Corning life science focus: '21st century glass for 21st century drugs'

By Dan Stanton contact

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/Totojang
Image: iStock/Totojang

Related tags: Pharmacology

Corning says it is on the brink of capturing an increased share of the $12bn glass quality and packaging markets through material advancements in the space.

The firm, which manufactures a range of glass-based delivery systems and bioprocessing tools and equipment, said it was ready to take on growing challenges in the industry during an investors meeting.

“Continuous innovations in drug development and processing have created extreme chemical and mechanical environments that today’s glass packaging was simply not designed to handle. This increases the likelihood of degradation, contamination and breakage, potentially putting patients at risk,”​ CEO Wendell Weeks said.

“We are applying our expertise in glass science, optical physics, vapour deposition, precision forming and extrusion to develop a 21st century glass for 21st century drugs. We are leveraging our industry experience to pursue joint development projects with several major pharmaceutical companies, who recognized the powerful benefits of our innovation.

“We are nearing a breakthrough moment with our development partners and we believe we will begin to see initial revenue soon.”

The firm presently clocks in sales across its life sciences sector of around $800m annually, double what it was making in 2009, but Weeks admitted this represented a very small percentage of the overall market opportunity.

“The timing and ultimate revenues of disruptive innovation are very difficult to predict. This is especially true in highly regulated industries, such as drug packaging. But we are extremely excited about this initiative,”​ he said.

“The current market for pharmaceutical packaging is $4bn and growing at 5% annually. In addition, the industry spends another $8bn each year on issues associated with glass quality. In total, that’s a $12bn addressable opportunity.”

Corning’s CFO Tony Tripeny added: “We remain enthusiastic about the long-term multibillion dollar opportunity in pharmaceutical packaging for drug storage and delivery.”

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