25 December 2012 | Opinion | By BioSpectrum Bureau
Mr Steven Kaufman, director, marketing, SHL Group, Taiwan
Pharmaceutical companies in the region are starting to take more interest in biologics and biosimilars, and of course with that, we see more interest in devices such as auto injectors. We see more events taking place in India and China. We see a quest for knowledge about what drug delivery devices are available, at what timeline and whether or not a balance can be achieved regarding price point. This will still take some time as the main geographic drivers for drug delivery in the area of devices continue to be Europe and North America.
Companies from those regions have more experience in launching combination products, but companies in Asia will use strategic alliances and JVs to bridge this gap in the coming years.
SHL will continue to work globally with leading biopharmaceutical companies to provide them with the auto injectors, pen injectors and inhaler systems that they will need for their products. It will look at other ways to extend involvement in the value chain for customers.
Our most recent offering, final assembly, has been very exciting. SHL Pharma in Florida, US, is up and running with a number of projects on-going. We will look at establishing final assembly now in Asia and in Europe as we move forward. This will very much be customer-driven and is part of our commitment to respond to their needs.
One of the challenges all device companies will face is balancing the growing number of inquiries for devices and finding new ways to help biopharmaceutical companies to differentiate from products already on the market or soon to market. With increased talk of biosimilars we see several companies that have never launched devices before approaching us and those in our field for information. SHL has expanded steadily over the past two years in response to an increase in the number of signed projects and our prediction that the market will continue with a strong growth trend.
Therefore, the companies with the best resources will gain a key strategic advantage. Investing now in capabilities such as more moulding, tooling and automations and specialized services such as final assembly, will prepare any device company for what I believe is coming. For us, we must strive to retain key talents and continue to hire like-minded individuals who will contribute from day one at our company. The next five years will be an exciting time to be in drug delivery devices to be sure.