Linking up the Value Chain

Pharmapack talks to Prof. Dr. Sigrid Saaler-Reinhardt, Director Corporate Project Management at Midas Pharma GmbH about the key challenges and innovations around injection devices and her expectations for Pharmapack 2020.

  • Please tell us a little about your company and your role at Midas Pharma, what you are responsible in relation to packaging or drug delivery devices?

Midas Pharma is a family-owned, mid-sized pharmaceutical company that provides products and services across the full industry value chain and a wealth of expertise while connecting companies, people and knowledge. Our core competence is project management around pharmaceutical supply chains.

I am responsible for the management of complex projects that need expertise from different disciplines such as: biochemistry to understand pharmaceutical products based on proteins and their related analytical methods, regulatory affairs, intellectual property and quality requirements. Over the last few years it has become clear that the selection of a suitable primary packaging has to be implemented into early formulation development. Even more so during the development of a biologic drug product the early selection of a suitable injection device is becoming more and more important. I can support our customers with expertise of the abovementioned topics.

  • You are going to present a case study on the development of a new high-performance auto-injector at the Pharmapack 2020 conference. What was the context of this project?

Most of the autoinjectors that are currently on the market are based on 1ml staked needle pre-filled syringes. Limitations, inflexibilities and disadvantages are obvious: defined needle gauge, limited injection volume to max. 1ml, sprayed on silicone, initial injection strain peak, recalls. I will introduce a new functional principle of an autoinjector which is based on a pressurized cartridge system and that provides respective solutions to the above mentioned limitations. Moreover, due to a high level of market requests for new development candidates based on proteins (biosimilars), the product requirements vary with respect to concentrations / viscosities; dose / injection volume. Therefore, the new high performance autoinjector represents a platform technology that fulfils these requirements and with the added advantages of low technical complexity and minimal part changes.

  • What are the important trends in this area (packaging & drug delivery) that you keep a close eye on?

A major trend in the application of injectable drugs is self-injection as well in indications where Intraveneous was a current standard. A completely different trend is pharmaceutical companies showing interest in injection devices such as autoinjectors despite having no expertise in the development of such devices. Besides the access to the IP of the new high-performance autoinjector platform technology, Midas will give support and advice to those companies and provide adjacent services like the supply of primary packaging, contract fill & finish, assembly and packaging.

  • Are there any ongoing or new project/s developments for which you are looking for new partners to work with?

During its more than 30 years presence in the pharmaceutical industry, Midas has established a large network of partners. We are also very open to work with new partners on a long-term and trustful basis.

  • Will it be the first time you will be attending Pharmapack?

I have attended Pharmapack several times and I highly appreciate the format of the event. In just one large hall a large number of companies are present because the space for each company is limited to a given size.

  • What are you looking forward to at Pharmapack 2020?

I will meet several people from suppliers as well as from pharmaceutical companies. Scheduling of meetings has already started. Furthermore, I am interested in learning about future trends and new developments in the primary packaging and device field.