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Vivian Xie
15 Nov 2022

CPHI Frankfurt 2022: Innovator Interview – Terumo

L-R: Marco Chiadò Piat and Anil Busimi

In this series of interviews, we speak to the companies on the CPHI Frankfurt show floor who are driving innovation in pharma for a better healthcare future. We chatted to Marco Chiadò Piat (President) and Anil Busimi (VP Strategy and Marketing) of Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions about how events such as CPHI can help all companies across the pharmaceutical supply chain. 

Could you please give us some background on your role at Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions? 

Chiadò Piat: My name is Marco Chiadò Piat, I’ve been with Terumo for 5 ½ years and I’m leading the global Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions team. 

Busimi: My name is Anil Busimi. I’ve been with Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions for 2 years, currently in the position of Vice President of Strategy and Marketing. 

What are some key devices Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions are showcasing at CPHI Frankfurt? 

Busimi: I will start with the platforms that we work on. There’s an infusion platform in which we supply infusion sets to pharma companies, which in turn are co-packaged with certain drugs like haemophilia drugs for example, to make the administration of haemophilia drugs safe and easy at home for the patient. 

The second platform is all about injection devices and needles. To really find the perfect needle, whether it’s a vaccination or it’s a biotech drug or dermal fillers – when you think about injection needles, I would say you naturally think about Terumo. 

The third platform is the primary packaging, which is pre-fillable syringes (PFS) made of COP material, which is our PLAJEX™ brand. Currently, the focus is on three areas. One is ophthalmic, where we promote our 0.5 ml PLAJEX syringe. The second focus we have is on biotech which will enable pharma companies to take biotech drugs from hospital administration to home administration with our 2.25ml and 1ml long PLAJEX staked-needle PFS and the third area is PFS’s used for aesthetic applications.  

In addition to that, one of our key focus topics featured at CPHI is our CDMO services. We have CDMO services which were established in Japan over 20 years ago. We provide drug formulation, device and primary packaging design, aseptic fill and finish, and device integration for our customers.  All these capabilities make Terumo unique, and Terumo is what we call an integrated CDMO company. Customers can come to us with an API and walk away with a final product, a drug contained in a pre-fillable syringe and integrated into an auto-injector or a safety device. This is the full value chain that we cover. 

How are you hoping these products will improve the provision of healthcare? 

Chiadò Piat: Our solutions, more than our products, can help improve the patient quality-of-life, which is part of our company mission. We collaborate with pharmaceutical companies about device integration for patients and caregivers. For our infusion platform, we optimise the way in which drugs are delivered to patients, in particular for haemophilia patients. Various types of injections are provided to patients with different needs, such as needles suitable for high-viscosity drugs to needles which offer more patient comfort. The products and solutions are developed and designed with the patient in mind. 

What challenges have Terumo faced in the last few years and how have you overcome them? 

Chiadò Piat: The last couple of years have been strange for many of the players in this industry. In some ways, they have been challenging but also very inspiring. The pharma industry has certainly stepped up to the challenges of these times. Business-wise, I would say most of the players in this industry have not significantly suffered but rather adapted to new circumstances. Some of the sectors in which we, as well as our competitors operate have suffered slightly. Some others have seen a frantic race to solutions – this has been a sector that has been transformed by the pandemic and will be transformed even more in the future. In this environment, we at Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions have contributed to bringing new solutions to the fast-changing needs of the industry. What will the future bring? It’s hard to say. I think that the way in which we bring solutions to pharmaceutical companies can help – we bring solutions to pharma companies first, who then bring these products to the market and the patients. 

Busimi: Indeed, the last few years have been a learning experience for all of us, both on a personal level and on a business level. On a personal level – how do you keep in touch with your colleagues, customers, and industry partners while moving to virtual platforms but still retain a very personal relationship? I’m sure that many of us at CPHI are very happy to go back to face-to-face meetings. Yes, virtual platforms can serve to a certain extent, but they cannot replace that human touch. It’s fantastic to have that opportunity at live events.  

On the business side, we as an industry have learnt to be resilient and innovative, and to find partners to collaborate with and bring solutions to the market faster- never forgetting that the ultimate goal is to help the patients. Before COVID, nobody would have believed that this industry could deliver and launch a vaccine in 9 months. We are proud to be a part of this industry and I think there are many more successes to be achieved in the coming months. 

How do events such as CPHI Frankfurt help companies like Terumo in achieving their business goals, as well as advancing the pharmaceutical industry as a whole? 

Busimi: It’s a great platform for the whole industry to come together and showcase their capabilities, products, and solutions to customers and partners. A platform like this that triggers inspiration and curiosity is an excellent venue to bring the whole industry together. For us, on one hand, we meet customers and partners, and even have internal meetings with colleagues. It is the people we meet in person who are the ones who create and innovate and inspire others. Thanks to CPHI for organising this event. 

These shows also offer a benchmark for us against our competitors that could trigger new ideas. You might see something at the show where we can improve on, so it’s a great platform for us to compete and benchmark against peers in the industry. 

Chiadò Piat: I can only echo Anil’s words. For me, I’m part of the old guard, although it’s a pleasure to see a virtual platform presence. I have to admit that every time we can push the pedal to the metal on in-person collaborations, it’s my preference and is key for us in building relationships supported by these kinds of live events. 

How does Terumo incorporate sustainability values into their manufacturing processes and integrated CDMO chain? 

Busimi: If you go back to the mission statement of Terumo, 'Contributing to Society through Healthcare’. This cannot be achieved if we do not address sustainability. At the Terumo corporate level, we have end to end sustainability programs where we are looking at, right from the design phase, how the design will address and incorporate sustainability. In addition, we look at the materials we choose, the processes selected – and throughout the value chain, we are looking for ways to be sustainable and to reduce the carbon footprint of our products. There is an annual report on sustainability that can be downloaded from our website, and we are part of many consortiums with other players to ensure we are meeting sustainability goals. 

Chiadò Piat: Frankly, in our industry, we are in quite a comfortable position because it is a responsible industry. Both upstream and downstream in the value chain, we are the type of company, among many others, that really do care about sustainability. I would say that the pharmaceutical industry is among the best industries around that pays particular care and attention to sustainability. 

Busimi: You bring up a good point, Marco – it's a fine balance that the pharma industry has to strike between patient-centricity and sustainability. I think this is going to be the future of the industry. We as a supplier to pharma companies will help our partners to achieve this goal, now and in the future. 

What can we expect to see from Terumo at future CPHI events and in the next few years? 

Chiadò Piat: It’s hard to say now what will be at the next few shows. Right now, we are committed to innovations for the pharmaceutical industry. Having that as a mission, a platform like CPHI is the ideal place to showcase year on year the solutions and devices for the pharma industry. Our core business is providing solutions for injectable and infused drugs, primary containers and now CDMO services. In these areas, we will continue to bring innovations to benefit our customers and, ultimately, the patients.  

Busimi: Our goal is to move from products to solutions, something you will have seen from us this year at CPHI. The second point is to be more of a partner to our customers and to pharma companies, working towards the same goal – to ensure that patients benefit from what we do. So, stay tuned. I think there will be a lot of surprises in the future. 

Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions 

Email:[email protected] 

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