Company news

SGD Pharma stands out in molded glass

​​Laurent Zuber, Managing Director of Sales and Marketing at SGD Pharma, has assessed the pharmaceutical glass market.​

The glass-maker posts a significantly higher growth than the sector average​​

On the fringes of the inauguration of furnace 2 in the Saint-Quentin-la-Motte-Croi​x-au-Bailly (Somme) plant, SGD Pharma established an overview of the pharmaceutical glass market. "Molded glass is doing well", said Laurent Zuber, Managing Director of Sales and Marketing for the glass-maker. It is making roughly a 2% growth in Europe and North America. Germany, Switzerland and Austria are driving the sector in Europe. "Their growth is between 3 and 4%", maintained Laurent Zuber. As for France, it is one of the least dynamic countries, along with Spain. "The market is stagnant and trending towards a decrease. This is due to an increasingly frequent transfer of business from the laboratories to sub-contractors (CMO) which, in view of reduced margins, are moving to Mediterranean or Maghreb countries", explains the Managing Director. 

Saint-Quentin, the flagship

However, despite this context, SGD Pharma is doing well. For the two years 2017 and 2018, the company recorded 10% growth. "We are out-performing the market", says Laurent Zuber happily. According to him, this result is due to the quality of the Saint-Quentin-la-Motte plant. "This is the flagship site of SGD Pharma." The site concentrates on the production of type I pharmaceutical glass. Its bottles are used for critical parenteral therapies such as those in the cancer treatments or blood derivatives market. "Customers with high value medications immediately come to us for their packaging needs", he continues. This popularity among customers has been experienced by the company since its inauguration in early 2017. "We have had around a hundred audits since our installation", says Christophe Rogier, director of the plant in Picardy. "Each time, customers stay on site for two or three days. "

The glass-maker has five plants worldwide. In addition to Saint-Quentin-la-Motte, SGD has a second French site in Sucy-en-Brie (Val-de-Marne), which celebrated its 100th anniversary at the end of 2017. Production there is focused on a different product segmentation. "We produce type III glass there," specifies Laurent Zuber. "They are bottles used in the oral medication market (syrups), perfusions and injectable medication (antibiotics)." Although the products are less expensive, Sucy-en-Brie is currently benefiting from a €50 million investment. "Over the 2017-2022 period, we are buying machines, installing them and then training staff", explained the Managing Director of Sales and Marketing.

Good energy abroad

In Kipfenberg, north of Munich, the SGD Pharma market is dynamic, in particular thanks to Perfalgan. This paracetamol-based solution for perfusion is indicated for moderate pain, in particular for post-operative treatments. The glass-maker can count on the numerous generic versions of the medication by the Bristol-Myers Squibb laboratory, because in their marketing authorisation dossier, the generic manufacturers stipulate that they do not want to change the product's packaging. This means we can avoid a whole host of compatibility tests.

The last two SGD Pharma plants are in China and India. The Indian plant is the only one in the company to convert tubular glass. The increasing demand for this type of glass is benefiting the plant. In 2018, a new unit, called "Unit 5", is already operational. It will have 30 converting machines. Laurent Zuber indicates that 90% of production is for export, mainly to the United States. In China, a seven million euro investment was just completed. It included a furnace rebuild and an entirely new molding line.

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Emballage​s Magazine
​​Pierre Monier

Link to the online article​
Published in on 23/04/2018 at 11.30am​

Photo © Guillaume Crochez