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Lucy Chard
7 Mar 2023

Pharmapack Europe 2023 Award Winners – PACKSYS GmbH for Packaging Innovation

We interview the winners of the Pharmapack Europe Awards 2023, who were chosen by a jury, and each developed an innovative solution in the categories of Drug Delivery Innovation, Packaging Innovation, Sustainability Initiative, Eco-Design, and Patient-Centric Design. 

The winner for the Packaging Innovation Award this year was PACKSYS GmbH, with their product the Ampole dispenser. 

Could you please give a brief background about yourself, your team, and PACKSYS? 

My name is Eike Hoppmann and I’m a chemist – I studied chemistry and worked in the chemical industry. I’ve worked in the pharmaceutical industry with API manufacturers, and since 2009 I’ve worked in the primary pharmaceutical packaging business. PACKSYS is a very young company established in 1998. We’re a small/mid-sized German company with 60 people onboard. Originally, we were a distributor for primary pharmaceutical packaging. Now we are changing the company as a whole, to become a development company. For 5–6 years, we have been developing our own primary packaging, but only focusing on development at the minute; we are outsourcing the production. We hope we’ll have more than 50% of our business linked to this new packaging development. 

Congratulations on winning the award last night for packaging innovation for your Ampole dispenser. Please could you describe your product for us? 

The target was to develop a dispensing device and an opening aid for ampoules. The background was that we had a customer with a sensitive product in an ampoule and they needed to dispense it. The idea was to have an opening aid – this is the lower part of the product – in which the ampoule is placed in the opening device. You have to click it, break it, then place the ampoule in the dispensing device. You can then dispense the pharmaceutical product. We had many considerations – first for the ampoule to break in a way that the patient has no difficulties or injuries. Then there is this window in the dispensing device so that the patient can see how much formulation is still inside. The dispenser has to be stable when standing on a flat surface. There are also possibilities for the device to be multiuse – when one ampoule is empty you can input the next. You also have the possibility to use other devices on top of this product. This has screw neck so you can put a topical spray pump or a nasal spray pump. You can also use other dispensing devices on top of this, making it very multi-functional. Something like this would also be good for cosmetics – attaching a roll-on, a sponge etc. There are a lot of possibilities. 

Could you please describe how you came up with the product and the chain from conception to the final product? 

We have been working on this product for more than 2 years. Every innovation stage took a long time. The start of the product was a customer meeting as it usually is. Our customers came to us looking for our advice, experience, and know-how with a sensitive formulation without any surface tension. The formulation contains some iodine working as an API. You cannot have this in a plastic product or in bottles as it will interact with the plastic. The product thus must be in an ampoule. The next target was how to get the product out of the ampoule so the patient can have a flexible device. This was the start of the project. We have invested in one model, and we are now ready to launch. 

Was patient-centricity a big part of the device’s conception? 

For sure. We are always conducting usability studies, and we started this internally with our own people. For us, the first usability test is how is the patient is going to use it? What are the problems when using this device? We can then see what the difficulties are and think about how to address them.  

How does winning the Pharmapack award help PACKSYS as a company? 

For us, it’s a big opportunity to be here at Pharmapack presenting our products and to win this award. PACKSYS is a mid-sized company so we are not that well-known in the market. For us, this is the best chance to present our product to a broad range of people and decision-makers in the pharmaceutical business. It is the second time we have won this award – we previously won with our Lotus Pourer. After that year, we got a lot of enquiries and meetings with potential customers and partners. 

Do you think we can expect to see more innovative designs from PACKSYS? 

We hope so. We are changing from a distribution company to a developer so one of our targets is to develop one to two products within the year. We are working on a capsule dispenser, and we are very much involved in dispensing solids in addition to liquids. We believe to dispense a certain amount of tablets and capsules will be in our future regarding solid dosage forms. We are also developing a new line of glass products and other, different materials.  

Any further comments? 

I would just like to thank Pharmapack and the jury for giving us a chance to be here and to win the award. For us, it’s a great opportunity to be here again. We’ve been attending Pharmapack for more than 8 years now and it is the best show in the primary pharmaceutical packaging business.  

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Lucy Chard
Digital Editor - Pharma

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