What were the highlights of 2021 for New Vision Pharmaceuticals (New Vision), and what have the impacts of the pandemic been on the company’s operations?
New Vision Pharmaceuticals was fortunate to have experienced significant growth in 2021. We have been developing relationships with mid-tier and large organizations for both tech transfer developments and fill-finish operations. We are also supporting significant OTC production for private label and branded products.
Given the supply chain issues that arose from Covid, there has been a strong push to shorten supply chains. New Vision has been particularly responsive to our clients' needs in this regard and we have been able to significantly shorten our supply chains, especially compared to products produced overseas. For example, we had a client approach us to work on a rapid Covid test, wanting to produce a single-use vial for at-home testing. It was only six weeks between when we had our initial discussion to when we had produced the product for them. We quickly made many millions of vials to support the rapid ramp-up. If they had attempted to do this with an offshore supplier, it would have taken the same amount of time just to get the product across the ocean and through ports. This level of responsiveness has been our focus.
Can you elaborate on this desire from clients to reshore their manufacturing capabilities?
We have observed an enormous effort to reshore manufacturing capacity, particularly as a result of limited transport capacity coupled with the congestion in US ports, which has consequences not only from a timeline perspective but also for bottom line financials. The cost to transport a container has increased four-fold, making it a serious factor to consider. Additionally, geopolitical turmoil such as the crisis unfolding in Ukraine is pushing many organizations to question the value of a far-flung global supply network.
What are some of the benefits you see in blow-fill-seal (BFS) as a manufacturing process?
The idea behind single-use vials is that the patient consumes all the contents. Often, people have medicine cabinets filled with expired products. With single-use vials, on the other hand, you purchase in smaller quantities and consume fully. BFS also makes products incredibly difficult to counterfeit, which is a serious issue on a global scale. This way, the purchaser has assurance that what they think they are purchasing is what they actually get.
What trends have you observed in the adoption of BFS in the US?
Some of the early adopters of BFS technology in the US have been hospitals, nursing homes and other large care facilities. From a medication control standpoint, these products are easier to measure and leave no waste left in the bottle. Additionally, we are seeing strong demand from the pediatric market. It is easier for a mother to carry various single-use, non-breakable vials rather than lugging around several bottles.
Additionally, the need for at-home Covid tests is increasing significantly, which seems to be an outcome of the lockdown period. People need medical care irrespective of the challenges they face in physically going to a hospital or clinician. Being able to receive a test through the mail that you can do at home represents the future of medicine in broader terms as well. A major shortcoming of the American medical delivery system is that while there is an availability of physicians in major metropolitan areas, there is a severe lack in more remote locations. We see a significant opportunity for telemedicine and at-home testing services to support the needs of these populations.
How will New Vision grow over the next few years to continue to meet the demands of its clients?
New Vision will continue to focus on sterile and nonsterile pharmaceuticals, with our primary markets being ophthalmic, respiratory, and dermatological. We are also seeking partnerships to utilize our large open clean room capacity. Additionally, the company will increase its product development teams to be able to work with a number of different clients that may have great ideas but not know how to bring them to the marketplace. This is where New Vision truly has the potential to make an impact.