PDA Letter Article

Parenteral Packaging 2022: A Q&A with the Conference Chairs

by PDA Europe

[Editor’s Note: The following is an interview conducted by PDA Europe staff with the Chairs of the 2022 PDA Parenteral Packaging Conference Planning Committee: Roman Mathaes, PhD, Lonza, and Bettine Boltres, PhD, West Pharmaceuticals.]

What makes this conference so special?

A lot has happened in the pharmaceutical packaging world, and not all because of COVID-19 and its consequences. New technologies and materials are arising, and known challenges are being addressed with new techniques.

Basel as a location is one of the strong European pharma hubs, home to the headquarters of Roche and Novartis, as well as a strong flourishing biotech start-up ecosystem. The PDA Parenteral Packaging Conference has traditionally seen a strong mix of representatives from large pharmaceutical companies, packaging component vendors and manufacturing equipment experts. This complementary blend of participants enables a well-rounded conference agenda with top speakers and interactive discussions across the complete pharmaceutical-packaging value chain.

And, best of all, we can get together in person again! Participants come from all over the world and all involved parties— pharma companies large and small, component suppliers, systems suppliers, filling-line vendors, analytical service providers, global regulators and start-ups, just to name a few.

What topics can we get excited about discussing?

Packaging development for parenteral preparations cannot be discussed as an isolated activity. Instead, a holistic and integrated approach considering the relevant development interfaces is inevitable. Drug-container interactions is a topic that always provokes new studies and discoveries, for example, focusing on drug adsorption onto the surfaces of primary container components or the impact of siliconization on prefilled-syringe functionality. This year’s conference has a specific focus on innovation, with dedicated track sessions on advanced packaging solutions and traceability. In light of the current global situation, cold storage received unexpectedly strong attention, so it will also have its place in this conference. As the regulatory landscape is also evolving constantly, we will continue to place a focus on updates on regulatory changes. Finally, we will introduce sustainability along the pharmaceutical packaging and filling value chain as a new standing agenda topic.

Being there in person again, what can we look forward to?

After this extensive time of isolation, we think the biggest thing to look forward to will be the live exchange! To foster fruitful discussions, we have increased the breaks between the presentations to increase the amount of time participants can spend either catching up with old friends you haven’t seen for a long time or joining us on one of the guided tours through our poster area and the exhibition hall. As a historical and well-known practice, we will again have a hilarious evening event where you can continue your networking activities, collecting pictures, memories, and stories!

PDA and the whole planning committee welcomes you to join us at the 2022 PDA Parenteral Packaging Conference to be held 2-3 June in Basel. We are very much looking forward to meeting you in one of the social events and the combined lunch breaks!

About the Author

Roman MathaesRoman Mathaes, PhD, is Head of Pharmaceutical Services at Lonza Drug Product Services. In this role, he is responsible for primary packaging development and testing as well as device testing, tox and technical batch drug product manufacturing and the Lonza DPS lab automation group. Previously, Roman worked within the Roche/Genetech network in Basel/San Francisco supporting process development of the commercial manufacturing vial capping process. A pharmacist by training, Roman holds a PhD in pharmaceutical technology and is an adjunct member of the Pharmaceutical Department at the University of Basel. He has authored 30 research papers in the field of biotech drug product development.

Bettine BoltresAs Principal of Scientific Affairs at West Pharmaceutical Services Deutschland GmbH & Co KG, Bettine Boltres, PhD, supports the scientific exchange between West and the pharmaceutical industry. Bettine has 10 years of experience in the primary packaging industry. As Technical Account Manager–Europe for West, she supported pharmaceutical companies in assessing the scientific challenges of elastomers as primary packaging components. This complemented her seven years as Product Manager for Schott Pharmaceutical Tubing, where she provided scientific consulting for glass primary packaging.