As a media partner for this year’s Pharmapack event in Paris, Pharmaceutical Daily has interviewed Elena Piazza, Business Development and Marketing Manager at Bormioli Pharma, an Italian-based producer of pharmaceutical primary packaging solutions in glass and plastic showcasing its products at the event.
PD: You’ve recently split your business from being one company to two, one focusing on medicine packaging and the other on non-pharmaceutical packaging. I realise we’re supposed to discuss pharmaceutical topics here, but what packaging do you do and what packaging does the other company do?
Elena Piazza: While the two businesses were not yet divided, they were already operating as separate business units of the same industrial group: Bormioli Rocco Group. Following the division in December, the group has been disbanded and have different owners. Bormioli Pharma focuses on the pharma packaging section and was acquired by the investment fund Triton. We produce pharmaceutical primary packaging solutions in both glass (Amber and Flint Type I, Type II and Type III glass) and plastic (PE, PP, PET and other Pharma compliant material) for a wide range of dosage forms. Our product range also includes tubing glass for parenteral applications.
PD: Does Bormioli Pharmaceutical work with the non-pharmaceutical business or are they completely independent entities now?
Elena Piazza: Bormioli Pharma is completely independent now. The result of a long-term strategy started back in 2012, when the company was still part of the Bormioli Rocco group. This was accomplished in 2017 with the creation of a new independent company.
PD: I’m asking this because it seems significant to give a portion of such a business to the pharmaceutical packaging specifically. How big of a significance do you see in pharmaceutical packaging company? Does it open a completely new level of business for you, or is it the smaller company, now?
Elena Piazza: As of today, Bormioli Pharma is positioned as medium-sized player within the pharmaceutical packaging competitive arena. The company has a robust technology platform including all the main manufacturing technologies for producing both glass and plastic. This enables Bormioli Pharma to provide a well-structured product range specifically designed to fit the packaging needs in pharmaceuticals.
We see great benefits in focusing a company like Bormioli Pharma. The pharmaceutical industry requires pharmaceutical packaging suppliers to have an increasing level of specialization. This means ensuring the best quality in terms of manufacturing environment, processes, and organization. The exclusive focus on pharmaceutical packaging will help accelerate Bormioli Pharma’s growth and presence in the pharmaceutical market.
PD: How long have you been preparing to become a specific pharmaceutical packaging company? How did you start and did you expect to expand or develop the business like this?
Elena Piazza: The goal of becoming a specialised pharmaceutical company started back in 2012. The timeline for this is as follows:
2012 – Organization: The creation of the Pharma Business Unit inside the Bormioli Rocco Group and introducing new people into the organization to reinforce pharma competency.
2013 – Manufacturing: We reinforced our moulded glass production platform to enhance product supply continuity and extended our product portfolio to tubing glass for parenteral applications.
2015 – Customer focus: We further established key account management and business development. This development was to distinguish ourselves globally in providing market leader needs.
2016 – Rebranding: We worked on rebranding and defining our pharmaceutical packaging business unit’s identity.
2017 – Bormioli Pharma became an independent company: Triton acquired Bormioli Rocco’s pharma business unit with the aim to support future growth and develop as a new independent company. The new company’s name is Bormioli Pharma.
In the near future, we expect to further expand our presence in the industry by approaching the US and other emerging areas of the market. Our strategy is focusing on glass vials and high-value plastic packaging in the US and market-specific packaging in the Far East.
We are also focusing in research and development. We believe it is the key factor to move Bormioli Pharma into a higher gear as a pharma solutions partner in both plastic and glass packaging.
PD: Could you describe, how large is it, what size of pharmaceutical market can you cover, and what are your goals?
Elena Piazza: The total value of the global pharmaceutical packaging market amounts to $71 billion. This value is a combination of several product categories, but 76% of the total market value is in primary packaging, the area in which Bormioli Pharma operates. Thanks to its robust technology platform and long-standing expertise, Bormioli Pharma can cover almost all the main primary packaging subcategories: bottles, plastic closure, parenteral vials, parenteral vials and bottles. This allows our company to be a leader of pharmaceutical packaging solutions in Italy and across Europe.
Our main goal is to form a vital part of the pharmaceutical value chain, aligning our products and quality standards with the requirements of the pharmaceutical companies. This means working at many different levels, from processes and manufacturing systems to new product development.
PD: Do you have any particular ideas what clients you can gain with the new focused company? Some big names that you currently work with or would like to work with?
Elena Piazza: Bormioli Pharma is already a recognized supplier, serving many of the world’s leading global pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and contract manufacturing organizations. Our main goal is to be increasingly considered a privileged partner for the industry’s evolution.
As of today, the big pharmaceutical companies tend to reduce their number of suppliers to optimise processes and reduce cost. Bormioli Pharma’s strength in this sense is its capability to offer a complete set of primary packaging solutions and most importantly a comprehensive high-value support during the drug product development. This is one of the main advantages resulting from the pharmaceutical focus of our company.
PD: Do you have any “sales forecast” for the event, or maybe some announced deals to make? You’ll be showcasing internationally in Paris in February, have you already presented the company this way?
Elena Piazza: We have already presented Bormioli Pharma as a focused company, but Pharmapack will be the first time that the company will be presented as independent. No sales forecast will be announced at the event.
PD: What product highlights are you bringing to Pharmapack this year?
As a result of our renewed attention towards the pharma industry’s needs, we will present four packaging innovations. All designed with patient-centricity in mind.
AccuRec: A dual-chamber system for oral drug reconstitution.
Delta: A high-tech type I glass vial for parenteral products.
Lock’n’Care: A system for ophthalmic bottles that avoid the tamper evident ring loss and the consequent patient injuries.
Safe&Easy: A paediatric drug packaging composed of bottle, plunger, cap and syringe, designed to make syrups administration easier for parents and safer for children.
Among these, AccuRec is our flagship product since it revolutionizes the drug reconstitution procedure which is typically complex. AccuRec is a new patented, dual-chamber concept for oral applications. Dual-chamber packaging is a common concept in many parental applications but it is less common in oral applications. However, more and more formulations, for stability reasons, need to be reconstituted just before intake. When a patient does this themselves, mistakes can be frequent. So we have developed dual-chamber packaging where the reconstitution takes place directly in the packaging, right before administration, which we consider mistake-proof. The drug is stored in the package cap, with the pre-stored solvent in the bottle. When you screw down the cap, the powder goes down into the bottle. The patient only needs to shake and remove the cap to ingest the properly reconstituted drug. This solution is very versatile and can be used for over the counter and prescription drugs, diagnostic applications or even for food supplements.
Image: Elena Piazza, Business Development and Marketing Manager at Bormioli Pharma