Five minutes at CPhI worldwide with …
CO/PH: What is driving your pharma platform and what trends you see in the future?
Kelsey Achenbach: We cover several different segments: oral solid dosage; nutraceuticals/OTC; small molecule API injectables; and we just launched a market segment on biopharmaceuticals. For this Biopharma segment, we manufacture products that end up in cell cultures and protein stabilization, supplying both the upstream and downstream of the biotechnological production pipeline. Many of these products are sugar-based carbohydrates that you can think as the “fuel” for the growing cells. We also have mannitol and cyclodextrines that are used to stabilize protein and solutions in the final dosage forms. This is where the market is going, given the current rise in biologics -about 60% of new drugs are biologics and the number is increasing exponentially. Natural products are also on the rise. Consumers today are more and more powerful because they inform themselves online and actively seek natural OTC products to cure themselves, and in doing so, they tend to self-medicate with herbs and natural solutions. This is an important area for us, since we offer many natural, non-GMO ingredients.
CO/PH: What kind of dosage forms are your main focus?
KA: We have a focus in dosage forms for pediatrics and elderly as well, since both are patients groups that have more difficulty swallowing. We have a great portfolio for anything that dissolves in the mouth, be that something that you can suck, chew or otherwise dissolve. This is what we call “patient-friendly” dosage forms.
CO/PH: Do you also offer taste masking for this market segment? In pediatrics it is important for compliance.
KA: We offer a rich diversity of taste masking compounds, and the interesting thing is that some of them are not simple masking compounds, but encapsulant molecules. These compounds can take the taste compounds and cage them to avoid interaction with the tongue and olfactory system.
CO/PH: Do you see a growing attention to the excipients in formulations?
KA: We do! We see a great demand for customized excipients and for co-processed excipients. We see opportunities for direct compression of ingredients; the volume of ingredients needed for a tablet or how they flow -areas where there is a lot of room for R&D improvement. Geographically, this translates in our expansion. We are actively extending our reach beyond Europe to expand inAsia and America especially. We opened a beautiful new innovation center in Singapore, for example. It is a place where we can bringcustomers and dedicate a full laboratory to them. We also have manufacturing in the United States and just acquired Itacel in Brazil, previously Blanvers excipients division, which manufactures cellulosic products. It is a very exciting addition to our portfolio which gives us a footprint in Brazil and strengthers our market position in the food, nutrition and health platforms.
CO/PH: You work on excipients, you work on APIs. Are you moving towards a CMO/CDMO strategy?
KA: I wouldn’t say that we are intending to become a CDMO, but we can act as a consultant for our clients on formulation and supply some of ingredients. We provide high-level quality technical expertise from our core team, that can support customers in case they have manufacturing problems with their formulation. Often our customers send us a lot of information about the API but do not spend as much time thinking about the excipients, so we support them in understanding the excipients and finding the right ingredients that can give the properties they need for a successful drug product, whether that is dissolution, release characteristics, coating systems, taste-masking, hardness, etc.
CO/PH: What is your take on CPhI 2017?
KA: It has been a very busy event and excellent so far. This is the first year we have presented a refreshed look in our booth, and it attracted many new visits and customers. ==. For me, it has been a very productive show.