March 15, 2019
Tyrolean Startup Achieves Breakthrough in the Biopharmaceutical IndustryReading time: 3 minutes
The young startup from the Tyrolean Alps will present one of its technologies at the Interphex in New York. In the past years, “Single Use Support” was busy developing an entire logistics process for the shipping of biopharmaceutical liquid goods.
Company founder Johannes Kirchmair will discuss their innovative solutions and products at Interphex, the leading fair for pharmaceutical and biotech professionals, in New York City from April 2nd to 4th. The aim is to not only improve patient safety but to also optimize the efficiency in the biopharma industry – Single-use Technology.
With their company, Johannes Kirchmair and Thomas Wurm are focusing on the optimization of single use storage and shipping containers for biopharmaceutical substances.
In contrast to the pharmaceutical industry, biopharma uses living substances in order to develop new medical compounds and therapies. Consequently, handling is not only more sensitive but also more expensive. In recent years, single use systems have increasingly become the solution of choice as they make it easier to keep substances sterile than multiple use containers.
Nonetheless, such single use systems are prone to being damaged, resulting in the contamination of the content. As a consequence, valuable goods have to be destroyed. “Not only do contaminated products pose a risk for patients; they also result in damages amounting to millions of dollars every year. With our inventions, we want to counteract,” says Kirchmair. This approach also translates in the company name “Single Use Support”.
For just over three years now, “Single Use Support” has been developing solutions for safe and protected storage and shipping of biopharma substances. In October 2018, the company has been awarded the Tyrolean Innovation Award in the “Technical Innovation – Products and Processes” category.
And neither has the company gone unnoticed on the international scene: “We are in communication with renowned biopharma companies from around the globe,” says Kirchmair.
Apart from a protective sleeve specifically designed for single use bags, the young entrepreneurs have developed a whole range of other products for the safe handling of single use systems. With the development of a mobile testing device, Kirchmair and Wurm aim to improve patient safety and at the same time increase profitability. The device can detect the tiniest holes and damages in single use bags that, if unnoticed, will affect the bags’ sterility. “Bacteria and viruses can infiltrate holes as little as two micrometers. Before we launched our testing device there was no technology available to detect damages of that size,” explains the CEO.
Single Use Support’s inventions can save lives
In February of this year, doctors in England succeeded in curing an 11-year old suffering from leukemia. The applied CAR-T cell therapy was their last resort. Such a therapy requires the patient’s own blood cells, which will then be manipulated in order to attack and actively combat the tumor cells.
Currently, this new kind of therapy can be used for five types of severe illness; however, approximately 300 more CAR-T therapies are currently being developed, 110 of which are meant to cure various tumor diseases.
In order for the therapy to be successful it is crucial that the substances reach the patient unharmed and ready to use. At the moment, this is true for 99 out of 100 cases. The remaining one case may result in the loss of a life but also in financial losses.
The systems developed by Single Use Support may be able to prevent such losses. The solution is there – now all the pharmaceutical industry has to do is implement it.