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Sepha sees growing demand for cost saving testing tech

By Gareth Macdonald, 01-Dec-2011

Related topics: Packaging machinery & supplies, Processing equipment, QA/QC, Processing

The drug industry's need to improve product quality while reducing production costs is driving global demand for testing technologies according to Sepha.

The privately-equity backed Belfast firm - which does not publish its quarterly results - made the comments after reporting ‘record’ sales for its range of non-destructive leak testing and de-blistering equipment.

Company head of sales and marketing Paul Kelly called in-Pharmatechnologist.com from P-Mec India in Mumbai – the regional launch site for Sepha’s VisionScan leak testing system– to explain that the recent growth was driven by higher demand in all the countries in which the firm operates.

We are an export dominated business,“ Kelly said adding that “last year the main drivers were large manufacturers in North America and Europe, perhaps surprisingly given the current economic climate.”

However,” he continued “we’ve also seen growth in the BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India China” explaining that Serpha’s business in China is primarily dominated by multinational pharmaceutical companies investing in local manufacturing capacity.

In Brazil it’s more of a mix with global multinationals like Novartis and local generic players like Eurofarma,” said Kelly. He added that the region’s rapidly expanding contract pharmaceutical packaging sector has also driven demand.

This growing demand for testing technologies in emerging markets fits with what Sepha spokeswoman Sarah Hession told in-Pharmatechnologist.com in April ahead of VisionScan’s European launch .

We have already received considerable interest in this machine [VisionScan] most notably from major pharmaceutical manufacturers in India,” she said, adding that the system had attracted particular interest from generic manufacturers in emerging markets.

R&D investment

Sepha plans to capitalise on this increase in demand – and the higher revenues it has generated – and invest in developing the next generation of leak testing platforms according to Kelly.

We plan to develop additional leak detection equipment as well as de-blistering technologies with the flexibility that multinational drugmakers, generic manufacturers and contract manufacturing organisations demand.”