"To be an effective and competitive supplier, it is key to have a comprehensive portfolio and a strong innovation drive."
Can you introduce Bormioli Pharma and describe its core capabilities and product range?
Bormioli Pharma is a major Italian player in the global pharmaceutical supply chain, producing more than 7 billion pieces of containers, accessories, and closures that address different drug applications. These are delivered to over 100 countries. We have 10 industrial plants located in Italy, France and Germany, as well as commercial branches in the US and China. In 2020, Bormioli Pharma had a total turnover of approximately €260 million. Bormioli Pharma’s expertise stretches across 10 production technologies, and we place significant importance on innovation and sustainability, partnering with our customers to develop new products and solutions. Our clients range from big pharma companies such as GSK, Merck or Roche, to CDMOs and local distributors. Over 60% of our business is international.
Our motto, “Small Part, Big Impact,” reflects that we are a small but essential part of the pharma value chain by making possible the safe and easy delivery of drugs to end-users. We see our role going beyond a commodity manufacturer to that of an innovator and key partner to the industry.
What has been Bormioli Pharma’s role in the fight against the pandemic?
On one hand, we are producing numerous containers for therapies used to treat people with symptoms of Covid-19. On the other hand, we are supporting vaccination efforts, providing containers and closures for different vaccines including Pfizer, BioNTech, and Sputnik. We are also in close co-operation with Curevac.
Can you walk us through some of Bormioli Pharma’s innovation efforts?
Bormioli Pharma’s innovation efforts are structured across four main pillars. The first one is usability, through which we ensure our packages are easily handled by different people, including the elderly or people with disabilities.
The second innovation pillar is traceability. More people are buying drugs online since the pandemic. Bormioli Pharma plays a role in ensuring that the product delivered to the consumer comes from the original manufacturer. We can distinguish genuine products from counterfeits by including unique elements in the packaging.
Thirdly, we are focusing on connectivity. Internet of Things (IoT) is becoming an important part of the packaging for pharmaceutical applications. In the future, it may also allow us to track the consumer’s adherence to the prescription.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we are focusing on sustainability. Half of our annual 7 billion pieces are made of glass and the other half of plastic. Over the past 15 years, we have been studying alternative polymers or recycling options to create circularity for our products. We are ready to offer bioplastics and compostable plastic for the dosing system, as well as different types of mechanically or chemically recycled plastics.
What is Bormioli Pharma’s expansion strategy?
To be an effective and competitive supplier, it is key to have a comprehensive portfolio and a strong innovation drive. Our acquisitions follow these two objectives: First of all, we are completing our project portfolio by acquiring companies such as GCL, through which we added injectable vials to our portfolio. Secondly, our acquisitions strategy is motivated by geographical expansion. The acquisition of Remy & Geiser, a specialist in dosing systems, allowed us to strengthen our presence in German-speaking countries and northern Europe, as well as extending our offer of dosing systems. Most recently, we completed the acquisition of Iso GmbH, a specialist in vial production – a very sought-after market, especially for injectables.
What opportunities do you see in the healthcare packaging sector?
The packaging market has experienced annual growth of 4% for the last five years. Italy is the sixth-largest market for packaging in the world, and the third in Europe. As a result of the pandemic, Italy is seeing commensurate investment coming especially from the European Union, with strong recommendations for healthcare investments more generally. I expect significant cash flows coming to the country, both from domestic and foreign companies, to support production capabilities.
What are Bormioli Pharma’s objectives and priorities in the next 2-3 years?
Our aim is to maintain our growth and to check M&A opportunities to improve our product portfolio, our service level to customers, and our geographical footprint. We also intend to increase investments in innovation and become a reference player for the whole pharma industry, developing innovative solutions for packaging and delivery systems. We are also advocating to our partners the importance of sustainable packaging solutions. Finally, we want to keep up with digital innovations and incorporate digitalization in our packaging solutions wherever possible.