At Pharmapack Europe in Paris, visitors to booth C46-47 can see the whole range of desiccant solutions from Sanner, the manufacturer of high-quality primary plastic packaging and medical devices. In addition to integrated desiccants, Sanner presents its innovative drop-in solutions AdPack® and AdCap®. The AdPack® desiccant sachets made of Tyvek® material offer an ideal combination of breathability, moisture protection and durability. The desiccant capsules AdCap®, in turn, combine the advantages of conventional capsules and canisters, while offering high stability and a 30-percent higher moisture adsorption. Their unique grid structure enables 360-degree moisture adsorption and prevents mistakes during ingestion.
More than 40 government officials and 60 representatives from pharmaceutical and medical device companies attended the recent grand opening celebration for Tekni-Plex, Inc.’s new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Suzhou, China, near Shanghai. Plant tours and a luncheon followed the opening ceremony. Earlier this year, Tekni-Plex announced a $15 million investment in the facility to support the growing needs of the Asia-Pacific pharmaceutical and medical device markets that are supported with products developed by Tekni-Plex’s Colorite, Natvar and Action Technology business units.
Tekni-Plex senior management in attendance at the ribbon cutting included Paul Young, chief executive officer; Russell Hubbard, vice president-international and general manager; Ian Kenny, global managing director, Colorite; Johan Laureys, global vice president of Action Technology, and Bob Donohue, general manager of the company’s Natvar business unit. Xu Xiaofeng, standing committee member of CPC Wujiang Committee and deputy party secretary and vice chairman for Wujiang government, was also in attendance.
The more than 140,000-square-foot (13,000-square-meter) facility is manufacturing Tekni-Plex’s Natvar, Colorite and Action Technology products. The facility features three Class 100K cleanrooms to accommodate medical-grade tubing and components production plus one Class 10K cleanroom that will produce Natvar’s pharma-grade tubing.
The facility is in the process of commercializing Natvar’s recently-announced silicone extrusion tubing for catheters, feeding tubes, drug delivery and peristaltic pump applications. Production for microextrusion tubing that targets a wide variety of demanding neurovascular interventional therapies and surgical applications is expected to be on stream early next year. The facility will also manufacture Colorite custom compounds for medical device applications, and Action Technology’s dip tubes used in a wide variety of food/beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, industrial and household pump applications.
Almac Group, the global contract development and manufacturing organisation, has announced the acquisition of BioClin Laboratories, an independent and privately owned organisation based in Athlone, Ireland.
Established in 2002 and located in Garrycastle, just two hours away from Almac Group’s Headquarters in Northern Ireland, BioClin is internationally recognised for providing expert analytical services including cGMP pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical analysis, GMP microbiology testing and GLP bioanalysis. The company also boasts Ireland’s leading GLP certified (INAB), cGMP certified (HPRA) and FDA registered contract laboratory.
BioClin’s bespoke 14,000sq ft modern facility significantly increases Almac’s analytical capacity and perfectly complements its existing business enabling strategic expansion and greater ability to serve clients’ needs globally. The acquisition will see BioClin’s analytical experts join Almac Sciences’ strong network of almost 600 employees across multiple sites in Europe and North America.
Almac also recently completed significant expansion of its existing analytical facilities at its global headquarter site in Northern Ireland with the creation of a new, bespoke, MHRA approved laboratory.
News of this acquisition comes just days after announcing a multi-million pound expansion of Almac owned, Arran Chemical Company, also based in Athlone, which substantially increased Almac’s manufacturing capacity for fine chemicals, pharmaceutical intermediates and advanced building blocks.
“We are delighted to announce this acquisition demonstrating further commitment to strategic growth and development of our global business.” stated Dr Stephen Barr, Managing Director, Almac Sciences. “Adding BioClin’s highly complementary analytical capacity and technical expertise to our existing capabilities, we are able to broaden our service offerings and address our global clients’ growing demands for a high quality, integrated, efficient service. We look forward to working with the BioClin team and plan to invest significantly in this facility.”
Mary Burke, Managing Director, BioClin Laboratories commented “We are very pleased to join Almac. With our shared values for outstanding quality, expertise and innovation we see this as an excellent strategic fit for BioClin enabling us to expand and deliver an enhanced range of analytical solutions to an international client market.”
AptarGroup announced that it was awarded the inaugural Excellence in Pharma: Sustainability Initiative of the Year at CPhI Worldwide 2017. The award was presented as part of the CPhI Pharma Awards Gala, which took place Tuesday, October 24 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Frankfurt, Germany.
Established in 2004, the CPhI Pharma Awards are one of the most prestigious recognitions in the Pharmaceutical industry today. This year’s awards included eight new categories to further reflect the industry’s diversity. The Sustainability Initiative of the Year is one of this year’s new categories. There were over 200 entries across the 19 award categories, and finalists for the awards were announced in August 2017.
Aptar was awarded the Excellence in Pharma: Sustainability Award for its Landfill Free Certification program, a global internal certification program which promotes the efficiencies and conservation of natural resources in a manufacturing setting. Facilities that achieve at least a 90 percent reuse and/or recycling threshold are eligible to receive internal Landfill Free Certification. With more than 40% of Aptar’s manufacturing sites already certified through this program, Aptar has achieved significant accomplishments in waste reduction, cost savings and employee engagement. The program is incorporated as a measurable aspect of Aptar‘s global sustainability strategy and Aptar anticipates more facilities will achieve certification in years to come.
Data from Aptar’s recent customer satisfaction surveys demonstrated the growing importance of sustainability to customers and supply partners. Therefore, Aptar’s internal program further reinforces that Aptar is prioritizing the needs of its customers in line with its own company mission and corporate social responsibility.
Yann Ghafourzadeh, VP, Sales & Operations Europe – Prescription Division, commented, “We are delighted to have been awarded the Sustainability Initiative of the Year at the CPhI Pharma Awards. It is great to be recognised for the progression of Aptar’s Landfill Free Certification program, which has been significant within our global sustainability strategy. We have aligned our program with our customers’ requirements and we are dedicated to responding to what sustainability considerations are important to them. We look forward to further Aptar facilities obtaining the internal Landfill Free Certification in the future.”
Researchers from the University of Sydney’s Charles Perkins Centre have identified three specific molecules that accurately indicate insulin resistance, or pre-diabetes – a major predictor of metabolic syndrome, the collection of medical conditions that include abdominal obesity, high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels.
The finding, from a study undertaken in mice, could make earlier detection of pre-diabetes in humans much easier for doctors and allow for more personalised and effective treatments for patients in the future.
Researchers combined the high-tech mathematical approach of machine learning with omics technology that examines the various types of molecules that make up the cells of an organism to successfully identify specific molecules in mice. That information was used to classify the mice according to what kind of food they eat, their genetic origin and their whole-body insulin sensitivity.
Published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, the research was conducted with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Duke University (USA) and the University of Melbourne.
Technology key to uncovering factors that contribute to pre-diabetes
Co-lead author Dr Jacqueline Stöckli, a research fellow with the University’s Charles Perkins Centre and School of Life and Environmental Sciences, said the study suggested there are likely multiple factors that contribute to pre-diabetes and this is why more traditional approaches have failed to identify similar highly predictive signatures or indicators of disease.
“Our study identified a three molecule signature that was able to diagnose insulin resistance or pre-diabetes, a condition that is often associated with diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure,” she said.
“But we know the story is much more complicated; strikingly, each of the three molecules on their own was considerably less predictive of pre-diabetes than when combined.
“The next step is to further exploit these technologies to uncover the full suite of pathways and factors that contribute to pre-diabetes – which will include genetic, environmental and possibly epigenetic influences – at a population level.”
Customised treatments for pre-diabetes patients step closer
The study represented a segue into precision medicine for humans, said senior author Professor David James, Leonard P. Ullmann Chair of Metabolic Systems Biology at the Charles Perkins Centre.
Precision medicine classifies individuals according to their susceptibility or response to a particular disease, and tailors healthcare treatments and practices accordingly.
“Once we can identify the molecules and other factors that contribute to pre-diabetes, we can customise treatments to suit patients’ specific make up and needs,” Professor James said.
“This study demonstrates the power of combining technologies to solve some of the world’s biggest problems,” he added.
“The burden of the ‘lifestyle diseases’ the Charles Perkins Centre is dedicated to easing – which include obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease – stubbornly remain at high levels globally; we need to innovate in order to tackle these conditions effectively.”
Researchers at Dartmouth, Stanford University, and IBM Research, conducted a critical review of existing literature to determine whether social media big data can be used to understand communication and behavioral patterns related to prescription drug abuse. Their study found that with proper research methods and attention to privacy and ethical issues, social media big data can reveal important information concerning drug abuse, such as user-reported side effects, drug cravings, emotional states, and risky behaviors.
Their work, “Scaling Up Prescription Drug Abuse and Addiction Research Through Social Media Big Data,” is reported in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Prescription drug addiction is a well-known nationwide problem. Many people who are unable to get help for their addiction seek out peer support groups on Facebook or other social media platforms to share stories about their experiences and also provide social peer-based support.
Lead author, Sunny Jung Kim, PhD, an e-health communication scholar in the departments of biomedical data science and psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine, says that because we are prolific consumers of social media, which is not limited to geography—globally, people spend more than two hours every day on social media platforms generating vast amounts of big data about our personal communications and activities—we can use these platforms to enhance public health communication strategies to help people on a large scale.
“Harnessing social media platforms and data can provide insight into important novel discoveries of collective public health risk behavior, a better understanding of peoples’ struggles with addiction, and their process of recovery,” Kim says. “I started this project because there were few studies about why people use social networking sites to share unsolicited, highly personal information about their drug use, nor about the psychological effects or consequences of this type of user-generated communication.”
Co-author Jeffrey Hancock, PhD, a professor in the department of communication and the director of computational social science at Stanford University, says, “Given the importance of this problem for the U.S. population, it’s imperative that we understand how social media is playing a role and how it can be part of the solution.”
Based on their findings, the researchers designed an evidence-based, multi-level framework to inform future social media-based substance use prevention and recovery intervention programs.
“Our review and typology suggests that social media big data and platforms can be a tremendous resource for monitoring and intervening on behalf of people with drug addiction and abuse problems,” Kim says.