Aptar Pharma Unveils Its First Auto-Injector

Aptar Pharma has announced the Pro-Ject disposable auto-injector platform, featuring a small, light-weight design adaptable to specific therapy needs.
Pro-Ject is designed around a standard glass pre-filled syringe. Two simple handling operations, a large and clearly visible control window and multiple safety and patient compliance features are among the device’s patient-friendly attributes. It also has unique visual and acoustic feedback for needle insertion and end-of-injection that allow for strong product differentiation, the Louveciennes, France-based company said in a press release.
The platform will be unveiled at the PDA Europe conference to be held in Basel, Switzerland on November 5th and 6th.
Pro-Ject was developed with input from patients and healthcare professionals in order to provide optimal patient convenience and compliance. The device integrates the user-preferred features that were identified during user studies. Its design and development benefit from Aptar Pharma’s long experience with a Quality-by-Design approach that translates into robust design, successful manufacturing scale-up, and flawless fast-track to market, the company said.
As a small, light-weight device, Pro-Ject provides benefits for transport, storage, and environmental footprint. In addition, the novel design allows easy adaptation to specific therapy needs, with the core technology providing design freedom to optimize the user interface.
“Aptar Pharma is looking forward to unveiling Pro-Ject at PDA Europe. It has been a very exciting time during the last two years preparing for this market launch. Pro-Ject is the first member of our future range of innovative injection devices”, said Pierre Carlotti, vice-president marketing and communication, Aptar Pharma Prescription Division.
Aptar Pharma’s traditional core business has been in design, development, and manufacture of non-invasive spray and aerosol drug delivery devices, that are regulated as combination drug products.
The company has recently reoriented its strategy to increase market presence in the biopharmaceutical market where injectable devices are the gold standard dosage forms.
Aiming at becoming a leading player in high quality injectable devices and components, AptarGroup in November 2011 sealed a strategic partnership with Oval Medical, a parenteral technology company based in Cambridge, UK. In June 2012, AptarGroup acquired the French company Stelmi (now rebranded as Aptar Stelmi), a supplier of premium quality elastomeric closures for parenteral primary packaging.
It is estimated that the global market for injectable drugs is worth US$ 240 billion, or a 28% share of the overall drug market worldwide. The injectable drugs market experienced a 4% growth rate in 2012. The auto-injector market is a small niche of the injectable drug market, as these devices are used in the treatment of selected chronic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, spondilarthritis, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C, anemia, and emergency/crisis treatments such as anaphylactic shock and migraine attacks.
This niche device market was worth US$ 130 million in 2012 and has a strong annual growth rate of 20%.
The pharma industry has a very strong injectable R&D pipeline, with more than 3,500 projects for new drugs, the main portion of it being for generics.
The majority of injectable drugs have been developed for use by healthcare professionals in hospitals and local medical care centers to deliver injections and infusions with syringes or infusion lines and needles. Auto-injectors are designed for self-injection in a non-medical environment, for example at home, without the presence of healthcare professionals being required.
Auto-injectors are spring-loaded devices holding a pre-filled syringe (the primary drug container). They are easy-to-use by design and intended for automatic self-administration of a fixed dose of medication by the patient.
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