In the lead-up to the inaugural launch of Connect In Pharma, co-founder Wilfried Phipps provides insight into what visitors can expect at this new annual event designed to help shape the future of pharmaceutical packaging and manufacturing projects.
- What are the highlights of the event for you?
[WP]: At the heart of this new event is the rich content included in our conference and workshops. Innovation is a strong theme that runs through much of this content, with a half-day conference dedicated to innovative packaging and innovation pitches from our exhibitors. Visitors will also have the opportunity to discover new products from the most innovative companies on the market.
Another highlight for me is the human scale of the event, which allows us to maintain a personal feel, whether you are speaking with targeted exhibitors or enjoying more informal networking at the cocktail bar.
Another particular highlight is our partnership with SbD Creative, through which we’re featuring their Days of Rare exhibition by photographer Ceridwen Hughes and her team. This exhibition will raise donations to support the mission of Swiss not-for-profit biotech, EspeRare, in accelerating access to rare disease treatments. This charitable partnership adds an important human touch to the event. Easyfairs, organisers of Connect in Pharma, will also donate 5 Swiss Francs for every visitor who attends the event.
- How did you go about selecting speakers, delegates and companies to present and exhibit at the event?
[WP]: Our speaker selection was driven by our aim to best represent our four main event themes – post-covid European pharma production, innovative packaging solutions, challenges and threats of pharma digitalization, and the scale-up of biotech products. We wanted to find companies with the knowledge and expertise to give meaningful insights into these thematic areas.
We were looking for a balance of established and innovative companies. It was important to have representatives from strong, established companies across each subject area – including UPSA, Recipharm, Roche, Novo Nordisk, and Lonza – supported by smaller companies with highly specialized expertise. Likewise, with our exhibitors, we were keen to identify the most appropriate companies to create a highly targeted event.
- What are the benefits for visitors of the two different formats of conference talks and workshop sessions?
[WP]: The purpose of the conference sessions is to encourage an educated discussion, providing an opportunity to brainstorm the European pharma industry of tomorrow – not just how it looks now, but how it could look or should look in the next years. Our four core themes are not only relevant now but will continue to be in the years to come.
The workshops are different and complementary to the conference talks. These sessions are more of a forum for industry experts to present concrete solutions to day-to-day problems facing the industry. Like the conference sessions, they aim to educate but in a more concrete manner, showcasing immediate solutions as opposed to long-term visions. For example, representatives from Gerresheimer will present real-world solutions to reduce the time to market in injectable drug delivery.
4. What type of exhibitor products can people expect to see? Are there any specific innovative projects that you’re particularly excited about?
[WP]: The panel of products on show is very wide, covering the entire value chain downstream from the molecule. There will be lots of technical expertise on display from key players in the field, including primary, secondary and tertiary packaging; processing parts; filling solutions; inspection systems; advances in automation and CDMO & CMO services – a very wide range.
One exhibit that I’m particularly excited to feature is Unither Pharmaceuticals’ Euroject® project – a BFS (Blow Field Seal) device for single-dose injection of therapeutics. It’s an innovative project that could have a real impact on the injectables market, and more specifically on vaccinations for developing countries. I’m excited for visitors to discover this project during workshop sessions, conference talks and the product exhibition.
5. What do you hope visitors will get out of the event?
[WP]: The event aims to provide visitors with access to different content to discover and learn, with opportunities to network and develop new connections. In addition, and more uniquely to Connect in Pharma, we hope to take advantage of the more personal side of the event to create a convivial atmosphere and build a strong community around the show. We hope Connect in Pharma will be a real hub for forming connections within the European pharmaceutical landscape, with visitors sharing new ideas and generating new networks.
6. What do you see as Connect in Pharma’s role in the future of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology scene?
[WP]: Pharmaceutical companies are looking for integrated solutions. Currently, one company may provide vials, another may provide the closure system, and then yet another may provide filling and capping. But now, more and more connections and partnerships are being formed so that the process is fully integrated, allowing for increased speed, reduced costs and accelerated time to market. Connect In Pharma has been launched with this concept in mind, aiming to encourage these important partnerships that pharma companies are seeking. The event is dedicated to allowing the global value chain to connect all under one roof, from suppliers to manufacturers, in the central location of Geneva.
7. And finally, taking into consideration both the product, the target audience, delivery and any other factors, if you had to package ‘Connect In Pharma’ in a form of pharmaceutical packaging, what packaging would you choose?
[WP]: A connected device – in today’s life, everything is becoming more and more digital and connected. Just as connected devices provide a way to link caregivers and patients, Connect in Pharma is our way to link the market together.
Find out more about the event and the programme at https://www.connectinpharma.com.