AlmacAlmac Group, the global contract development and manufacturing organization, is pleased to announce that it has expanded its MHRA/FDA-approved UK commercial packaging facility with the acquisition of a stick sachet packaging line from Merz.

The acquisition comes in response to growing demand for the specialist packaging solutions for paediatric drug products, specifically powders, minitabs or granules into stickpack sachets.  This investment was made in partnership with a long-term commercial US client who having worked with Almac since 2010, now sought an integrated commercial manufacturing and packaging solution for the EU supply of their new paediatric formulation drug product.

In line with EU Paediatric Regulations (EC1901/2006 and EC1902/2006), the US client implemented its Paediatric Investigation Plan (PIP) and developed and launched an age appropriate formulation to meet infant patient needs — with Almac manufacturing the paediatric granules, primary packing into stickpack sachets and then into wallet cards.

To facilitate the packaging of paediatric dosage forms, investment was made in Merz Stickpack technology.  The SBL-50 stickpack technology is a fully automated forming, filling and sealing machine capable of filling 80 stickpacks/minute.  This flexible technology not only meets the stickpack presentation needs of Almac’s current clients but has capacity to process new paediatric drug products (powders, granules and minitabs) that require this specialist packaging.

David Downey, VP Commercial Operations at Almac, commented: “Almac continues to expand our commercial packaging capabilities and the addition of this stickpack solution strengthens Almac’s position in providing flexible services to meet various market needs from small volume orphan drug products to large scale marketed products in both adult and paediatric forms.”

Holger Merz, General Manager at Merz, said: “The innovative and committed team at Almac set up a compact, highly flexible packaging solution for micro tablets and powders in stickpacks to service the growing demand for this user-friendly dosage form. Advanced primary packaging forms like stickpacks offer highest flexibility for diversification of pharmaceutical products.”