Blow-Fill-Seal: Filling a Growth Strategy

A generic drug manufacturer uses blow-fill-seal packaging to preserve products, fuel growth.

Nephron Pharmaceuticals Corp. utilizes blow-fill-seal (BFS) technology to package its family of generic respiratory medications. The company currently employs BFS technology at its 250,000-sq-ft headquarters in Orlando, FL. Plans are underway to employ the same BFS technology at its future Columbia, SC, location. This campus will comprise 350,000 to 400,000 sq ft of operations. Both plants have plans to manufacture additional products in the future, specifically ophthalmic and injectable solutions, and welcome contract manufacturing.

“We have found that BFS is the ideal filling process for our sterile solutions. Additionally, we are the only manufacturer of specific drugs, such as racemic epinephrine, and the use of aseptic sterile filling through BFS technology is the perfect choice for our current and future drugs,” explains Lou Kennedy, CEO of Nephron.

To produce its current level of over a billion BFS vials per year, Nephron runs 13 BFS lines; five of these lines utilize equipment from Rommelag. The Rommelag machines, because of their speed and efficiency, contribute more than 50% of their capacity.

“We are extremely pleased with Rommelag equipment,” explains Kennedy. “Rommelag offers efficient throughput and is continuously improving its technology. Rommelag made several suggestions to help us save costs on our existing lines and improve processes. It is the pure definition of a partnership.”

Nephron also uses BFS technology to help it differentiate products through “easy-to-identify” vial shapes and embossed lettering.

While Nephron’s new plant will support growth of its own respiratory, ophthalmic, and injectable products, it will also allow the company to expand its contract services. “Contract work is part of our growth plan for the new facility,” says Kennedy. The company currently maintains ISO Class 5 and ISO Class 7 clean rooms at its Orlando location and expects to offer the same level of control in Columbia.

Nephron began as a supplier to home-based care providers, delivering directly to patients. Today, the company employs more than 500 employees nationwide and maintains 300,000 sq ft across three states; it expects to double in size over the next three years.

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