Continues Production is ready for use
PROCESS: Also currently, the introduction of concepts for continuous production is again being discussed more and more. Is this only an issue for the future or indeed ready for daily use?
Berg: Experience at our customers shows that they benefit from continuous production both in the biotech and the solid dosage area. Continuous production is a key issue regarding flexibility as no other technology can offer it. Many companies have already adjusted their product and process development approaches for obtaining regulatory approvals.
PROCESS: From time to time there are complaints about the decrease of planning and engineering competence at the manufacturers in the pharmaceutical industry. How do you evaluate the situation?
Berg: Engineering is not the core business of a pharmaceutical company and can be outsourced to companies like NNE Pharmaplan. To operate a site with maximum site agility and flexibility gets more and more importance as timelines are shrinking in the pharma industry. Facilities need to handle changes in production demands and quality regulations fast and implement new know-how and technology even faster. Especially in this regard, pharmaceutical manufactures can benefit from external specialised companies with vast project experience.
PROCESS: Many engineering companies are looking desperately for qualified personnel with sufficient project experience. Is this also the case for NNE Pharmaplan?
Berg: We are growing in all our offices in Central Europe. As there is a shortage of experienced specialists, we develop our junior staff in-house and are in close contact with renowned universities. In addition, we train specialists from other industries.
PROCESS: With regard to Achema, which trends do you see in pharma engineering?
Berg: Hybrid facilities and smaller volumes in the biotech sector to name a few. Furthermore, there is a trend towards containment and continuous production in solid dosage production. Also innovative and easy to use application tools for drugs are becoming more and more popular.
At NNE Pharmaplan, we call it the new pharma reality which requires flexible facilities for a larger number of smaller products with high value — many of these are parenterals. The emergence of new drug categories including smaller product volumes, smaller batches, Orphan Drugs, personalised medicine as well as the ever-changing quality regulations are important issues for the pharma industry in the future.
It becomes more and more important to rethink and adapt production strategies for faster product approvals and shrinking timelines — which increase the need for agility and flexibility.