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Roberto La Forgia was born in Puglia, and trained in Puglia, but for years he has been exporting his talents and skills in radiopharmaceutical and chemical fields all over the world. This is an area in which being at the cutting edge means, above all, developing protocols that guarantee better prospects for people suffering from certain diseases.
With a degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies from the University of Bari, Dr La Forgia has always pursued his strong passion for scientific research.
In 2008 he was certified by the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), having already, in the previous year, overseen the creation of a new radiopharmaceutical plant for a local company in Bari and been responsible for the consequent development of all its activities including research.
2014 was a decisive turning point, with the launch of the BeForPharma start-up and the simultaneous launch of a collaboration with the IAEA (the International Atomic Energy Agency of the United Nations).
The first international mission on behalf of the UN – in the context of cooperation between the various actors who use nuclear energy for peaceful purposes such as medicine – involved a production project for radiopharmaceuticals in Baku, Azerbaijan.
As part of a multidisciplinary team of experts, La Forgia provided instructions for the execution of the project, checking phase by phase that all the installation procedures were in line with the standards of good manufacturing (Good Manufacturing Practices, GMP).
Other similar missions on behalf of the IAEA followed in Jamaica (2015) and Chile (2018).
Roberto La Forgia has also lent his experience to the King Hamad University Hospital in Bahrain where he supervised several radiopharmaceutical production projects, planned screening campaigns and deepened his managerial skills. In particular, during his stay, Dr. La Forgia contributed, as Project Manager, to the achievement of decisive results in a research project of national interest. This project introduced a new technology in 2015, since when all patients with cancer no longer need to emigrate to other states for treatment.
BE FOR PHARMA
And, as always, back to Puglia.
Despite the opportunities to work abroad, La Forgia chose to root his business in Puglia, founding BeForPharma. Created with the intention of ensuring quality standards by public and private health organizations, this innovative start-up has quickly become an aggregator of research and development talent in the radiopharmaceuticals field, connecting experts from all over the world. La Forgia was also nominated entrepreneur of the month by the European Business and Innovation Centre Network (EBN network). Among the successes of La Forgia’s team has been the validation of all the production standards of the drug 18F-FDG, produced at King Hamad University Hospital: a key resource for cancer diagnosis for the whole of Bahrain. The BeForPharma team has also been active in the oncology sector in Iran, at the Razavi Hospital in Mashhad, where they initiated the production of two pharmaceutical resources: the 18F-FDG, fundamental for cancer diagnosis, and 68Ga-DOTA, for the diagnosis of neuroendocrine tumors. Recently BeForPharma has begun leading a project in collaboration with the Policlinico di Bari for the development of a new approach to the diagnosis of prostate cancer. Then, in Singapore, BeForPharma has guaranteed the safety of the production protocols of 11C-PIB, a tracer used for the study of Alzheimer’s.