15th December 2020 - Season's Greetings and End of Year Review
Season’s Greetings and a Happy New Year to all of our Customers and our industry contacts from everyone at Upperton Pharma Solutions!
Once again, we head towards the year-end holiday break with the Upperton team continuing to work at full capacity to ensure that all of our customers’ formulation requirements are met on time.
Despite the hectic year, it is always customary for us to look back and remind ourselves of what we have achieved over the last twelve months as well as looking ahead to what the New Year holds.
Highlights of 2020
In 2020 it was reassuring and very rewarding to see many of the investments we had made the previous year come to fruition. Indeed, significant investment in spray drying scale-up saw us make our first multi-kilogram batches of GMP spray dried powder produced under inert conditions from solvent solutions under nitrogen.
Alongside this we invested heavily the previous year in roller compaction, tablet compression and coating technology and on the back of this we were delighted to see our first large scale batches of coated tablets for clinical trials produced using this equipment.
We managed to break a record in our GMP department, from onboarding a GMP manufacturing project through to completion in just five weeks!
Our investment in GMP was not limited to new technology, the current year saw us expand our capabilities to include additional final dosage forms such as oral liquids and nasal sprays.
During 2020 it wasn’t just our GMP side of the business that made great strides. This year saw us add a range of new research and development capabilities to our armoury, including: manufacturing techniques such as spray drying with ultrasonic atomisation, spray granulation and high shear microfluidisation. Alongside these, new analytical techniques such as SprayTec droplet sizing, viscometry and osmometry were all brought into our portfolio.
The handling of highly potent compounds continued to be a growing area for us and this year we opened a bespoke laboratory to enable us to spray dry and formulate this class of molecules.
Of course, it is impossible to look back over this year without mention of the COVID-19 pandemic that hit the world and still sees us battle to overcome as 2020 draws to an end. Here at Upperton we continue to play a small but important role in this battle as we work on a number of projects aimed at preventing and treating the effects of this disease.
In order to keep up with client needs we have managed to successfully introduce and complete virtual audits. Ensuring our clients can trust our systems and have insight in the Upperton premises without travelling or stepping foot on the premises.
As a business we have managed to keep our doors open for business during the worst stages of the pandemic making sure that our customer projects were delivered on time. We continued our business expansion during these difficult times and since the start of this year we continue to grow our business with our headcount increasing by 30% over the calendar year.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Our growing GMP business is already starting to stretch our existing capacity and as 2020 draws to a close, we are delighted to announce that we have pushed the button on a new GMP expansion programme that will see us build three new processing rooms; expanding our GMP manufacturing and QC analytical floor space by over 30%.
It is not just floor space that will be increasing. We will be investing in more equipment as we continue to expand the size of our tablet production capability and with this in mind we expect to receive and install our new 100 L powder blending equipment in early 2021.
We continue to see strong growth in our nasal and pulmonary delivery projects and expect these dosage forms to underpin much of our growth in the new year. To help us deliver on this growing demand we will be investing in a range of process isolator technology, both in our R&D and GMP facilities to equip us to handle a range of challenging molecules.
As our expansion continues, we plan to increase our headcount by at least another 10% in the new year to enable us to continue to offer a speedy and efficient turnaround time for our clients.