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Post published on 10/03/2023

How an integrated culture is the real catalyst for integrated solutions

One way to grow is through new technologies and innovative services and this has been a priority of ours in recent years, alongside a strategy that we have diligently implemented to improve the efficiency and integration of our production facilities in Europe, Asia and the United States. IMA Life fits into the All-In-One PHARMA concept as a solutions provider for aseptic processing and freeze drying technologies, with a vision to become the pharmaceutical industry’s benchmark for injectable medicines.

Since Michele Arduini took over as Managing Director of the division in January 2021, he has always promoted the idea that the best team embodies a common culture made up of rich and natural diversities. Integration is a fertile terrain for evolution and our approach looks beyond the company’s people, laboratories and factories to work hand-in-hand with our customers.

Providing integrated lines, we need to understand the issues and complexities we face, and there is no better strategy than to do so together with the end-user of our technologies. Even in the instances in which it involves the customer, integration will define the success of a company, which is why it is so important to be aware of this aspect and to constantly invest in building strong teams and a consolidated organisational culture. The latter is no more than a reflection of the values, actions and behaviours of the people who work in a company, and inevitably has an impact on both the strategy and overall performance.

As today’s efforts are focused on creating complete and integrated lines for aseptic products, we are increasingly oriented towards solutions that we openly share with the customer right from the preliminary design phase. The aim is to integrate the activities of our technicians with the customer’s specialists from the early stages of the project so that they can work in synergy, and optimise each solution and the process as a whole.

“What really counts is the strength of a synchronised company, drawing on resources with different approaches and visions but culturally integrated, capable of proactively responding in synergy to current and future market challenges”.

Pioneering advanced robotic technologies

Having started early on, our investment in the use of anthropomorphic robots has led us to occupy a leading role in fully automated processes. Identifying a reliable partner, eager to follow us and support us in the development of robots suitable for an aseptic environment, was a fundamental step. Today, we have fully mastered the robotic technologies needed to enable operator-less and glove-less systems, rising to the challenges and guidelines issued by European and American authorities. In many cases, these directives have a radical impact on the mechanics of the process, and in each circumstance we have turned the challenge into a benefit for the customer. INJECTA, the first advanced robotic fill-finish solution for RTU components, is the result of 6 years of design and development of the entirely robotic concept, where the robot is exploited to its full potential and the entire production process is automated. This is what sets INJECTA far ahead of conventional solutions that generally limit the use of the robot to just one production step.

Where is the market taking us?

Everything is accelerating, especially over the last 2 to 3 years. Our role is to keep pace with a fast evolving healthcare sector, anticipating the trends with future-oriented solutions. Pharmaceutical companies and CDMOs need to be able to handle a wide variety of types of toxic/biological hazards when dealing with different packaging formats. Furthermore, a tendency to alternate between high-risk products especially those related to personalised therapies, biological or biosimilar products and genome-specific therapies, all of which are characterised by the small production batches and standard drugs demands one key attribute: operational flexibility. In an aseptic process, it helps to reduce time-to-market, adapting production without reinitiating the entire process.

Interview with Michele Arduini, IMA Life Managing Director

Michele holds a mechanical engineer’s degree from Milan’s Mip Politecnico. He is currently Managing Director at IMA Life. He joined the IMA Group in 2009 as sales & marketing director of IMA Life aseptic processing & freeze drying solutions, with the company’s acquisition of former boc Edwards freeze drying business where he was employed as Sales Manager for Europe & Asia and had been global Service Manager since 2005. Before joining Edwards he was first employed in an engineering company in Italy as Project Manager. He then joined Pfizer as Project Manager and after some time was appointed as the person in charge of process engineering at the Milan plant.

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