The ‘European drug delivery and packaging’ report was released ahead of Pharmapack’s opening and highlights the major challenges and opportunities for the industry in the next year.
The report shows that a large of number of smaller companies in Europe are developing specialised and consumer friendly technologies, helping to drive innovation in the industry. However, many of the respondents in the report highlight the difficulties smaller companies have in scaling-up prototypes to commercial products. It indicates that larger pharma companies will instead be looking to acquire SMEs. This in turn should help new technologies reach patients without being slowed down by scale-up challenges and regulatory approvals.
One of the main drivers for innovation was the increase in biologics, which is bringing new investment into drug delivery systems such as auto-injectors and digital/connected technologies.
On drug delivery innovation, it was shown that Germany is leading the ranks, narrowly followed by France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
New delivery technologies are also helping patients self-administer drugs and smart applications are helping patients monitor dosing and time of delivery. These new delivery technologies are a particularly important trend, the report stated, as they remove the need for a healthcare professional’s supervision. This can help reduce the overall cost burden on healthcare systems.
Fiona Barry, associate editor of PharmSource, a GlobalData Product, warned that the UK’s dominant position in manufacturing advanced therapies could be at risk due to Brexit. Barry stated that post-Brexit, a disproportionate number of manufacturers could move to Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The report’s combined trends highlight that the drug delivery and packaging sector over the next few years show that manufacturers and regulators are aiming to centralise treatment options around the patient. It predicts that new innovation hubs will emerge to help redefine the possibilities of drug delivery and adherence options.
Silvia Forroova, event director Pharmapack, commented: “Our report’s findings closely mirror the agenda we have developed, and the conference will run across three broad themes – ‘patient adherence and usability’, ‘new packaging materials and drug delivery systems’, and ‘sustainability’. Our sessions on patient-centricity, smart devices and packaging, as well as connected applications and auto-injectors are generating particular excitement.”
Forroova added: “We have witnessed first-hand more pharma and medical device companies specifically coming to Pharmapack Europe to explore what the next wave of clinical developments are, and to discover new innovations. So, while the last two years have been a golden period for FDA approvals, with record numbers achieved, the next five years are expected to be the golden period of innovation for drug delivery and packaging across Europe. What is most exciting about all these changes, when looked at collectively, is that there is an increasing diversification of the types of companies, types of professionals, and collaborations in the industry driving innovation forward. Other industries have clearly shown that when an open-access approach to new technologies is taken, transformational changes are often quick to follow. It really is an exciting time to be hosting the industry here in Paris.”