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Small lots: How Sharp meets their challenge with Dividella NeoTOP

Sharp relies on toploading packaging solutions from Körber to meet their clients evolving needs for small lot packaging of specialized and personalized drugs. The global leader in contract pharmaceutical packaging invests in two Dividella NeoTOP x machines for their facilities in the United States and in Belgium: more information about Sharp invests.

Specialized and personalized drugs are among the fastest growing segments in the pharmaceutical market. A significant growth in therapies targeting rare and orphan diseases has resulted in an increase in high-value, lower-volume drug products, which require more flexible, automated packaging processes. Sharp, a global leader in contract packaging and clinical supply services, has been quick to respond to this trend in support of their clients across the biotech industry. Their sustained demand for small lot packaging capacities expanded Sharp’s focus on long-running, high-volume packaging processes to include efficient, flexible, and highly automated packaging of smaller batches combined with multi-component kitting. The company, which is part of UDG Healthcare plc, has lately announced a further investment of $10M in equipment capabilities to directly support client demand in the biologics and injectables market. Part of this investment are two Dividella NeoTOP x toploading machines from Körber’s Business Area Pharma.

Small lot sizes of less than 2,500 units can be rapidly launched.

Modularity and automation to meet clients’ increasingly complex packaging requirements

The modular concept of the toploading cartons from Dividella Solutions and their high level of automation allow for a flexible, safe and efficient packaging of small batch sizes. In addition to vials, syringes and pens/auto-injectors, the machines can package multi-component kits with various ancillary components such as needles, leaflets, infusion tubing/support components and patient education items. The configuration of both machines includes fully automated carton erecting with partition, kitting of leaflet(s) bundle loading, version control, camera verifications and more. Sharp has also selected the option to manually load components in the kit which enables them to handle a wide variety of components, thus, meeting the most complex packaging requirements of their clients.

Accelerated time to market for smaller launch volumes with no compromise on quality and safety

For Sharp clients launching orphan and rare disease treatments, speed-to-market is a particular focus. Quick changeovers of less than 30 minutes between batches allows Sharp to offer the flexible secondary packaging process needed to achieve this goal. Small lot sizes of less than 2,500 units can thus be rapidly launched without compromising on quality or safety. The addition of this capacity in the U.S.A and Europe will position Sharp to respond to the rising market demand for secondary packaging of vials, pen devices, syringes and multi-component kits as well as medical devices and blisters. With up to 45 packs per minute, the toploading cartoners give Sharp the agility to scale up to run large biotech product batches of 5,000 units per lot and more, as well as the flexibility to deliver large, standardized packaging runs for vaccines.

Mono-material toploading by Dividella Solutions for a sustainable, quality compliant packaging process

“In addition to the technologically mature solution, Körber’s sustainable approach of their toploading solutions was crucial to our investment decision,” says Jeff Benedict, Chief Commercial Officer at Sharp.

lKörber’s carton solutions make an important contribution to our sustainable packaging initiatives at Sharp.r

Jeff Benedict, Chief Commercial Officer, Sharp

The Dividella NeoTOP x cartoners rely on a full cardboard design, using 100% mono-materials. This helps to significantly reduce the use of plastic blisters in the secondary packaging. Benedict underlines, “Körber’s carton solutions make an important contribution to our sustainable packaging initiatives at Sharp.”

In addition, the compact external dimensions of the toploading cartons ensure cost savings in the downstream logistics chain. Cost-intensive cold chain transport plays an important role for sensitive biotech products and vaccines and the compact package design can also ensure that on-site storage in hospitals, medical practices and pharmacies are optimized.

lOur flexible, scalable toploading solution will support Sharp in positioning themselves as a strategic partner to their clients throughout the entire product life cycle.r

Peter Grassl, EVP Sales & Marketing Topload Packaging Lines, Körber Business Area Pharma

Manual product insertion modules for flexible feeding. Best combination of maximum format flexibility and small lot sizes, designed for applications where flexibility for small lots or clinical trials are required.

Scalable, flexible solutions made for the entire product life cycle

Sharp was looking for a solution to serve the growing demands of their existing clients for high-volume, high-cost specialty medications as well as the needs of virtual biotech clients targeting rapid launches of smaller batches. Peter Grassl, EVP Sales & Marketing Topload Packaging Lines at the Körber Business Area Pharma is convinced, “Our investment in high-end technology solutions proves our commitment to remain focused on supporting our client’s evolving needs,” states Jeff Benedict, Chief Commercial Officer at Sharp. “Körber’s flexible toploading solutions, their decades of experience in pharmaceutical packaging and their deep understanding of the process and regulation challenges we face have convinced us that they can make a significant contribution to achieving this goal.“

Any questions?

Go to Sharp Q&A for more answers or get directly in contact with us. 

Sharp Dividella Q&A

Körber – delivering the difference in pharma

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Small lots: How Sharp meets their challenge with Dividella NeoTOP x

Download the story and see how our solution enables flexible and efficient production of small lots



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