PHARM Connect Congress is the largest and most important pharmaceutical and biotechnology business summit in the CEE region, taking place annually in February, in Budapest, Hungary. Since the event's launch in 2011, the number of participants has reached more than 400 from over 20 countries in the region and beyond. Over the two days of the congress leading service providers of the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sector have the opportunity to meet the key decision makers of their targeted companies. PHARM Connects Programme Advisory Committee guarantees that the conference programme gives the most up-to-date market insights and the congress offers exclusivity, pre-scheduled business meetings and superb networking opportunities. To recognize and promote outstanding manufacturing excellence solutions in the rapidly growing region of CEE, TEG the organiser of PHARM Connect interviewed Istvan Pasztor, Cluster Segment Manager and Bence Tóth, Project Manager at ABB, who describe in more detail the award winning project.
Which solutions and improvements did you introduce for Gedeon Richter?
ABB: ABB introduced a fully automated, integrated and validated production, building management and environmental monitoring system for a multipurpose and flexible batch manufacturing green field facility for mammalian cell fermentation based biological pharmaceutical production.
How did this contribute to your client's success?
ABB: Process Automation is an essential requirement for a modern biotechnology manufacturing facility to ensure microbiological and environmental safety, an effective PAS and EMS system are key enablers in achieving that goal. PAS system allows necessary integration of technology steps, drives effectiveness and efficiency, allows required remote control of the process technology, it is a key element that makes the GR Debrecen biotechnology plant a 'world class' facility.
What was the innovation within your project which made you win the 1st CEE Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Excellence Award?
ABB: The innovation within the project was an effective PAS and EMS system.
How do you think the recognition is helping you to raise your brand awareness further?
ABB: It helps to build good reputation in the pharma and biotech automation market.
In your opinion, how is the award supporting the developments of manufacturing excellence solutions in the CEE region?
ABB: It can help in convincing decision makers to invest into modern technology.
From your perspective, which are the biggest challenges the pharmaceutical industry is facing nowadays in the CEE region?
ABB: Time to market, which means the time period from starting the R&D phase until the commercialisation of the medicine itself. The length of commercialisation can vary on a long scale, and has a significant bottom line impact. Another big challenge is the tough competition in the market and the low margins, especially in the field of generic drugs due to systematic public procurement procedures by national health authorities, the black market, low-cost producers e.g. from Asia and on-line shopping. At that respect ABB could help through innovative process automation solutions and fast delivery. Innovation and new medicines are the key for growth and survival, especially biotech is taking over, by 2020 two third of the new drugs are foreseen to come from biotech processes.
How are you supporting your clients to overcome them?
ABB: With an international ABB Team of competent engineers and creative experts.
Are you planning to apply for the award again in the future during PHARM Connect?
ABB: Yes, certainly, it was a great honour to receive this award.