BUSINESS INSIGHTS

OPTEL ACQUIRES PHARMA TRACK-AND-TRACE UNIT OF KÖRBER

OPTEL Group | January 12, 2022

OPTEL GROUP, already a world leader in supply chain traceability, is expanding its expertise and global reach with the recent acquisition of the track-and-trace unit of the Körber Business Area Pharma, formerly known as Traxeed, based in Germany. Körber is a leading international technology group.

The acquisition, announced today, will allow OPTEL to leverage the unit's expertise in pharmaceutical and agrochemical track-and-trace technologies, provide the company with a second foothold in the European marketplace and contribute to its diversification plans.

"Creating a strong presence in the German market is key to the success of our strategic objectives because Germany is a well-established manufacturing hub, with a strong history of developing innovative manufacturing efficiency solutions and Industry 4.0 technologies," 

 Louis Roy, founder and president of OPTEL

"We are pleased that we have found a solid and future-oriented new owner with a broad international market access, from whose global network and years of experience in the highly specialized track-and-trace sector customers will clearly benefit. We are furthermore convinced that the new strategic owner can open up attractive development opportunities for the team," said Dr. Jürgen Krebs, Chief Technology Officer and Chief Operating Officer in the Körber Business Area Pharma.

The acquisition allows OPTEL to welcome highly skilled pharma track-and-trace experts from Körber, complementing OPTEL's existing strengths in traceability, vision technologies, software and hardware. Furthermore, it will solidify and expand the company's presence in the European market by providing a second base of operations after Limerick, Ireland.

In addition to the acquisition, a close collaboration between OPTEL and Körber's Business Area Pharma is planned in the future. The two companies plan to sign a partnership agreement whereby OPTEL becomes Körber's preferred partner for track-and-trace solutions for the pharmaceutical industry.

Since its founding in 1989, OPTEL has become the world's foremost provider of track-and-trace solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. Its acquisitions in recent years have positioned it as the only company with the ability to provide complete, full-stack supply chain traceability. The Canadian multinational has since diversified into other industries, including consumer-packaged goods, metals and minerals, and agrochemicals. The acquisition of the track-and-trace unit of the Körber Business Area Pharma is expected to accelerate further expansion.

ABOUT OPTEL
OPTEL is a leading global provider of traceability systems whose goal is to use its innovative technologies to build a sustainable world through the Intelligent Supply Chain.

OPTEL is the only company with the ability to offer complete end-to-end traceability, providing granular data at every step of the supply chain – from raw materials to the consumer and beyond.

Founded in 1989, OPTEL is a Certified B Corporation headquartered in Canada, with facilities in Ireland, India and Brazil, as well as employees worldwide.

ABOUT KÖRBER
We are Körber – an international technology group with about 10,000 employees, more than 100 locations worldwide and a common goal: We turn entrepreneurial thinking into customer success and shape the technological change. In the Business Areas Digital, Pharma, Supply Chain, Tissue and Tobacco, we offer products, solutions and services that inspire. We act fast to customer needs, we execute ideas seamlessly, and with our innovations we create added value for our customers. In doing so, we are increasingly building on ecosystems that solve the challenges of today and tomorrow. Körber AG is the holding company of the Körber Group. 

Spotlight

"A new report published by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) pegs the cost of developing a prescription drug that gains market approval at $2.6 billion, a 145% increase, correcting for inflation, over the estimate the center made in 2003."


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PHARMACY MARKET

iA Commemorates 50 Years of Innovation with Launch of New Pharmacy Solutions at NACDS Total Store Expo

iA | August 26, 2022

iA, a leading provider of pharmacy fulfillment and automation solutions, is celebrating 50 years of innovation at NACDS Total Store Expo. With a commitment to its heritage, iA’s mission has never wavered from streamlining operational processes through advancing technology. Today, iA continues to drive pharmacy industry innovations. From safe and accurate filling of prescriptions through the use of modern robotics, to production control software enhanced by warehouse management technology, iA’s solutions are powered by its intelligent software platform, NEXiA. NEXiA is the foundation of iA’s automated fulfillment solutions, spanning retail and central fulfillment. “Our NEXiA platform allows our hardware and third-party solutions to talk, streamlining the end-to-end fulfillment process. This allows pharmacies of varying sizes the benefits of flexible on-time delivery, can aid in lowering cost-to-fill and can provide the time needed to spend with patients.” NEXiA’s continuous evolution allows for comprehensive capabilities that drive omnichannel pharmacy fulfillment — from prescription acceptance to quality verification and delivery. Marvin Richardson, RPh, Chief Executive Officer of iA As the industry has evolved, iA has maintained its focus and commitment to pharmacy innovation by launching iA SmartStart, a solution designed to enable customers to realize the benefits of central fill faster. “We’ve listened to our customers and recognized their need to quickly reduce in-store workload and focus on value-added services. SmartStart allows customers to recognize these benefits in 120 days from contracting,” said Alecia Lashier, Chief Automation Officer of iA. Leveraging NEXiA, SmartStart can accelerate growth to higher levels of automation. The addition of hardware, such as iA SmartPod — a fully contained dispensing system capable of labeling, filling, imaging and capping — allows the transition from SmartStart to a fully automated production facility. SmartPod’s flexible and modular design scales with expanding prescription volume and mix, enabling pharmacies to expand as their business grows. As iA looks to the next 50 years of innovation with a commitment to industry partnership, iA is introducing shared central fulfillment solutions. By leveraging NEXiA, including its cloud modules, iA’s shared central fulfillment solutions allow multiple pharmacy organizations to coexist within a single facility. “As the industry continues to evolve, this model brings together forward-thinking partners of various sizes seeking common goals to reduce cost and improve patient care. Regardless of where you are in your pharmacy fulfillment journey, iA will partner with you to maximize your investment,” said Tom Utech, PharmD, Group President, Product and Software of iA. “We are committed to serving pharmacists and their patients. Total Store Expo is the perfect opportunity to take a moment to celebrate all that iA has provided to the pharmacy community thus far and look forward to another successful 50 years of innovation,” added Richardson. iA executives are available to connect at Booth 1505 at Total Store Expo. About iA iA is a leading-edge provider of software-enabled pharmacy fulfillment solutions. With over 25 years in pharmacy fulfillment, iA has invented and developed a suite of software-driven pharmacy automation solutions. From NEXiA software to automated modular hardware and sophisticated counting and collation devices, iA pharmacy automation solutions and technology empower pharmacists. iA can run the prescription fulfillment process from end to end, helping pharmacies manage fulfillment and inventory to help lower costs, improve efficiency and provide comprehensive Rx tracking and real-time support. For high-volume centralized fulfillment or pharmacy operations — iA can help customers transform their pharmacy.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

PCI Pharma Services Selects Thoughtworks for Digital Platform Transformation with Agile Approach

Thoughtworks | July 11, 2022

Thoughtworks a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation, today announced the signing of a multi-year agreement with PCI Pharma Services, a leading global contract development and manufacturing organization. Thoughtworks will help PCI in its journey to digitize its supply chain, with the goal of accelerating the time it takes to bring clients’ life-changing therapies to market for patients. By co-developing tools for digital business modernization, Thoughtworks will help PCI improve client visibility into its clinical and commercial drug supply chains for pharmaceutical and biotech companies of all sizes in 100+ countries. By digitizing the supply chain, Thoughtworks will help PCI deliver greater insights to clients to increase their overall efficiency, support their business goals and ultimately produce high quality treatments for patients. The agreement includes expanding and adapting pci | bridge, an industry first-of-its-kind, end-to-end data platform that provides real-time status of projects, automatically identifies risks, spots trends and provides business analytics insights. With this modern application programming interface (API), clients have the ability to seamlessly integrate their systems with PCI’s, creating greater transparency and a more simplified process for decision-making. “Digital transformation has been a key differentiating factor for PCI’s business strategy, and the evolution of pci | bridge will be critical to increasing client engagement and maximizing the value of data and analytics for PCI and our external partners. With Thoughtworks’ 28+ years of experience at the forefront of innovation, we look forward to making our clients’ lives easier through this partnership." Wayne Hull, Chief Digital and Technology Officer, PCI Pharma Services With a shared commitment to customer-centricity, the Thoughtworks and PCI product and engineering teams will create a new level of intuitive self-service solutions for clients. The partnership will also simplify the collection and analysis of information to reach business insights faster and streamline processes to develop useful new products for clients. The teams will do this by working side-by-side using agile development methods, including pair programming, test-driven development and continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) automation. “Recognized as a leader in global CDMO services, PCI Pharma Services is well on its digital transformation journey, providing clients with sophisticated supply chain solutions and a digitally integrated experience unlike anything else in the industry,” said Chris Murphy, Chief Executive Officer, Thoughtworks North America. “We are thrilled to partner with PCI Pharma Services as it empowers its clients to make even more powerful, life-impacting decisions through their expansive data and analytics ecosystems.” About PCI Pharma Services PCI is a leading global CDMO, providing clients with integrated end-to-end drug development, manufacturing and packaging capabilities that increase their products’ speed to market and opportunities for commercial success. PCI brings the proven experience that comes with more than 50 successful product launches each year and over five decades in the healthcare services business. We currently have 30 sites across seven countries and over 4,300 employees that work to bring life-changing therapies to patients. Leading technology and continued investment enable us to address global drug development needs throughout the entire product life cycle – from manufacturing capabilities through the clinical trial supply chain and into commercialization. Our clients view us as an extension of their business and a collaborative partner with the shared goal of improving patients’ lives. For more information, please visit pci.com About Thoughtworks Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are 11,000+ people strong across 49 offices in 17 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Love Pharmas Investment in US Biotech Offers Strategic Industry Advantages and Enhanced Shareholder Value

LOVE Pharma | September 09, 2022

Love Pharma Inc. an international mental health and sexual wellness company, remains extremely active in shaping itself into a real competitor in the biotech/pharmaceutical space. The company’s growth and development plan took a major leap forward this week with the announcement that Love Pharma is establishing a “strategic alliance” with Starton Therapeutics a leading clinical-stage biotechnology company in the United States. It’s a relationship that finds Starton ideally aligned with Love Pharma’s mission of improving “quality of life” for its customers. And the benefit to Love Pharma is that Starton is well on its way to transforming standard of care therapies with its proprietary dermal drug delivery technology that allows cancer patients to receive continuous treatment so they can live better, longer. Love Pharma’s investment in Starton Therapeutics is primarily based upon “the company’s interest in innovative drug delivery technology, such as transdermal patches that can reduce side effects, transforming patient outcomes with established, approved medicines allowing for streamlined market entry with long-term IP protections.” A partnership with Starton offers a host of advantages to Love Pharma and its shareholders, including a wealth of experience from industry leaders, proven clinical trials using its proprietary technology, and a “continuous drug delivery” platform that Love Pharma could exploit in the development of its own clinical portfolio—especially in the “addiction” space. The company’s strategic investment certainly makes a lot of sense for the future of this young global brand. “This investment provides our shareholders with exposure to a rapidly developing therapeutics business, which just reported positive data from a phase 1 clinical trial evaluating the pharmacokinetics and safety of the company’s continuous delivery lenalidomide program. Starton is also entering a phase 2 trial, which the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already cleared an Investigational New Drug application for STAR-OLZ in Chemotherapy Induced Nausea and Vomiting (CINV). Love Pharma’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Zachary Stadnyk, said of the relationship “With this investment in Starton, we are building our relationship, forming an alliance, and look to Starton’s expert management team to reduce risk in our own portfolio of clinical pursuits and focus more on the addiction space.” So, what made Starton Therapeutics an attractive investment now? Well, earlier this year, Love Pharma partnered with researchers at Johns Hopkins University. This research initiative aligns with key principles in Love Pharma’s strategy as it aims to develop innovative products that establish new consumer applications based upon science and efficacy. And to further its meticulous plan, the company likely sees a much smoother path forward by expanding its development strategy to include guidance from a vast selection of industry and clinical experts and a highly de-risked avenue into the clinic by way of this strategic alliance with Starton. It's no secret that Love Pharma wants to develop its own clinical portfolio, and specifically, has its eye on developing therapeutic treatments for addiction. Pharmaceutical applications for addiction and recovery treatment are an unmet need and represent a growing market, including in the cannabis space where the Johns Hopkins research initiative is focused. With Starton’s mission of delivering meaningful patient outcomes by leveraging the untapped potential of continuous delivery and dermal technology, it’s obvious that Love Pharma sees this platform technology and its endless opportunities for expansion, as an ideal platform on which it can develop its own therapeutic treatment(s) for addiction. The benefit to partnering with Starton and having access to its platform technology is that the “proof of concept” is complete, and the technology has proven it can address unmet medical needs using already FDA-approved drugs to transform patient outcomes. For Love Pharma and its shareholders, this means much of the hard work is already done. Starton’s proprietary continuous delivery technology can increase efficacy of approved drugs, make them more tolerable, and expand their potential use. Starton uses three different delivery technologies to provide continuous, low-dose delivery as part of its strategic platform that provides a controlled, sustained release over multiple days. Starton uses proven transdermal and subcutaneous technologies to transform approved medicines–establishing superiority or new indications. It is the potential to establish a new indication/use for already approved drugs using the delivery technology, namely in the addiction space that is enticing to Love Pharma. And Love Pharma isn’t stopping there. The company announced that “to further accelerate its planned strategic alliance with Starton, and to bolster the company’s own biotech initiatives in the area, Love Pharma is in discussions with TRPL Laboratory, the lab that develops and supports Starton’s transdermal drug delivery programs and is a global leader in transdermal delivery systems.” Investors in Love Pharma couldn’t ask for a better way to reduce the risk associated with the company developing its own clinical portfolio than by surrounding itself with a plethora of industry and clinical leaders. That expertise begins with Pedro Lichtinger, the CEO and Chairman of the Board at Starton. Lichtinger has spent almost 40-years in the biotechnology arena, including 16 years at Pfizer as President of Global Primary Care and as Pfizer’s President of Europe. Additionally, Love Pharma can draw from the experiences of the former Global Lead, Multiple Myeloma at Celgene, world-renowned scientific leaders in their field leading each program at Dana Farber/Harvard, Mayo Clinic, and Moffitt Cancer Center, and a breadth of operational expertise in regulatory, clinical development, manufacturing, and intellectual property. The company stated that it is currently identifying and assessing disruptive opportunities within the transdermal biotechnology field, which it believes can be a superior delivery system in many cases for new and existing pharmaceutical therapeutic drugs. With its initial investment in Starton, the company believes it can leverage their expertise and proven success to credibly evaluate potential acquisitions in the transdermal field of advanced drug delivery systems. This news should be seen as extremely encouraging by the company’s investors as it could dramatically accelerate Love Pharma’s path to the clinic and the development of its own clinical portfolio. After all, it is these relationships in the biopharma industry that can lead to promising results and real shareholder value. About Love Pharma Inc. With a focus on the global sexual Health and Wellness markets, Love Pharma Inc. was founded in 2020, with a mission to bring to market innovative products that enhance sexual health and wellness while providing an improved quality of life. Love Pharma holds exclusive licenses to produce, market, package, sell, and distribute patent-protected therapeutic and pharmaceutical products throughout Europe, the United Kingdom, and North America. About Starton Therapeutics A clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on transforming standard of care therapies with proprietary dermal technology, so people with cancer can receive continuous treatment to live better, longer. Starton’s proprietary transdermal technology is intended to increase efficacy of approved drugs, to make them more tolerable and expand their potential use. About Stock Market Media Group Stock Market Media Group is a News and Media content development IR firm offering a platform for corporate stories to unfold in the media with press releases, feature news articles, research reports, corporate videos, and radio-style CEO interviews.

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BUSINESS INSIGHTS

Verizon Business Selected to Transform Astellas Pharma’s Global Network Infrastructure

Verizon Sourcing LLC | August 10, 2022

Verizon Business has been selected to manage Astellas Pharma Inc’s global network infrastructure. The network transformation will enable Astellas to harness advanced technologies to help reduce drug development timelines, healthcare costs and drive new revenue opportunities for the Japanese pharmaceutical multinational. Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Astellas is a global pharmaceutical company involved in the research, development, manufacture, and marketing of innovative new drugs under the vision of “Stand on the forefront of healthcare change to turn innovative science into VALUE for patients”. The company employs 14,000 employees worldwide. The company has identified digital transformation as a key driver of its business growth and began the search for a global partner to transform all aspects of its global technology infrastructure including building, designing and executing a next-generation secure network. In particular, Astellas was looking for a scalable and predictable platform that could seamlessly manage tens of thousands of devices and endpoints across Astellas’ 70+ global locations across a virtualized multi-sourced environment. Verizon’s relationship with Astellas stretches back more than a decade. In 2016, Astellas successfully deployed Verizon’s Secure Cloud Interconnect solution to provide a high-bandwidth secure connection to its Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure cloud services. Verizon’s current remit includes the build and deployment of Astellas’ global integrated network with a full suite of managed services, including Managed Wide Area Network, Local Area Network, Managed Security Services Secure Gateway, Zero Trust Network Access and Unified Communications and Collaboration as a Service. “From R&D to sales, we are seeing enormous amounts of data and intelligence flow through our business, across our 70 locations around the world. We want to ensure that we have a future-proof network in order to utilize cutting-edge technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, machine learning and robotics to make data-driven decisions to deliver better value for our patients. Our network transformation will underpin the next phase of our growth.” Shinya Suda, Senior Vice President, Information Systems, Astellas “The network is transformative in its ability to enable innovation and growth and Astellas is changing the way they are using the tools at their disposal to completely revolutionize their business. This is truly a watershed moment for the pharmaceutical industry as companies grapple with the pressures of reducing time and costs for the development of drugs while improving patient care and value. We’re proud to have been a part of Astellas’ growth journey for more than a decade,” said Robert Le Busque, Regional Vice-President, Verizon Business Group, Asia Pacific. Today’s announcement builds on the company’s network-as-a-service foundation and supports its private networks, mobile edge compute and business solutions vectors of growth. Verizon Communications Inc. was formed on June 30, 2000 and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control. VERIZON’S ONLINE MEDIA CENTER News releases, stories, media contacts and other resources are available at verizon.com/news. News releases are also available through an RSS feed.

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Spotlight

"A new report published by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development (CSDD) pegs the cost of developing a prescription drug that gains market approval at $2.6 billion, a 145% increase, correcting for inflation, over the estimate the center made in 2003."

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