German technology group Schott and Japan’s Naigai Glass Industry Company have teamed up to enter the country’s pharmaceutical packaging market.
Under the Schott Naigai brand name the new Osaka-based company will manufacture vials for the Japanese pharmaceutical industry using Schott’s Fiolax tubing glass.
Jürgen Steiner of Schott, told in-PharmaTechnologist: “The founding of Schott Naigai is an important milestone in our global growth strategy. This will allow Schott to significantly strengthen our market position inside the world’s second largest pharmaceutical market.”
Under the deal, Schott said it intends to gain entry into the Japanese market, while Naigai will benefit from access to Schott’s global production and R&D network. It added that there are no plans to jointly develop new packaging solutions.
Japan demands high quality solutions
Speaking of demand in the Japanese market, Steiner said: “Japanese pharmaceutical companies are looking for high quality packaging solutions, and require special cosmetic quality. We also see a trend in increasing quality requirements in Japan in the future.”
Steiner also claimed customers of the joint venture will benefit from Schott’s global diversification, which boasts numerous production sites and an integrated tubing production line.
He added: “This is especially interesting for Japanese export-oriented pharma companies with a multinational production set up.”
Automatic inspection system
In addition, the German firm will contribute its automatic inspection system to the deal, which it claims is more reliable than human eye inspection.
Schott holds 80 per cent of the shares in the partnership, while Naigai owns the remaining 20 per cent.
In upcoming years Schott Naigai said it plans to expand its capacities by adding new production lines and continuously “ramping up, step by step,” with the aim of reaching a vial market share in Japan of above 10 per cent.