Interview with Dr. Marc Rohrschneider, Head - New Technologies, Device Development and Commercialisation at Novartis AG

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Please tell us a little about your role at Novartis, what are you responsible for when it comes to packaging or drug delivery devices?

My team is responsible for searching, assessing, evolving and leading new delivery technologies for biopharmaceuticals together with SMEs from our department and across the organization.
We also engage in research and evaluation activities supporting early phase pipeline project requirements and thereby represent the connection to our NIBR/Early Phase pipeline colleagues. Here we specialize in leading early phase delivery technology projects through initial clinical phase(s). We also coordinate due diligence programs for combination product device constituent parts.

It seems you have attended Pharmapack Europe since its very first edition. What did you enjoy most of your previous visit?

The first one was way back when Pharmapack was a small little conference in Paris, and it has really grown over the years to a big event including exhibition, conference and networking opportunity for the industry today. I have always enjoyed the event, and I am happy to see how it has grown into what it is today. So, I am always curious to find out what the next level Pharmapack has been taken to when I come to Paris.

You have accepted to join the jury board of Pharmapack Awards from 2020, what are your motivations for being on the jury board of Pharmapack Awards?

It is an honour to be on the jury for Pharmapack Awards in 2020. Since I have always been interested, passionate and professionally involved in innovation, I believe it is a match for me at all levels.

What important packaging & drug delivery trends do you keep a close eye on?

I actually try my best to follow all new trends in packaging and drug delivery but also spend my time with questions around general methods, strategies and tactics to take innovation from early stages, e.g. ideation, to products on the market. I have been fortunate to be part of such developments in the past and hope to be involved in the future as well.

What are the most important criteria you look at when evaluating an innovation?

I always try to apply a holistic view on innovative products. The general idea or novelty is fundamentally important, but also many other factors play a role. On top of the list is always one question: “What benefit does the innovation provide to our patients?” This is a very important and central question.

Are there any particular areas you wish to see more innovative solutions in?

I would not be able to identify a specific area, but platforms for drug delivery are always a good bet. We need to be able to provide platforms in order to e.g. bring cost down and use the delivery devices for more than one product. Platforms have multiple advantages and are key for our success.

You are going to present a keynote on “Change as a prerequisite to enhancing innovation capability for organizations” at Pharmapack Europe’s 2020 conference. Why does this topic matter to you?

The topic is very close to my heart and I have been working for a long time on thoughts and ideas for how to best enable a successful and sustainable cultural environment for innovation. I hope I can spark more discussion around this topic and learn new perspectives when sharing these ideas.

By giving this presentation, I hope to add to the curiosity in our industry and thereby drive the development of innovative products for our patients.