At this year’s Interphex convention in New York, this publication spoke with Maik Jornitz, COO of G-CON Manufacturing , who said portable, flexible and continuous processing systems – as with its autonomous cleanroom production PODs – will become standard in the production of drugs in the next few years.
In order to deal with the threat of transmissible diseases, the company has launched a version of the production PODs, offering more readily deployable containment and cleanroom systems.
“All our current POD systems already serve as either cleanroom environments and/or biosafety-level containment systems,” Jornitz said in a statement last week. “However, in light of recent events, we realized the need for even faster deployment and even better containment with redundancy functions in a transmissible disease application.”
One disease the PODs could be used to help contain is the Ebola virus, of which there is no approved treatment and has so far this year killed at least 1,145 people across West Africa .
“The available alternatives are simply not robust enough, lack scaling capabilities and cannot be properly sanitized for repeated uses,” Jornitz said. “Each POD can hold a number of patients and equipment in a larger area, are easily deployable due to their robust aluminum structure and represent the optimal containment due to redundant air filters.”
The transmissible disease containment POD (TDC POD) builds on G-CON’s current technology, but is narrower in order to allow transportation by tractor-trailer or its own axle system. Furthermore, the units – which are typically built within 18 weeks - have double bag-in/bag-out HEPA filters and are equipped with their own generator unit.
G-CON teamed up with GEA Processing Engineering and Pfizer last year to develop a portable system for the manufacture of oral solid dose form drugs, and recently the Big Pharma firm endorsed the concept of ‘podular’ manufacturing further with a multi-million dollar investment in G-CON through its investment wing.