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Lucy Chard
22 Mar 2023

Pharmapack 2023: Session interview – Terumo on integrated CDMO solutions

Pharmapack 2023 showcased a number of sessions on the key topics in the industry, from conference sessions to workshops, presented by experts in the field. 

After the session from Terumo on 'Case study of a biosimilar drug launched globally using integrated CDMO Solution' from Anil Busimi, Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, Digital Editor Lucy Chard went on to find out more. 

First of all please could you introduce yourself and your company? 

My name is Anil Busimi I am the Vice President of Strategy and Marketing for Terumo Pharmaceutical Solutions Division, which is part  of Terumo Medical Care Solutions. 

Could you please give a brief overview of your presentation here at Pharmapack? 

The pharmaceutical solutions division of Terumo Medical Solutions operates under five platforms, going from CDMO, fill and finish services to injection devices, infusion devices and primary packaging like the polymer prefillable syringes (PFS), and new drug delivery devices. My presentation today was focused on a case study that integrated the CDMO service offering with our capabilities of designing and manufacturing primary packaging solutions like a polymer PFS, and how we help our customer to bring this biosimilar product to the market on time and keeping the quality of this product very high. 

You spoke in your presentation about focusing on the point of contact of the product with the patient, how important is patient centricity when you’re looking at working with clients and developing products like this? 

We are in a B2B setting so we provide our services to pharma companies and biotech companies. So generally, we are not in contact with patients on a day to day basis, however, at Terumo, patient centricity is at the core of everything we do. We go beyond the normal expectation with a company such as ours to generate our own understanding of what is the impact of the devices on the patient, how do they use it? We bring these insights and share them with the pharma companies to help them make the right choices and decisions to address patient centricity and in the end to ensure the efficacy of the drug. 

What has changed for you in the last couple of years that has helped you in developing the best possible product and in how you work with your partners? 

If you look in the past, such as in my presentation showing the trend moving from a vial to a prefillable syringe, this has in fact been happening over the past 20–30 years. In the last 5 years there has been a lot of emphasis coming from the patient and from the regulatory authorities regarding the human factors and the patient centricity aspect. How do you make sure that you don’t just design products from an engineering perspective for engineers, but rather you design products that are to be used by patients in their particular setting or to treat their ailments. In my presentation the example that I used was for rheumatoid arthritis, so the patients have dexterity problems, patients have difficulty in holding things or doing self-injections. So, you have to really understand who is using this device and what is their environment, and make sure you can design a device that makes it easy for them to adhere to the drug administration. I think that’s one of the aspects that we have seen a lot of emphasis on in the past few years in the industry. Although our contracts are with the pharma companies, it still mandates us as a supplier that we need to understand the patients and how the patients would interact with a particular device and what kinds of insights or designs we can bring to help to make the drug both worthwhile and successful. 

What is the benefit for Terumo in doing these workshops? Do you find them helpful for you as a company? What does that bring to the industry? 

It is all about sharing the knowledge you know, I think sometimes sharing is the best practice and specifically for us in this presentation, showing some of the challenges we faced means that others don’t have to go through the same pit falls. Especially with our integrated CDMO, which was one of the core messages we shared today, if you are a biosimilar company time is of the essence and dealing with multiple suppliers and multiple partners will make your work complex and you will not meet your targets and I think that by having an example like Terumo with the integrated CDMO approach can help biosimilar companies bring effective and innovative drugs to the market much faster. 

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Lucy Chard
Digital Editor - Pharma

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