Schott plans ready-to-use cartridge production expansion

3-May-2022

The pharma packaging specialist has planned to significantly expand its production capacity of ready-to-use (RTU) cartridges

The international technology group SCHOTT plans to significantly expand its production capacity of ready-to-use (RTU) cartridges. This drug containment and delivery solution is used to store and administer drugs with the help of pen injectors or wearable devices.

SCHOTT can deliver these cartridges washed, siliconised, crimped, and pre-sterilised in a nest/tub or tray configuration. This allows pharma companies to start the drug filling process immediately without having to take care of washing, siliconisation, or sterilisation themselves.

With this expansion, the company is providing a solution for drugs that are predominantly self-administered at home, which experts recognise as a growing market trend.

The expansion at the company's site in St. Gallen, Switzerland is designed to feature state-of-the-art cleanroom infrastructure

"This investment is yet another step in adding manufacturing capacity for a product that simplifies self-medication and puts the patient's needs first", said Andreas Reisse, Executive VP of SCHOTT's Pharma business unit. "Together with our partners, we are creating new possibilities in this area with the aim to improve global health for everyone."

The expansion at the company's site in St. Gallen, Switzerland is designed to feature state-of-the-art cleanroom infrastructure, as well as washing and assembling equipment supplied by machine vendor Groninger, and is scheduled for completion in 2023.

Breakthroughs in the pharma industry have allowed patients to increasingly administer drugs themselves through the help of a wearable device, pen or auto-injector. These typically rely on a cartridge to store the drug.

"At SCHOTT, we follow high standard processes to ensure that our ready-to-use cartridges protect the medication and work seamlessly with the respective device," said Dr Felix Brosi, Global Product Manager Cartridges at SCHOTT's Pharma unit.

The cartridges were specifically developed as containment and delivery solution for insulin, growth hormones, or other sensitive biologics and are available for a large range of filling volumes. The 10 mL cartridge, for example, is suitable for self-injection of large volumes and is featured in the YpsoDose patch injector platform from Ypsomed.

The cartridges were specifically developed as containment and delivery solution for insulin, growth hormones, or other sensitive biologics

As part of the SCHOTT iQ platform, the RTU cartridges are designed to make the drug filling process as simple as possible for pharma companies. Compared to conventional cartridges, the RTU solution requires fewer process steps during filling and allows for more flexibility when changing over to other drug containment and delivery solutions such as RTU vials or pre-fillable syringes.

A new era of manufacturing

The capacity expansion is designed to break ground for a new era of manufacturing with a glass-to-glass contact-free process.

This aims at eliminating possible scratches or other glass defects and contributes to a safe delivery of medications to patients.

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In addition, the new in-house steam sterilisation will feature an ultra-clean sterilisation technology, thereby paving the way for a more sustainable manufacturing process.

"With these new technologies, we are reaching yet another milestone in our advanced production journey," said Michael Feldhaus, Head of Technology of SCHOTT's Pharma unit.

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The production technology also includes an online crimp inspection system, ensuring container closure integrity (CCI). This in return means that the cartridge system is effectively protecting the medication's sterility and subsequently drug stability.

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