s been a great journey from starting out as a research and development specialist in my early career.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I really enjoy my role within Upperton R&D. I work in a department of around twenty people, with a real wealth of expertise.

As the technical lead for R&D projects as they come into the business, I will often be the main client contact. I have a team of five scientists and together we will ensure that the practical elements of the project are carried out successfully whilst also sharing data with the client in a timely manner. I’m proud in how we approach our project delivery, collaborating with the client, sharing data, and being flexible. We’re nimble and agile, making sure the client is fully aware of where we are with the project and the development of their molecule.

We often find that clients come to us with one API molecule and then another, so we have a lot of repeat customers, which is testament to the fantastic work we do.

"We often have customers that have used other CDMOs in the past, so its extra satisfying knowing that we have been able to progress their API molecule, with our knowledge and expertise."
Shailesh Mistry
Development Manager, Upperton Pharma Solutions

What projects do you like working on?

I personally like working on the technically challenging projects, the ones that need a certain amount of trouble-shooting and a ‘think outside of the box’ approach. We often have customers that have used other CDMOs in the past, so its extra satisfying knowing that we have been able to progress their API molecule, with our knowledge and expertise.

What is your passion?

My passion is dry powders, in particular particle engineering and stabilisation of drug molecules by spray drying, for delivery to the lungs, an area which I have worked for most of my career. As well as working on inhaled therapies, I have also built-up knowledge and expertise working with dry power nasal formulations, something which Upperton offer to customers via the UpperNoseplatform.

What do you like about Trent Gateway?

I’ve been blown away by the potential of the site. I have been here for long enough to see us outgrow a number of spaces, so Trent Gateway gives us the opportunity to really show our true potential with ten cleanrooms, a dedicated R&D space – plus room to expand.

I am excited to get involved with sterile manufacturing and it is looking exciting on that front. It is all about potential with more clients coming through the door.

Can you describe Upperton in a few words?

Driven and engaged. The culture is forward thinking, and everyone has passion for what they do in their jobs here. There is a real expertise here, and you can feel it, the leadership are accessible and there is knowledge around the corner all the time.

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