India is one of IMA’s most important markets for pharma processing equipment

Michele Arduini, Sales & Marketing Director, IMA Life and Luca Cavazzini, Sales & Marketing Director, IMA Active,talk about the recently held IMA India Pharma Process event, its new sales unit in Mumbai and the company’s products pipeline

Brief us about IMA India Pharma Process. What was the theme of the event?

Michele Arduini

Michele Arduini (MA): India is undoubtedly one of IMA’s most important markets as far as pharma processing equipment is concerned, as evidenced by the remarkable successes achieved in recent years. This led us to set up a new sales unit in India dedicated to the sales and service of solid dose (IMA Active division) and aseptic processing and freeze drying solutions (IMA Life division). The headquarters of IMA India Pharma Process are located within the existing IMA-PG India facility in Mumbai, which has been taking care of the sales and service of IMA’s pharma packaging equipment (IMA Safe division).

We are sure that our new unit, with its sales, engineering and service teams (the latter counting 10 fully trained service engineers, but numbers are progressively increasing), will enter the pharma process market in India providing an even more structured approach with the highest levels of service and professionalism.

The event was hosted on March 20-21, 2018, by IMA Life and IMA Active in Mumbai. The event was held to introduce the new sales team in India to focus on the sales and service of solid dose, aseptic processing, filling technology and freeze drying solutions. After a presentation of the new sales branch, whose headquarters are located within the IMA-PG India facility in Mumbai, delegates were invited to attend two dedicated technology sessions where speakers from IMA Life and IMA Active presented new technological developments, innovative solutions and manufacturing strategies.

On the second day, the audience experienced live demos at the IMA-PG plant focussed on IMA Active’s Prexima and Sensum machines. The two-day event was a valuable opportunity to introduce our new office with its sales, engineering and enhanced service teams to our customers, providing innovative ideas for open forum discussions and networking opportunities on current trends in the Indian pharma industry.

Tell us about the sessions which took place and how did it benefit the industry?

MA: The inauguration ceremony offered us a perfect opportunity to introduce how IMA Life can create value to our customers through the technology, process knowledge and service support. Technical presentations focussed on sophisticated aseptic filling techniques for liquid and powder products, decontamination cycle technologies in isolated filling lines and advanced solutions in freeze drying in-process monitoring and control practices. Special attention was dedicated to Quantum, our new non-invasive technique capable of performing quantitative, real-time process measurements applied to freeze drying and to continuous freeze drying improved process.

Luca Cavazzini

Luca Cavazzini (LC): The grand opening event was a great opportunity for a brief introduction to IMA Active machine portfolio for each solid dose processing phase: granulation, tabletting, capsule filling, weight checking, coating, handling and washing. All IMA Active solutions benefit from in-depth experience and cutting-edge technologies, taking advantage of the know-how belonging to experts specialised in individual product lines. They are also capable of sharing this knowledge within a team. A special insight on APV Expert Workshop Tableting showed the results of the practical demonstrations: Prexima performed the best stability of tablets weight in production conditions and with different formulations.

How do you see the process and packaging market in Indian pharma industry?

MA: Indian pharma sector is estimated to account for 3.1 – 3.6 per cent (as of 2016) of the global pharma industry in value terms and 10 per cent in volume terms. It is expected to grow to $100 billion by 2025. The country’s pharma industry is expected to expand at a CAGR of 12.89 per cent over 2015–20 to reach $ 55 billion. India is the second largest contributor of global biotech and pharma workforce.

India accounts for 20 per cent of global exports in generics. India’s pharma exports stood at $16.84 billion in 2016-17 and are expected to reach $20 billion by 2020. During April – November 2017, India exported pharma products worth Rs 549.56 billion ($ 8.49 billion). By 2024-25, India’s biotech industry is estimated to increase to $100 billion from $11 billion in FY 2015-16.

Brief us on your company and the products manufactured for pharma industry in India

LC: IMA’s philosophy is based on research and innovation. For more than 50 years, IMA Group is a world leader in the design and manufacture of automatic machines for processing and packaging of pharma products. Its position of leadership is the result of significant investment in R&D, regular and constructive dialogue with the end users in its sectors and the Group’s ability to expand internationally, conquering new markets. The IMA Group owns more than 1,600 patents and patent applications in the world and has launched many new machine models over the last years.

Are there any new products in the pipeline?

MA: The pharma industry has been increasingly embracing injectables as a consistently profitable business sector, as injectables are the only practical route for the delivery of macromolecules and biologics in particular. IMA Life aseptic filling lines for the processing of liquid, powder and lyo products, together with our innovative solution for robotic fill/ finish systems to handle ready to fill (RTF) components, are the right response to this need. Considering the continuous growth trend of injectables across the pharma landscape and the subsequent expansion for related, supporting technologies, IMA Life’s vision looks rosy.

LC: Years of experience and expertise in the industry have been carefully channeled into PREXIMA 800, IMA Active’s tablet press machine suitable for bi-layer tableting production. PREXIMA 800 is designed for high production output, up to 1,044,000 tablets/ hour. Isolation of the processing area, 360° accessibility, exceptionally sturdy structure make Prexima 800 the best solution to handle all powders.