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Sharp invests $10M in biologics and injectables packaging equipment

12 Oct 2020

Investment includes the installation two of automated top-loading cartoner with the flexibility to pack vials, syringes, pens/autoinjectors and multi-component kits.

Sharp, part of UDG Healthcare plc, a global leader in contract packaging and clinical supply services, has announced a further investment of $10 million in equipment capabilities to directly support client demand in the biologics and injectables market.

The investment includes the installation and validation of two Dividella NeoTopx packaging systems, one intended for Sharp’s Allentown facility in the US and the other for Sharp’s Hamont-Achel site in Belgium.

Dividella’s NeoTopx system is an automated top-loading cartoner with the flexibility to pack vials, syringes, pens/autoinjectors and multi-component kits. With quick turnover between batches, it’s particularly suitable for small-batch production and offers accelerated speed to market.

The machine has the flexibility to deliver large standardized packaging runs for vaccines, providing Sharp with further capacity to meet global demand with the support of its harmonized serialization platforms.

Jeff Benedict, Chief Commercial Officer at Sharp, said there is an increasing need for more flexible and smaller batch capabilities in the packaging space, driven by the focus on developing treatments for orphan diseases and personalized therapies.

The company has, therefore, seen sustained demand for its packaging capabilities from clients across the biotech industry.

“Investing in these new Dividella’s will allow us to offer greater capacity to clients both in the US and in the EU, for the secondary packaging of vials, pen devices, syringes and multicomponent kits as well as medical devices and blisters,” said Mr Benedict.

With a modular design, the cartoners offer greater flexibility in production line design and the top-loading function offers greater visibility to each component and, therefore, improved compliance and control.

The Dividella system also supports Sharp's sustainability initiative due to the full cardboard designs of the packs produced which reduce the use of plastic blisters.

The Allentown site is also installing a NJM Courser 230 Vial and Syringe Labeler which offers simple, toolless changeover to reduce downtime between batches, delivering further efficiencies in small-scale production.

In recent years, Sharp has invested $21 million into expanding capacity and capabilities at its Biotechnology Center of Excellence in Allentown and $11 million on enhancing syringe assembly and cold chain capabilities in the US, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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