Citation: “Torsten Maschke, Datwyler Sealing Solutions”. ONdrugDelivery Magazine, Issue 89 (Aug 2018), pp 80-81.

Torsten Maschke has been Chief Executive of the Sealing Solutions division of Datwyler and member of the group’s Executive Board since October 2016. Before joining Datwyler Group, he was responsible for the worldwide distribution of sealing and damping solutions for the automotive industry at Freudenberg Group (Weinheim, Germany). Prior to this – having completed his education in 1996 – he was employed in various international management roles within the automotive business of the Freudenberg Group. Maschke earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Münster University of Applied Sciences (Münster, Germany) and Industrial Engineering from Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Bochum, Germany).

Interviewed here, Mr Maschke discusses the industrialisation of drug delivery, from the perspective of an industrialisation specialist partner for the pharmaceutical industry, looking at the trends in the field today and the advantages of the modern paradigm of partnering.

Q  What would you say are the most important areas in the industrialisation of drug delivery today?

A  The industrialisation of new products in the drug delivery sector is one of the most important issues that we see in the pharmaceutical industry today. What is most important within that comes down to different factors and economic developments that need to be watched closely and acted upon where fitting.

Industrialisation of drug delivery from my perspective means that products connected to drug delivery can be developed and produced on a great, industrial scale. Naturally, this is strongly linked to new developments and impulses present in the industry. One of the most important and current issues keeping the market in motion right now is the development we’re seeing in the sectors of digital health and wearables, be it digital monitoring tools or drug delivery products such as wearable injectors.

The question of how those products can be industrialised is difficult to answer. From our perspective, that of an international industrial supplier, partnerships are an ideal way to join forces with experts from different fields and maximise results. In fact, we view them as “industrialisation partnerships”, where synergies can be brought together, research and development can be advanced, and products can be industrialised faster, more reliably, and on a greater scale.

In our case, we’ve established partnerships with acclaimed institutes, start-ups, and small companies. Their ideas, inventions, and new product developments combined with our experience in material handling, lean processes, and large-scale production are an ideal foundation to create innovative products and set new industry standards. This combined expertise and knowledge can also be of great advantage when it comes to approval processes through authorities such as the FDA or EMA. Succinctly put, this can be described as “the best of both worlds”.

Q  Where do industrial suppliers come into the mix? What role do they play in the context of the industrialisation of drug delivery?

“In our experience, the earlier a partnership is established, the higher the chance for success of the industrialisation. Consequently, the potential for savings also rises when industrialisation partners are involved early in the process…”

A  From the perspective of an international industrial supplier with a substantial stake in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry, we feel that the value companies like ours brings stems largely from having comprehensive experience in developing specialised components and compounds, and in-depth engineering expertise. A desirable supplier should be set up for large-scale production, a core competence for industrial suppliers.

To customers, production systems that can be applied to all facilities are incredibly valuable when it comes to developing a system and plan for the industrialisation of a new drug delivery product. The same goes for standards that are implemented globally and specify even the smallest details of the production of state-of-the-art components for drug delivery products.

In our experience, the earlier a partnership is established, the higher the chance for success of the industrialisation. Consequently, the potential for savings also rises when industrialisation partners are involved early in the process. Creating the opportunity for an exchange between partners early on is a very important cause, one that we want to promote.

Q  How will patients be affected by the new developments in drug delivery industrialisation?

A  Patients can ultimately only profit from the new developments in drug delivery industrialisation. New products that will help patients to administer drugs, or have drugs administered, more easily become widely and readily available once industrialisation is in place. For us, patient safety is one of our highest priorities and we feel that the industrialisation of innovative products will contribute strongly to this.

A good example is the treatment for diabetes patients. Having to administer drugs is a daily occurrence for these patients. New ways of drug delivery can facilitate this process and provide much more comfort. For example, wearable injectors and pumps can be a great relief – but these products are still new to the market and undergo continuous improvement. However, without investments in the industrialisation of these products, treatment would not be where it is today.

We are witnessing a steady growth of the global healthcare market, particularly due to better availability of treatments to a greater part of the population. Therefore, we should welcome drug delivery innovations and encourage the process of industrialisation for those with potential.

Q  In summary, industrialisation of drug delivery is very current and can be advanced through partnerships.

Precisely. We think industrialisation in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry will benefit immensely from partnerships and we will certainly remain focused on the added value it can bring. Global standards and clear, lean production processes are one of the advantages industrial suppliers can bring to the table. Combined expertise and an experienced production environment will lead to better, safer and more reliable drug delivery systems for an increased number of patients.