Cost pressure, competition and the struggle to be the first to obtain market approval: Lars Malter, Managing Director at Bilfinger GreyLogix GmbH, and Claudia Nachbur, Sales Director at Bilfinger Industrietechnik Salzburg GmbH, discuss the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry and how Bilfinger can help its customers meet these challenges.
Claudia Nachbur: Cost and competitive pressures in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries are intense. The industry faces three major challenges: the first of these is time-to-market. In other words, the speed with which vaccines or other therapeutic substances reach the market is critically important. The company that is the first to obtain approval for its active ingredient has a competitive advantage. Secondly, products must be available in the highest quality and meet the strict production, safety and quality requirements of the regulatory authorities. Third, companies face the challenge of competitively pricing their products.
Lars Malter: As a trusted partner of the life science industry for many years, we are seeing a trend toward process optimization, digitalization and increased efficiency. This is where our range of services has an important role to play. With our new Life Science business line, which combines the process engineering expertise of Bilfinger Industrietechnik Salzburg with the excellent digital expertise of Bilfinger GreyLogix, we provide the industry with an end-to-end package covering all the disciplines they need to maintain control of their technical production processes. And all of it comes from a single source. Our portfolio includes services and engineering as well as technology development, consulting for optimization, qualification and validation of production processes. For us, it is vital to establish the highest possible degree of customer focus using teams that ensure long-term support directly on site.
With our new Life Science business line, we provide the
industry with an end-to-end service package.
Lars Malter, Managing Director at Bilfinger GreyLogix
Lars Malter: The pressure of getting to market with a vaccine faster has increased as a result of the Corona pandemic. We helped a pharma customer convert facilities for the industrial production of a Corona virus vaccine in record time. The support we provided for the conversion of the existing plants not only saved the customer time, but also costs. As a rule, construction of a new production plant takes approximately one to one and a half years.
We put together a complete production plant for an American pharmaceutical company from scratch.
Claudia Nachbur, Sales Director at Bilfinger Industrietechnik Salzburg
Claudia Nachbur: Our key services for technical production processes, services and consulting are well-aligned to the needs of the industry. Our services already include the basic conceptual planning of production plants, including bioreactors, plant engineering and construction, commissioning as well as maintenance and optimization of existing plants.
Lars Malter: We are constantly evolving and also cooperating with research institutions such as the Vienna University of Technology or the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences in Vienna. We have developed the Qubicon software as part of a research project. This program collects and processes – automatically and in real time – all data from connected process devices such as bioreactors and analyzers. With our operational excellence approach, we follow the trends in the industry so that we can be even more focused on the needs of our customers and, with our portfolio, continue to be the supplier of choice for the pharmaceutical industry in the future.
Claudia Nachbur: We put together a complete production plant for an American pharmaceutical company from scratch. Starting with the first customer meeting, where the customer gave us the specific volumes and the schedule for completion, we delivered all the services that were critical to the success of the project. We were a partner for the entire process technology, covering all trades and technical disciplines from specification (URS) through to commissioning. This included process design, engineering, automation, manufacturing, installation and documentation. It was truly an ultra-fast-track project: we had just two years to achieve what would normally have required four.