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FLU VACCINES RESULT FROM GLOBAL COLLABORATION: A COVID-19 VACCINE WILL TOO

vaccine

FLU VACCINES RESULT FROM GLOBAL COLLABORATION: A COVID-19 VACCINE WILL TOO

A COVID-19 vaccine will follow flu footsteps

The global coronavirus outbreak has upended the lives of billions around the world. As anxiety levels remain high and the economy is in free-fall, it remains unclear how we will return to “normal life” in the short term.

In the long term, vaccine development is our best bet for a future free of COVID-19. Several companies around the world have already launched vaccine discovery with unprecedented speed. Some were able to begin small clinical trials as soon as mid-March, though expectations should be calibrated as the clinical trials process to test safety and immune response is a lengthy one.

The race to a coronavirus vaccine is emblematic of the balance between competition and collaboration, both routine and natural for the global health community. After all, experts around the world collaborate each year to develop, produce and deliver the influenza vaccine, also known as the flu vaccine, to billions of people. They have been working together this way for decades.

The first flu vaccine

According to an article published in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Hygiene, the earliest confirmed flu pandemic on record first appeared in 1580 in Asia and Russia. It spread from there to Europe and northwest Africa.

Yet it wasn’t until the 1940s when the University of Michigan researchers developed the first inactivated flu vaccine using fertilized chicken eggs, still the primary method for making commercial vaccines today.

Phases in Drug Development TradeVistas

Tracking global strains for drug development

The flu virus changes annually, making it unpredictable. Developing an annual vaccine is the product of a globally-educated guess.

Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) established a surveillance system in 1952 to monitor the emergence of different strains of influenza that have the potential to become a pandemic. The Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) comprises an international network of national laboratories in more than 100 countries. These labs conduct surveillance and share information (including representative viruses) with five WHO centers located in the United States, UK, Australia, Japan and China.

Twice a year, in preparation for the flu season in the northern and southern hemispheres, the GISRS centers convene with representatives from public health bodies, leading research institutions and private sector experts to evaluate and recommend strains to include in the seasonal vaccine. Ultimately, each country decides for itself which viruses will be included in the flu vaccine they license that year.

A network for pandemic preparedness

The WHO also maintains a Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework, known as PIP, which includes member governments, vaccine manufacturers, and other stakeholders.

The PIP Framework governs the sharing of virus strains and PIP-related biological materials across organizations and borders, which is critical for determining which virus strains manufacturers should target in the seasonal vaccine. The Framework also coordinates access by the world’s most vulnerable populations to vaccines and treatments and manages agreements on intellectual property and licensing of the vaccine.

PIP’s industry partners receive access to the virus strains they need to make the vaccine. In exchange, they agree to provide benefits to the WHO and to developing countries in the form of vaccine donations, royalty-free licensing to manufacturers in low-income markets to make the vaccine, or a guarantee of a specified quantity of vaccine supply at lower prices, among other arrangements.

Flu Surveillance System

Vaccine production and distribution

Once the most dangerous virus strains for the upcoming seasonal flu have been selected, manufacturers turn to producing the vaccine. According to Sanofi Pasteur, the top global producer of the seasonal influenza shot, it takes between 6 and 36 months to manufacture, package and deliver high-quality vaccines to those who need them.

The viruses are first grown in a lab setting, after which the antigens are extracted from the viruses and purified to eliminate any raw material traces. Next, the virus goes through an in-activation process that retains the properties that will elicit an immune response in the body. Next, the active substances are combined into a single chemical component. These chemical components can be combined with others to form a single shot, like the MMR vaccine that includes compounds inoculating against measles, mumps and rubella. The vaccines are then filled into a vial or syringe, packaged and shipped all around the world.

Vaccine makers have to produce several different vaccines to meet the strain selection of each country. For example: CSL, another leading influenza vaccine maker, produced seven different influenza vaccines for the last flu season.

Moon shot against any flu virus

The laborious process of monitoring, surveilling, selecting, and then inoculating against specific flu virus strains, still leaves the possibility that an unexpected strain will emerge and result in a pandemic. Some seasonal flu vaccines are not an effective match against the strain that emerges. These lingering uncertainties have motivated the public health community to work towards making a universal flu vaccine – one that could provide long-lasting protection for multiple strains of influenza in one shot.

The potential for such a shot has captured the imagination of world leaders and influencers, including Bill Gates who committed millions in grants to this research. President Trump signed an Executive Order on September 19, 2019 that directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to promote new vaccine manufacturing technologies and advance the development of vaccines that provide longer-lasting coverage against a broad range of flu viruses.

Researchers have seen some success. One example: early trials focused on proteins in the flu virus that remain stable and activate an immune response to stop and destroy the infection. While we are still years away from having access to such a vaccine, there is some momentum building behind this approach.

The here and now vaccine

We don’t know how soon we could have a vaccine against COVID-19. But we do know that COVID-19 vaccine development is benefiting from years of global collaboration on seasonal flu vaccine pandemic preparedness. This includes sharing biological resources, disseminating data and research, and coordinating manufacturing rights and distribution.

Is it a perfect system? No – but doctors, scientists, labs, drug companies and national health institutions have experience in what it takes to bring the world’s knowledge to bear in a well-coordinated framework, which could speed up the discovery of a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Ayelet Haran is a contributor to TradeVistas. She is a government affairs and policy executive in the life sciences industry. She holds a Master’s of Public Administration degree in International Economic Policy from Columbia University.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

supplies

FREE TRADE IN MEDICINES AND SUPPLIES IS THE HEALTHIEST APPROACH

What Does Trade Have to Do with the Pandemic?

pandemic is a type of epidemic, wherein an outbreak of a disease not only affects a high proportion of the population at the same time, but also spreads quickly over a wide geographic area.

As the novel coronavirus jumped continents, governments in countries yet unaffected or with low incidence rates moved to prevent “importing” the virus through individual travel. Simultaneously, governments acted to create diagnostic kits and treatments for those with the virus – all praise our frontline healthcare workers.

Unfortunately, what could worsen the situation is a policy practice that seems to be infectious. More than 20 governments are banning the export of needed supplies, a prescription for shortages and higher prices. What the crisis also lays bare is that key countries and many important healthcare products remain outside a WTO agreement that would otherwise enable duty-free trade in the medicines and supplies we need on a regular basis.

Pandemic Proportions

In the history of pandemics, there has been none more deadly than the infamous Bubonic Plague which took 200 million lives in the mid-14th century, wiping out half the population on the European Continent. The pathogen spread through infected fleas carried by rodents, frequent travelers on trading ships. The practice of quarantine began in the seaport of Venice, which required any ships arriving from infected ports to sit at anchor for 40 days — quaranta giorni — before landing. Two centuries later, Small Pox took 56 million lives. In the modern era, some 40 to 50 million succumbed to the Spanish Flu of 1918 and HIV/AIDS has claimed 25-35 million lives since 1981.

For perspective, and not to minimize its severe toll, the number of fatalities from novel coronavirus will likely exceed 10,000 by the time of this writing. COVID-19, as it is currently known, is a reminder that we live with the ongoing threat from many types of both known infectious diseases like cholera, Zika and Avian flu, as well as diseases yet unknown to us. Although we can more rapidly detect, contain and treat epidemics, diseases now travel at the speed of a person on board an international flight. Our cities are bigger and denser, further enabling rapid transmission.

Pandemic Prepping Includes Trade

Because we are interconnected, we share the health risks, but we can also problem-solve as a global community. Scientists in international labs share insights to identify viruses, swap guidance on how to conduct confirmatory tests, and quickly communicate best practices for containment.

Outside times of crisis, global trade in health-related products and services has laid the foundation for faster medical breakthroughs through international research and development projects, and by diversifying the capability to produce medical supplies, devices, diagnostics and pharmaceuticals.

Innovation thrives in the United States like nowhere else. Yet, no single country, not even the United States, can discover, produce and distribute diagnostics, vaccines and cures for everything that ails us — or invent every medical intervention that improves the productivity and quality of our lives.

One Quarter of medicines have tariffs

A Dose of Foresight

As the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations were drawing to a close in 1994, a group of countries representing (at the time) 90 percent of total pharmaceutical production came to an agreement. Each government would eliminate customs duties on pharmaceutical products and avoid trade-restrictive or trade-distorting measures that would otherwise frustrate the objective of duty-free trade in medicines.

The WTO’s Pharmaceutical Tariff Elimination Agreement, which entered into force on January 1, 1995, is known as a “zero-for-zero initiative” to eliminate duties reciprocally in a particular industrial sector. Signed onto over subsequent years by the United States, Europe’s 28 member states, Japan, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Australia and handful of others, the agreement initially covered approximately 7,000 items that included formulated or dosed medicines, medicines traded in bulk, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and other chemical intermediaries in finished pharmaceuticals.

Signatories agreed to expand the list in 1996, 1998, 2006 and 2010 so it now covers more than 10,000 products. Tariffs were eliminated on a most-favored-nation basis, meaning it was extended to imports from all WTO members, not just parties to the agreement.

Maintenance Drugs

Though an important start, the agreement has not been updated in a decade. Trade in products covered by the WTO agreement has risen from $1.3 trillion in 2009 to $1.9 trillion in 2018. Yet, some 1,000 finished products and 700 ingredients are not covered under the agreement, leaving pharmaceutical trade subject to hundreds of millions in customs duties. With China and India increasing manufacturing over the last decade, the value of global trade included in duty-free treatment decreased from 90 percent in 1995 to 81 percent in 2009 to 78 percent in 2018.

It is challenging to chart trade statistics and tariffs on health-related products, particularly since many chemical ingredients have both medical and non-medical uses. Here we have attempted to reproduce tables developed by the WTO in 2010, but we do not include a large number of chemicals that have general use whose tariff lines were not enumerated in the WTO’s analysis.

Health Product Import Shares

In 2010, the European Union and the United States together accounted for almost half of all world imports of health-related products. Europe has become a much larger importer while U.S. imports have decreased slightly as a percentage of global imports. Imports by many big emerging markets including Brazil, Mexico, China, India and Turkey, have increased along with their purchasing power. These countries benefit from zero duties when importing from countries that signed on to the WTO Pharmaceutical Trade Agreement.

Health Product Export Shares

On the export side, Europe dramatically increased its share of global exports while the United States dropped across the board compared to 2010, particularly in medical products and supplies. China shows significant growth in exports of inputs specific to the pharmaceutical industry – including antibiotics, hormones and vitamins – as well as medical equipment including diagnostic reagents, gloves, syringes and medical devices. India also increased its exports of all types of pharmaceuticals, particularly ingredients, but did not drive up its share across all types of exported health-related products. China and India would benefit from zero duties without having to reciprocate for exports from countries that signed on to the WTO agreement.

That said, according to the trade data, China and India still only account for 5.4 percent of global exports in health-related products covered by the agreement. Therefore, simply expanding membership to include these countries is not sufficient to enlarge duty-free trade – the number of tariff lines covered by the agreement would also need to expand to capture a significant portion of traded healthcare products.

Emerging Market Pharm Trade

Tariffs as a Symptom

The final price of a pharmaceutical is determined by many factors that differ by country. Costs and markups occur along the distribution chain from port charges to warehousing, to local government taxes, distribution charges, and hospital or retailer markups. Tariffs may seem a relatively small component of the final price, but the effect is compounded as all of these “internal” costs accumulate and they are symptomatic of complex regulatory systems.

A 2017 study by the European Centre for International Political Economy determined that tariffs on final prices add an annual burden of up to $6.2 billion in China. In Brazil and India, tariffs on medicines may increase the final price by up to 80 percent of the ex-factory sales price. Imported pharmaceuticals are at a clear disadvantage and patients bear the burden in cost and diminished availability.

Side Effects

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. pharmaceutical industry historically shipped bulk APIs from foreign production sites to the United States before formulating into dosed products. After the WTO agreement, it became viable to import more finished products duty-free. Over the years, a failure to add more APIs to the duty-free list reinforced this trend. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also allows firms to import formulated products prior to receiving marketing approval to prepare for a new product launch but does not allow bulk API importation before market approval.

The urgency to accrue adequate supplies and treatments for COVID-19 has reignited a debate on U.S. over-reliance on China and India for antibiotics, among other medicines. What if factories must close? What if China and India withhold supplies? If raw materials and ingredients are derived in those countries, would the United States be able to ramp up domestic production? The White House is considering incentives and Buy America government procurement requirements to stimulate demand for U.S. production and in the meanwhile has temporarily reduced tariffs on medical supplies such as disposable gloves, face masks and other common hospital items from China.

20 Countries Ban Medical Exports

A Cure Worse Than the Disease

Removing barriers to trade in essential products is a healthier approach than imposing restrictions that could exacerbate potential shortages.

Nonetheless, some 20 countries have announced a ban on the export of medical gear – masks, gloves, and protective suits worn by medical professionals. They include Germany, France, Turkey, Russia, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Thailand and Kazakhstan.

Governments generally do maintain national stocks of critical items to enable manufacturers to ramp up production in cases of health emergencies or address unexpected gaps in their supply chains. But when major producers withhold global supply, importing countries face shortages and higher prices. Dangerously, India’s trade restrictions go beyond medical gear to restrict export of 26 pharmaceutical ingredients. India, however, relies heavily on APIs imported from China for their medicines, much of it originating from factories in Hubei province where the outbreak emerged.

Bans tend to beget more bans, potentially wreaking havoc on pharmaceutical and medical product supply chains, making it more difficult for healthcare workers to stem spread of the virus. Poorer countries with already fragile and underfunded healthcare systems are left in an even more vulnerable position.

A Test for Public-Private Collaboration

Instead of export restrictions, governments can expedite purchase orders and otherwise support industry efforts to ramp up production for domestic and global use. Most global manufacturers are operating at several times their usual capacity since the initial outbreak in China. Private labs are utilizing high-throughput platforms to conduct more tests faster but require trade in the chemical reagents needed to start up and run the tests.

Biopharmaceutical firms are applying their scientific expertise to accelerate the development of a vaccine and treatments for COVID-19. They are reviewing their research portfolios, investigating previously approved medicines that have potential to treat the virus, and donating approved investigational medicines to the global research effort. Internationally, scientists are collaborating through a Norway-based nonprofit called the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations on COVID-19 vaccine development. They know that the more options, the better – most drug candidates will not get through all three phases of clinical trials.

Recovery

Epidemic diseases evolve and they do not respect borders. Treating them, as well as the myriad chronic diseases and other ailments that affect us more routinely, requires new and adapted medical technologies arising from innovation made widely available through trade.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with providing incentives to encourage domestic production, it should not come at the expense of free trade in health-related products. Tariffs should be eliminated on life-saving medicines and their ingredients. Governments must impose restrictions on exports temporarily and only when absolutely necessary. In this way, openness in trade will help promote the recovery of both our health and our economies.

Many thanks to economist and contributor Alice Calder for running all the trade numbers in this article. Full data tables may be accessed here.

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Andrea Durkin is the Editor-in-Chief of TradeVistas and Founder of Sparkplug, LLC. Ms. Durkin previously served as a U.S. Government trade negotiator and has proudly taught international trade policy and negotiations for the last fifteen years as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University’s Master of Science in Foreign Service program.

Alice Calder

Alice Calder received her MA in Applied Economics at GMU. Originally from the UK, where she received her BA in Philosophy and Political Economy from the University of Exeter, living and working internationally sparked her interest in trade issues as well as the intersection of economics and culture.

This article originally appeared on TradeVistas.org. Republished with permission.

Pharmaceutical

Global Air Cargo Trends Re-Shaping Pharmaceutical Transport

As we welcome the new decade and the exciting advances it is expected to unleash, many of the forces that shaped the past decade for transporting pharmaceuticals will continue. Price pressures, alternatives to air freight and increasing automation are just a few. However, there are emerging trends that make 2020 unique.

As we look forward, these are the air cargo trends expected to shape the transport of pharmaceuticals in 2020 and beyond.

The Greta Thunberg Effect — Flying Shame

We can’t ignore the effect that climate change activist Greta Thunberg is having on air travel that runs on fossil fuels. Thunberg’s reliance on trains to travel from her home country of Sweden to other countries in Europe connected by rail has triggered a material effect on passenger numbers in Sweden. According to Bloomberg, Swedish air travel diminished in 2019 — while train travel jumped to a record level.1

What could this mean for shipping pharmaceuticals by air? As “extinction rebellion” shows no sign of slowing down, air freight carriers — like their passenger transporting counterparts — will feel more pressure to seek alternative fuel sources and replace older planes with more fuel-efficient models. To further address the Thunberg effect, carriers and their logistics partners will also need to elevate their brand image by demonstrating they are adopting eco-friendly practices such as reusable or waste-stream friendly shipping containers made from recyclable materials. Especially for shipping pharmaceuticals, these shipping containers must still maintain strict temperature control to ensure valuable payloads arrive intact.

Global Trade Pressures Drive Down Air Freight Demand

After years of wrangling over the details of Brexit, the UK is departing from the European Union (EU) — and entering a transition period through the end of 2020. The effects of Brexit and the fact that Germany only narrowly avoided an official recession at the end of the last decade have been driving down European air freight demand. Furthermore, US tariffs aimed at four counties in retaliation over subsidies to Airbus has hit Germany especially hard.

Meanwhile, the US-China trade war began to thaw with the signing of an initial trade deal. But trading data showed the climate would have to improve significantly to combat the year-on-year 8.1% decline in freight tonne kilometers experienced in 2019.2 Price is the crudest and quickest tool at air freight’s disposal to address diminishing demand. However, long-term price cutting is not sustainable and in the face of continued change, air freight companies will have no choice but to cut flights from their schedules and mothball aircraft — and cease to exercise purchasing options that did not factor in declining demand.

Diminished Air Freight Demand Means Reduced Capacity

Air freight remains the predominant mode of transportation for moving life-saving pharmaceuticals around the globe, especially for the most valuable and sensitive therapies that require strict temperature control. Sea transport, accounting for approximately 20% of pharmaceutical shipments3, made gains in recent years as an alternative transport mode for non-temperature sensitive products and the return of containers after payloads have reached their destination. However, for the foreseeable future, pharmaceutical companies will remain reliant on air freight for transportation of products that could succumb to temperature excursions.

Declining air freight and passenger demand combine to produce a double whammy for the pharmaceutical industry. As air freight capacity becomes an even more precious and dwindling resource, there are things that can be done to mitigate reduced capacity. For example, temperature-controlled packaging systems will need to step more into the foreground to reduce volumetric weight, providing higher performing insulation and phase change materials that can considerably improve volumetric efficiency.

However, packaging systems currently available to reduce volumetric weight are typically more expensive unless they are re-used, and re-use can’t always be achieved efficiently for both financial and environmental reasons. The pharmaceutical packaging industry will need to look more closely at the installed capabilities of aircraft to manage temperature, which could make lower-grade packaging materials more acceptable. The capabilities of the aircraft will also need to be matched to ground conditions and reliable sourcing can be difficult in less developed regions of the world.

 Pharmaceutical Packaging: No Longer Rickshaw Vs. Tank

When it comes to pharmaceutical packaging, one size does not fit all — nor should it. The days of choosing between a rickshaw or a tank are behind us. Pharmaceutical packaging manufacturers have broadened their product portfolios to enable the most efficient solutions to be selected, qualified and deployed on a lane-by-lane basis across truly global supply chains. Making the right selections and performing the necessary qualifications can be daunting compared to the old simplicity of “I’ll have a tank everywhere.” But this is the challenge we must face to deliver value and make responsible use of dwindling resources such as global air freight capacity.

The good news is that cold chain consultants have the tools and resources to streamline this new approach. Packaging products have been engineered and tested to incorporate operational consistency and simplicity that might otherwise make it too complex to deploy. Networks and services have also been developed and deployed to enable efficient and reliable outsourcing of operations.

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Dominic Hyde is the Vice President of Crēdo on Demand at Pelican BioThermal.

References:

1. As ‘Flying Shame’ Grips Sweden, SAS Ups Stakes in Climate Battle, Bloomberg, April 14, 2019.

2. Air Cargo Demand Continues Negative 2019 Trend, International Air Transport Association (IATA), May 29, 2019.

3. Will Ocean Freight Be the Dominant Mode of Transport for Pharma Payloads?, Pharma Logistics IQ, July 12, 2018

vaccines

Report: Global Vaccines Market

The U.S. vaccine market is anticipated to experience growth of 8.9% CAGR during the forecast timeframe. The high adoption rate of vaccines to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases along with several initiatives undertaken by government by increasing immunization rates and recommendations should stimulate business growth.

Japan’s vaccine market will grow significantly over the coming years to reach over USD 6.0 billion by 2025. Introduction of the routine vaccination program in October 2016 leading to the introduction of numerous important and routine vaccines having a higher rate of administration as compared to voluntary vaccines should drive the Japan vaccine market.

Increasing demand for preventive vaccines, the rising number of people suffering from infectious as well as non-infectious diseases globally will drive the vaccine market over the forecast timeframe. Increasing government funding for vaccine development will further boost industry growth.

Widespread routine vaccination programs and numerous initiatives undertaken by governments to encourage vaccine administration especially in developing and underdeveloped countries will positively impact industry growth. Growing awareness about reduced mortality due to immunization should propel vaccines industry growth over the forecast period.

High adoption of new vaccines coupled with technological advancements should stimulate business growth. Moreover, a strong product pipeline of leading companies such as Merck, Novavax, Emergent BioSolutions will lead to industry expansion over the coming years. However, high costs associated with transportation and storage of vaccines will limit the vaccines market growth to a certain extent over the foreseeable future.

Each time a nation is hit by an epidemic wave, children are one of the groups that take the deadliest hit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 or 2 of every 1,000 children who are diagnosed with measles die. During the nation’s recently witnessed measles outbreak, around 92 percent of children received a combination vaccine that prevents measles, rubella, and mumps. Immunization programs prevent and protect toddlers and infants from dangerous complications and failing to vaccinate may certainly put them at risk for fatal diseases. This has escalated the demand for vaccines for kids, which has subsequently influenced the growth curve of the vaccines market from the pediatric populace.

As per estimates, vaccines industry size from the pediatric age group is set to witness a CAGR of 9.1% over 2019-2025, given the high vulnerability of kids to infectious diseases along with the increasing implementation of pediatric immunization programs.

Driven by the ongoing pace of urbanization and the rising awareness regarding the potential dangers a pandemic can inculcate, the global vaccines industry is gaining increased attention. According to a new research report by Global Market Insights, Inc., the overall vaccines market size is anticipated to surpass $70 billion by 2025.

Some of the major market players involved in the global vaccines market are Merck, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Novartis, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Abbott, Sanofi Pasteur, GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Emergent BioSolutions, CSL, Astellas Pharma and Novavax. Firms are focusing on product launch to fortify their product base and market reach over the coming years.

Source: Global Market Insights, Inc.

Tanzania

Partnering to Help Children in Tanzania to Survive Cancer

A donation from leading temperature control packaging company Softbox Systems has enabled the charity International Health Partners (IHP) to deliver cold-chain oncology medicines, giving children in Tanzania the chance to recover from cancer.

The recent donation of a temperature control pallet shipper enabled IHP to send cytotoxic (chemotherapy) medicines to TLM, its aid partner in Dar es Salaam. These were used to treat Kanoni, a two-year-old patient, who is now free of cancer.

Last December, Kanoni was admitted to the hospital with a huge abdominal mass and severe pain. A CT scan and tests revealed that she had a kidney tumor. “When the lab investigated, it found her cancer was high-risk, and she needed medicine that could only be transported through cold-chain packaging,” explained Colleen Harrisson-Dodds, Logistics Director for IHP.

 

Previously, IHP and Softbox Systems have collaborated to send more than 2,000 treatments to Tanzania. Softbox donated its award-winning Silverpod pallet shipper, which enables the shipment of bulk consignments of goods, and can maintain product temperature stability for up to 120 hours.

Kanoni completed her treatment last month, and scans show the cancer has gone. “We’ve seen a remarkable improvement in her condition,” said Lilian Nydyetabula, the chief operating officer of TLM, which helped establish Tanzania’s first pediatric oncology service. “She gained weight and was able to move around and play with other children. Now, Kanoni is a totally different child from the one who arrived last December.”

Softbox Systems is a market leader that has won acclaim for its emphasis on high performance, sustainable and user-friendly packaging solutions. “It’s a pleasure to support IHP and rewarding to know that our packaging systems enabled the safe transportation of Kanoni’s life-saving treatment,” said Clive Bryant, Global Product and Marketing Director at Softbox Systems. “Our award-winning Silverpod range means that temperature-sensitive medicines arrive in perfect condition and ultimately save lives. We’re always looking for ways to enhance our products to facilitate the successful delivery of life-saving medicines all around the world.”

IHP is a leading coordinator of donated essential medicines, working with healthcare companies, logistics providers and aid agencies. Adele Paterson, CEO, said: “This is a wonderful example of the way we partner proactively. We’re delighted to work with Softbox Systems to enable the delivery of high-quality medicines to vulnerable people.”

cold chain

Benefits of Cold Chain Warehousing Solutions

Not many people are familiar with cold chain warehouse solutions. However, if you are in any type of business dealing with perishable items, this is right up your alley. Cold chain warehousing is used to store items that need to be left in cool surroundings and that have a short shelf life. By using them you can prevent your items from spoiling, being attacked by insects and rotting. So, the goal is clear. Life of certain items needs to be prolonged and one of the most effective ways to accomplish this is by using cold-chain warehousing, also known as cold storage or refrigerated warehousing.

Types of products that are in need of cold chain warehousing 

First, you need to know which items are suitable to be stored in such a place. Not all items respond well to cool temperatures. The last thing you want is investing in something that you do not need, like cold storage. For example, after transporting fruits and vegetables it would be a great solution to store them in cold storage space. Hence, if your business involves some of these products you are on the right path of finding the best possible solution for your business load.

Supermarkets and other stores have a tendency to use cold storage for a lot of their goods that are not in store for sale. 

3 main groups of goods 

-Foods that are considered to be alive – fruits and vegetables

-Processed foods that are considered to be no longer alive – fish, meat and any other products that contain the fish and meat

-Items that do not necessarily need be stored in a cool or freezing atmosphere, but remain the freshest and of highest quality while in it (tobacco, beer, some oils, some types of flour, etc.)

There are two main options 

One of the great things about cold storage units is that there are many different variations. But, there are two main types of systems. First comes the vapor absorption system (VAS), followed by vapor compression system (VCS). These two systems are not cardinally different from one another. Yet, there are some important differences that need to be acknowledged. The main one being the technique in which energy input is fed to the system. To be sure you are making the right choice when making this large purchase, we strongly advise you to speak to an expert. Sooner or later you will have to learn the difference between the two systems.

Main benefits of cold chain warehouse solutions 

Still, you might not be persuaded and convinced that this type of storage will improve your business. Nonetheless, after reading these benefits, it is very likely that the next thing you do will be exploring your options in purchasing a cold storage unit. Cold chain warehousing solutions in combination with transport technologies for air cargo can be one of the best solutions for storing and moving perishable goods.

Fruits and vegetables are items that are very difficult to store because they are very sensitive to temperature and even humidity. 

The array of usage doesn’t limit you 

One great thing about cold storage is that the temperature within the unit can be easily adjusted. That isn’t all. In addition to temperature, humidity can also be controlled. Humidity, just like temperature, can be a huge factor in saving the freshness and quality of the items. These two benefits, with an airtight closing mechanism, make this a great storage option.

Customize to fit your needs 

More modern units can be customized so the temperature range and size of the unit specifically fit your storage needs. For instance, if you do not need freezing conditions, but dry and cool, your needs can be accommodated. This is a perfect option for those that import oils and fats. As a cherry on top, your unit can be fixed or portable. There is an abundance of options. All you have to do is choose the bests options for your business requirements.

Great backup and organizing option

This can be best described in an example. For argument’s sake, let’s say you are a restaurant owner. One day, out of the blue, the power shuts down and there is no electricity in your restaurant. If you are a fan of cold chain warehousing solutions, you might survive the electricity outage without any loses. If all goods are quickly moved and expedited to the cold storage space, it is very likely they will not lose their value and end up as garbage.

In the long run, you are saving money 

The initial investment is not small, but it will certainly save you money in the long run. Surely you know how much goods you’ve tossed in the past years. Imagine preserving and using or selling at least half of what you tossed. That can add up financially. Minimize waste and give yourself an option to purchase items in bigger bulks for a significantly lower price.

Investing in cold storage might initially turn out to be a financial hit, but it will pay off in the long run. Alt text: suitcase filled with dollar bills and with other bills around it.

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Danny Segno is a New York native, but currently, she lives in Boynton Beach Florida. For the past two years, she has been working for Authority Moving Group, a professional moving company. Danny enjoys her job because she likes working with people and helping them. Since she is a customer care specialist, she focuses on customer satisfaction. 

 

cold chain

Cold Chain Logistics Survey Reveals Biopharma Trends

Global temperature-controlled packaging provider Peli BioThermal shared three key insights revealed in the latest survey conducted on opinion leaders within the biopharmaceutical industry. The company’s 2019 Biopharma Cold Chain Logistics Survey took a granular look at current trends, technologies, and operations among cold chain industry players and exactly how much these trends are impacting the supply chain.

Among the most surprising trends uncovered in the survey confirmed cold-chain excursions are more common than one might assume. A total of 41 percent of survey respondents reported having multiple temperature-controlled excursions exceeding four degrees. More than half of respondents confirmed shipping internationally, adding pressure to the increasing demand for transportation optionality and flexibility within climactic zones.

Additionally, increasing quality demands made the list. As cold chain logistics increase among shippers, risk increases as well. With close to half (44.6 percent) of companies revealing multiple excursions per year, temperature and location tracking is high on the list of concerns to ensure high volumes are handled accurately.

Source: Peli BioThermal

“As strong growth continues across the global pharmaceutical industry, the sub-category of temperature-controlled products is surging ahead — growing at twice the rate of the industry overall,” said David Williams, President of Peli BioThermal. “Our survey reveals what matters most to key biopharma leaders — and what it means for the future — as the industry deals with the rapid growth and complexity of temperature-controlled logistics.” 

Source: Peli BioThermal

Among the most common modes of transportation include air and ground with the option for sea and rail due to experience an increase among shippers, according to the survey.

Reusable containers garnered 79 percent respondent approval, adding that although pricier they are worth the investment and worth it over single-use containers. A total of 37.6 percent confirmed the implementation of reusable containers, with 25 percent currently vetting options.

The final piece of the results came from nearly 70 percent of respondents focusing on total cost of ownership (TCO) optimization as important. This consideration would primarily offset market pressures such as competition  and margin, but proactive measures in defining TCO have not gathered momentum just yet. Only 10 percent of respondents confirmed exploring basic packaging costs and rates. 

To read the full 2019 Biopharma Cold Chain Logistics Survey report, visit www.pelicanbiothermal.com/survey.

Softbox Steps Up Leadership for Increased Innovation

Temperature-controlled packaging provider, Softbox, announces a new approach to leadership in an effort to support increased innovation within the company’s solutions portfolio.

“At Softbox, we focus on developing the best possible innovation for products and services for our clients. Clive’s 36-years’ cold chain logistics experience and extensive knowledge of our clients’ challenges and needs will ensure the appropriate products and services are introduced into the market based on what customers tell us they really need and prioritize.”

Clive Bryant was announced this week as the company’s Global Product and Marketing Director, overseeing global and regional-specific product and service solutions while ensuring products are aligned with a customer focus.

Filling the newly created role of Director of Connected Digital Technologies is Richard Wood, responsible for working with IoT innovaters and
cold chain digital technology partners to develop innovative products with a focus of “big-data” value creation for its customer base.

“Richard’s new role will focus on bringing true digital innovation to our industry. With emerging new connected digital technologies, we will create real end-to-end cold chain visibility to enable our customers to manage their quality and risk more scientifically and efficiently.”

Cold Chain Packing and Peli Biothermal To Exhibit at Arab Health

Global leader in temperature controlled packaging, Peli Biothermal will join distributor partner, Cold Chain Packing in exhibiting shipper solutions at Arab Health in Dubai to support Middle Eastern expansion efforts. This event is known for being one of the largest exhibitions in the world. Products scheduled for feature include Peli Biothermal’s CoolPall™ Flex system as well as is Crēdo™ Cargo.

“We are pleased to present our high-performing products and services at Arab Health alongside Saudi Arabia based Cold Chain Packing. Together we will be sharing our collective industry insight, knowledge and extensive expertise.

Differentiating features from Coolpall Flex system includes payload efficiency on aircraft, specifically for restrictive cargo spaces. Crēdo™ Cargo ensures and provides protection of globally transported life science and pharmaceutical payloads.

“With healthcare expenditure in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) projected to reach US$104.6 billion by 2022, this region is a significant key growth area for Peli BioThermal, where our superior systems and products provide protection for pharma payloads in a region renowned for its temperature challenges,” Director of Sales EMEA at Peli BioThermal, Paul Terry, said. “The show’s substantial size allows us to showcase our shipper solutions and services to thousands of delegates, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to the region and collective capabilities to meet customers’ increasing requirements in this area.”

Spectators at the conference are encouraged to inquire about the company’s full product portfolio.

Source: Peli Biothermal