Sartorius Support Biopharmaceutical Processes from Start to EndBy Rodrigo Brugada | Mon, 08/02/2021 - 18:12
Q: What has been Sartorius’ role during the COVID-19 pandemic and how have you helped during the research and production of the vaccines?
A: The role of Sartorius has been an essential supplier for the development and production of the COVID-19 vaccine. As collaborators to the industry have strengthened our supply chain by increasing the manufacturing capacities of its sites around the world and positioning ourselves as the first option for the biopharmaceutical sector and the vaccine industry. Our solutions target the needs that range from laboratory to production. For the COVID-19 vaccine, we are providing expedited solutions, mainly in the manufacturing and quality control processes with lab and production equipment and single-use consumables. Currently, we are collaborating with several companies in Mexico on the final step of fill and finish of the vaccine and some of them working already on the process development and production of the vaccine.
Q: What does your innovation process look like and how do you ensure this innovation reaches researchers and stakeholders?
A: Sartorius has very robust technologies for the production of vaccines and biotherapeutics. We have technologies for upstream and downstream processing, providing solutions with end-to-end platforms. Our focus ranges from R&D up to commercial manufacturing, including products for quality control and validation services among the most comprehensive portfolio in the market.
One of our core values is openness and we pursue a constant flow of information inside the company and with our customers with a very open and transparent communication. This helps us massively along with our market research to learn jointly with our customers and adapt our designs to fit the customers’ needs while providing appropriate and cost-effective solutions to them. Also, through our quality control system we provide a communication channel to ensure that our customers’ voices are being heard constantly.
Q: How do you ensure all your practices are carried out in a sustainable manner?
A: One aspect of our sustainability value offer is to provide cost-effective solutions. Our goal is to provide quality products that represent cost savings in operating expenses. This has been particularly relevant throughout the course of the pandemic for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors.
Regarding environmental sustainability, production with single-use products frequently consumes fewer resources than traditional production using stainless steel equipment. Single-use products can thus significantly reduce the environmental impact of biopharmaceutical processes. Sartorius rigorously considers the environmental footprint of its single-use products in all their life cycle phases as early as the product development stage: The materials used are carefully selected to keep their impact on humans and the environment as low as possible. The plastics consist of recyclable standard polymers and contain few additives. Whenever technically possible, the materials meet Pharmacopeia requirements. All materials can be safely burnt and used as energy. We also have several initiatives inside our plants to reduce CO2 emissions.
Q: Most of your research solutions focus on basic research. How do you bridge this basic research to a translational or clinical level?
A: Part of our mission is to empower scientists to simplify and accelerate progress in life sciences and bioprocessing. We want to provide better solutions for the development of therapeutic agents and to make these therapies more accessible for the general population. We develop equipment for lab solutions and innovative systems for bioanalytics used in drug discovery of monoclonal antibodies, as well as for cell and gene therapy. Our solutions help expedite the development process and bring more molecules to the market. We have also established several alliances with research centers around the globe to ensure these goals.
Q: What opportunities do you see for Mexico to grow its position in pharmaceutical research and production? How can Sartorius support these efforts?
A: Mexico faces significant challenges and needs to direct more resources to R&D in the biopharmaceutical industry and the research centers. Many universities and research centers need to accelerate their tech transfers to the industry and start production for clinical phases and ensure medicine supply. The tripartite arrangement between the government, private industry and research centers needs to establish agreements for common goals that help optimize this entire process. Sartorius collaborates closely with several research centers in Mexico in order to make these progress possible. All this collaborative effort resonates with our mission statement We empower scientists and engineers to simplify and accelerate progress in life science and bioprocessing, enabling the development of new and better therapies and more affordable medicine.
Q: How has sartorius improved the medical supply chain in Mexico for both the private and the public sectors?
A: We have almost 21 years of experience in Mexico and we have grown together with the relevant industries in the supply chain. We have strengthened the output capacity in our plants, having doubled or even tripled our output in recent times. We have substantial stock for our customers and we provide agile deliveries and cold chain services. This has been possible in part because of our storage capabilities in our facility in Tepotzotlán, State of Mexico and also because of the strong collaboration with our logistic partners in Mexico and around the world.
Q: What are your expansion plans in Mexico and how will that strengthen the health system?
A: We have experienced significant growth during the pandemic, and we continue expanding our storage capacity because we foresee an increased need of consumables in the short and mid-term. We are working with our partners to ensure we have continuous supply and product availability. We also see the need to increase the number of qualified personnel in order to work together with the industry and regulatory agencies in this very demanding times. New technologies are emerging constantly in the biopharmaceutical industry and we as critical suppliers need to provide a solid support to the industry. We need strong competences in the personnel who understand both the technology itself and the applications involved. For a strong development of the health system in Mexico, particularly in the biologics sector, we need a strong collaboration, backed by the tripartite alliance between the government, private industry and research centers. This is fundamental for Mexico to grow and be part of this dynamic and rapid changing sector.
Sartorius is a leading international partner for the biopharmaceutical industry and the research sector, helping biotech scientists and engineers develop and manufacture medications, from conception to production.