LTR: Single Use Support founders Johannes Kirchmair and Thomas Wurm. ©die Fotografen
As has been the case since 1993, the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce recently awarded outstandingly innovative Tyrolean enterprises with the 2018 Tyrolean Innovation Price. On October 8th, Single Use Support was awarded first place in the “Technical Innovation” category based on the following report by the Tyrolean Chamber of Commerce:
Biomedical liquids are an important component of modern medication. However, shipping them is a critical task. Tiniest damages in the shipping bags can cause substance losses that amount to millions of Euros. The Kufstein-based start-up “Single Use Support” has now come up with a remedy. Their innovation has been awarded first place in the “Technical Innovation – Products and Processes” category of the Tyrolean Innovation Price 2018.
Scientists come up with ever more effective medication for the treatment of severe illnesses. Today, being diagnosed with cancer, Parkinson’s disease or Alzheimer’s does not necessarily imply a terminal illness or the inevitable end to an autonomous life. Often, the production of such medication requires liquid components that are being shipped frozen. In the past years, so-called single use systems, manufactured from high quality plastics, have become an industry standard for the shipping of liquid drug substances.
Damages in the bags’ outer skin can lead to contamination of the valuable liquid contents. Once a bag’s integrity has been compromised, not only the bag but also its contents have to be destroyed. This not only leads to economic losses amounting to the millions but also endangers patients’ lives.
The two Single Use Support GmbH founders, Johannes Kirchmair and Thomas Wurm, have positioned their company in line with the needs and requirements of single use technology. With their mobile testing device, it is their aim to increase patient safety as well as profitability in terms of the filling process and use of biomedical liquids. Their Mobile Integrity Testing System (MITS.2D) automatically detects punctures in the bags up to a size as small as two micrometers. A micrometer equals the thousandth of a millimeter.
The bags are placed in the device and by being filled with helium they are tested regarding their integrity. “The sterility of such bags is a main issue. Bacteria and viruses can get in through punctures as small as two micrometers. Up until we came up with our development there was not a single technology worldwide that could detect punctures that small. Until now, all tests have been using air, which only allows to detect punctures of a size no smaller than 30 micrometers”, says Single Use Support GmbH CEO Johannes Kirchmair.
Amongst other components, a flexible vacuum chamber has been developed for the mobile testing system. It encloses the bag without damaging it. Thanks to its small size, the MITS.2D device can be used on site during the filling of the bags. Up to now, other systems could only be used stationary due to their size, which made on-site tests impossible; furthermore, the hard vacuum shell exposed the bags to additional stress.
MITS.2D is not the company’s only innovation that they came up with in the past three years, as explains Thomas Wurm: “We started a first process step – the on-site sterility test. In the meantime we have built our own filling facility, invented a technology to protect the frozen bags, and are currently busy developing a freeze and thaw technology platform. We are optimizing a process and will then address the next one and come up with our own solutions.”
Find further information at www.susupport.com