INNOTECH and OSARO | January 12, 2022
OSARO Inc. a global leader in the development and provision of advanced robotics automation, and INNOTECH CORPORATION, which provides advanced products for electronics and consumer industries, have announced a collaboration to create an innovative demonstration for Rohto Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. using AI piece-picking robots. The two companies are jointly providing picking robots and jointly building a system for their introduction into a new factory production line, scheduled for completion in 2022. OSARO will take the lead in providing AI software to improve the efficiency of robot operations, and INNOTECH will provide support from demonstration testing to integration of the AI software.
By automating the picking of bottle products, one of the most labor-intensive tasks in the production process, with robots, the collaboration aims to reduce the workload and improve productivity at the Rohto factory. Rohto produces OTC medicines, beauty products and supplements. In the eye care category, sales of OTC eye drops account for more than 40 percent of the Japanese market.
“We are honored to have OSARO's picking technology recognized by the next-generation smart factory of Rohto Pharmaceutical Co. We believe that the ability to integrate with existing equipment is a great advantage to create a new model case for Japan’s future factories and warehouses.”
OSARO CEO Derik Pridmore
Yosuke Kaburaki, Director, INNOTECH CORPORATION stated: “We have been conducting basic experiments with Rohto Pharmaceutical using robots that incorporate OSARO's AI software. In the future, INNOTECH will continue to speed up the integration of OSARO's software technology into Rohto's production process to make it more effective and efficient.”
About INNOTECH CORPORATION Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan
INNOTECH provides comprehensive technology and support solutions for customer product development and manufacturing. Since 2000, INNOTECH has engaged in the business of internally developed products, leveraging its technical knowledge, strengthened by its existing and expanding business relationships. Today, INNOTECH continues to evolve as a total solution company, with hardware, software, consulting and support offerings for customers’ design, development, and mass production activities, leading up to the introduction of their final products.
About OSARO, San Francisco, CA, USA
OSARO designs and deploys robotics automation solutions in the materials handling industry using software-defined robotics. OSARO automation systems bring together advanced machine learning for object recognition with powerful control software that adapts to customer data and environments. The company’s robotic piece-picking solution is optimized for grocery, cosmetic, and e-commerce markets, where key challenges include high SKU inventories, complex packaging, and fragile items requiring delicate handling. OSARO Solutions have been validated by the world’s leading retailers, system integrators, and third-party logistic companies.
Merck | October 29, 2021
Merck, a leading science and technology company, today announced that its Life Science business sector has launched new technology and expanded capacity to advance ADC therapies. These initiatives underscore Merck's continued investment in novel modalities and support the company's efforts to double its ADC and high-potent active pharmaceutical ingredient (HPAPI) capacity in the near future.
"ADCs have experienced remarkable growth, with commercially approved ADCs tripling in the past three yearsWe are a pioneer in this space, involved in 50 percent of the commercially approved ADCs on the market today. This latest innovation and additional capacity help bring novel treatments to cancer patients around the world and reinforce our commitment to shaping the future of these novel modalities.
Andrew Bulpin, head of Process Solutions, Life Science, at Merck
With the launch of its ChetoSensar™ technology, Merck is one of the front runners working to address the hydrophobicity of ADCs, in tandem with its CDMO services. Many ADC candidates have poor aqueous solubility and Merck estimates that more than 20 percent of ADC clinical terminations are caused by this issue. The company's new ChetoSensar™ technology improves ADC solubility, therefore giving hope to ADCs that were previously terminated.
The payloads commonly used for ADCs are highly-complex molecules that take many steps to synthesize. Based on Merck's calculations, its new DOLCORE™ platform significantly reduces the development and manufacturing time required, increasing speed-to-market for a novel Dolostatin-based ADC payload by up to a year.
In addition, the company will enhance the ADC capabilities of its clinical manufacturing facility in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, in December. This facility will provide larger footprint to enable large-scale production including chromatographic purification for early phase clinical supply. This follows last year's announcement of a €59 million expansion of Merck's facility near Madison, Wisconsin, USA, which will double its HPAPI kilo lab capacity and enable the company to expedite the manufacture of HPAPIs, ADC linker/payloads, and complex APIs.
This innovation and additional capacity support the company's ambition to accelerate growth through investments in the "Big Three," including the Process Solutions business unit within the Life Science business sector as a key driver.
With 15 years of experience developing and manufacturing ADCs, Merck offers unique CDMO services streamlined with a single, highly experienced provider. The company leverages its global network and deep expertise to tailor each molecule's unique journey, while creating the dynamic client partnerships drug manufacturers need to help reach their critical milestones. Merck integrates contract development and manufacturing with the industry's broadest product offering across multiple modalities. Customers can also seamlessly integrate BioReliance® services from the company's leading biosafety testing portfolio.
Merck recently announced expansion projects in Darmstadt, Germany; Cork, Ireland; Buchs, Switzerland; Carlsbad, California, USA; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Jaffrey, New Hampshire, USA; and Danvers, Massachusetts, USA. These expansions are part of an ambitious, multi-year program to increase the industrial capacity and capabilities of the Life Science business sector to support growing global demand for lifesaving medications and to make significant contributions to public health.
Merck, a leading science and technology company, operates across healthcare, life science and electronics. Around 58,000 employees work to make a positive difference to millions of people's lives every day by creating more joyful and sustainable ways to live. From advancing gene-editing technologies and discovering unique ways to treat the most challenging diseases to enabling the intelligence of devices – the company is everywhere. In 2020, Merck generated sales of € 17.5 billion in 66 countries.
Scientific exploration and responsible entrepreneurship have been key to Merck's technological and scientific advances. This is how Merck has thrived since its founding in 1668. The founding family remains the majority owner of the publicly listed company. Merck holds the global rights to the Merck name and brand. The only exceptions are the United States and Canada, where the business sectors of Merck operate as EMD Serono in healthcare, MilliporeSigma in life science, and EMD Electronics.
ApiJect Systems Corp. | December 10, 2021
Fareva and ApiJect Systems, Corp. announced a 10-year licensing agreement to install three Blow-Fill-Seal production lines that when operational will be able to fill-finish more than 500 million doses per year of vaccines and other large molecule injectable drugs using ApiJect's innovative prefilled injector technology. Fareva intends to invest more than €50M for these three manufacturing lines, with support from the Government of France, through the "France Relance" industry initiative and the Investments for the Future Program.
The three manufacturing lines and ApiJect's technology utilize the Blow-Fill-Seal aseptic packaging process. BFS has demonstrated its ability to package certain vaccines and large molecule formulations, and ApiJect is helping to expand BFS's capabilities to additional drug products, including temperature sensitive pharmaceuticals. When cleared by regulators, ApiJect will provide the necessary needle hub and other attachable components to convert finished BFS single-dose containers from these lines into easy-to-assemble, ready-to-use prefilled injectors.
COVID-19 has demonstrated the strategic importance of regional pharmaceutical manufacturing to ensure strong and reliable medical supply chains. By investing in these three BFS lines and installing ApiJect technology, Fareva is helping to increase Europe's high-speed, high-volume fill and finish capacity by potentially more than 500 million doses per year. And, the compact polyethylene-based supply chain of BFS helps establish and maintain dependable and resilient fill-finish capacity, even in the face of additional COVID-19 pandemic waves and their supply chain repercussions.
"This commitment by Fareva, with the support of the French Government, to expand fill-finish capacity is the right step at the right time. We are proud to partner with Fareva in bringing the next generation of injection technology to global health."
ApiJect CEO and Chair Jay Walker commented
Mr. Walker continued: "Our mission at ApiJect is to support and execute a strategy of expanded distributed fill-finish capacity in the U.S. and regionally around the world. This is desperately needed in the battle against COVID, particularly as we continue to face emerging variants. Distributed fill-finish capacity will also yield huge dividends when future pandemics and other possible bio-emergencies threaten our populations. Fareva, along with its support from the French Government, is showing itself to be a vital leader in confronting and defeating the COVID threat."
The new lines will be situated in Fareva Excelvision, located in Annonay, France, which has more than 50 years of experience manufacturing BFS containers and exporting products around the world. The BFS machines will be purchased from Rommelag in Germany. Clean rooms for these new lines will be operated in a Biosafety Level 2 (BSL2) environment, allowing them to handle most vaccines. The objective is to start the first validation batches in June 2022. In addition, this capacity expands ApiJect licensing of its BFS manufacturing and device technology to the USA and Europe.
Olivier Dussopt. Minister Delegate for Public Accounts said: "I am very happy that Fareva, and their manufacturing site of Annonay in Ardeche, invests in such a development project, concerning 3 production lines for an amount of 50 million euros. The government will support those investments with a program of 36,9 million euros. This is an excellent news for the local territory as it will create 150 jobs and this is also an excellent news for France and Europe that will benefit from this high technology for the manufacturing of pharmaceutical drugs and more precisely of vaccines. "
Agnès Pannier-Runacher, Minister Delegate for the Industry declared: "I welcome the project implemented by Fareva in collaboration with ApiJect, a world premiere that will enable the production up to 500 million of injectable pharmaceutical products from 2022. This ambitious 50 million euros project will strengthen our healthcare industry in France and shows that innovation is not only in the vaccines but also stands in the injection devices. It is also the reason why we have agreed to support it with the France Relance program."
ABOUT APIJECT SYSTEMS, CORP.
ApiJect Systems, Corp. is a public-benefit medical technology company working to bring prefilled, single-dose injections to more people in every market. The ApiJect Platform enables pharmaceutical and biotech companies to design scalable prefilled injectors and efficiently fill-finish them with their injectable drug products. This can be done either on one of their own ApiJect-licensed Blow-Fill-Seal packaging lines or at one of our world-class manufacturing partners.
Fareva, a family-owned company, whose strength lies in its financial independence, is one of the world's leading CDMOs in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, make-up, and industrial and homecare fields. Fareva operates in 12 countries with 42 factories and employs more than 13 000 employees with annual revenues reaching € 1.8 billion in 2020.
ABOUT "FRANCE RELANCE"
France Relance is a €100 billion investment plan designed to support economic recovery in France in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program supports businesses, new production models, transformation of infrastructure, and training investment.