Five minutes at CPhI worldwide with …
Chemistry Today/Pharna Horizon: Since leaving SunTech Medical to become president of Grace Materials Technologies just six months ago, what do you see at Grace and in the industry?
Sandra Wisniewski: I’m delighted with the opportunity to lead the Materials Technologies business. I am impressed with Grace’s track record in the pharmaceutical industry, specifically, the company’s unique capabilities, and about how we align with some of the changing market dynamics. People may know Grace as the market leader in specialty silica manufacturing, and our pharmaceutical excipients like SYLOID® FP or silica-based drug delivery technologies, but taking a step back, one can see that Grace is providing a wide range of engineered solutions. And, in the newer fine chemicals business Grace acquired in 2010, this translates into customized product development, project management, and a deep understanding of organic synthesis supported by a cGMP environment to develop and manufacture regulatory starting materials, advanced intermediates, and even synthesized nutraceutical compounds.
CT/PH: What do you mean about Grace being aligned with changing market dynamics?
SW: We know that there is a strong appetite in today’s pharmaceutical industry to become more flexible and dynamic in drug development strategies. That means leveraging the innovation and speed of smaller or “emerging” pharma companies, along with qualified, independent manufacturing partners like Grace. As priorities focus on the highest global quality standards and on overcoming manufacturing technology capital investment hurdles, Grace’s capabilities are of interest to a wide range of pharmaceutical companies to support their development processes and scale from kilos to tons in the most efficient way possible. In addition, flexibility and experience with novel technologies from fluoroalkylation to mesoporous silica-based drug delivery platforms can offer solutions to keep drug candidates advancing through the pipeline.
CT/PH: What lies ahead for Grace in pharma?
SW: Continued focus on fine chemicals manufacturing, expanding capacity, GMP environment, and technology solutions. One reason I believe we will be successful is that Grace is committed to investing and growing with the industry. As a $2 billion global specialty chemicals business, Grace knows what it takes to be trusted by global customers yet is nimble enough to help emerging pharma through the challenging transition to Phase II and III, and often, to acquisition by a major pharmaceutical company. That means R&D, supply chain, and manufacturing expertise that is not only capable, but also compliant. At the core is our expertise in materials science and our ability to help customers develop innovative solutions to their challenges. So yes, I’m excited about the future and helping Grace continue to evolve and address unmet needs in the market.