Podcast | May 6, 2014

Avoid Drug Shortages With Automation In Bioprocess

automate bioprocesing interview at interphex

At Interphex 2014, Todd and Todd interview Todd Kapp, Market Development Manager with Parker domnick Hunter to bring awareness to the solutions available in the bioprocess market. Parker domnick provides serveral products and services in the single-use portion of the market, as well as, bringing automation to bioprocess for more control and consistency. With fluid control and fluid path management systems, there is upstream and downstream, and Parker Domnick works hard to facilitate solutions from way upstream all the way down to vial fill and filtration. Parker Hannifin's CEO, Don Washkewicz, is really passionate about this market and he has done a lot to help get the different treatments in order to improve the wellness of people.

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Interview Transcript:

Todd S:            Alright, good afternoon. This is Todd and Todd Live from New York. Life Science Connect Radio on location direct from INTERPHEX Day 2. Todd, we have an exciting guest up next. How many interviews have you and I done with another Todd? We’ve done more than people would think. They would be surprised.

Todd Y:            Probably in the last year I’m saying six or seven. Remember the one we had where there were five of us?

Todd S:            We were in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and we did an interview with five Todds. It was the most amazing thing. We got a photograph of it and everything. Anyway, despite the fact that we have another Todd on the show, today has been a stellar day. (Chuckling.) We’re having some great conversations.

Todd Y:            It has been. Great conversations, great shows. The technology just never ceases to fascinate me. And new applications is a technology on top of it.

Todd S:            Yes. Well, say hello to our next guest, whose name is also Todd. His name is Todd Kapp, Market Development Manager with Parker domnick Hunter. Todd, welcome to the show.

Todd K:            Thank you.

Todd S:            Good to have you, thanks for stopping by and joining us. Before we get into it, take a few quick seconds and tell us a little bit about you and your background.

Todd K:            Oh, okay. I’ve been involved with the bioprocessing technology for about eight years now. I serve as the Secretary on the Executive Board of the Bio-Process Systems Alliance, as well as the work that I’m doing with Parker domnick Hunter to help bring awareness to the different products we have and solutions to the bioprocess market.

Todd S:            Alright. Give us the 10,000-foot view, please, of Parker domnick Hunter. What do you do? How do you serve your market?

Todd K:            Okay. Well, we’ve come up with a lot of different products that service the single-use portion of the market in order to help a lot of the customers and the market itself get to the point where with greater titers and with more flexibility to do different things at different times.

                        We really try to bring automation to the bioprocess. By doing so we’re able to come up with different solutions to make it so there’s more control and more consistency, so that we don’t end up with drug shortages in therapies and things like that to help our customers better serve the marketplace.

Todd S:            Can you give us another level of detail on how you’re doing that? Maybe a specific example of how you’ve applied some of this technology to the single-use.

Todd K:            Sure. We have a bunch of different automated systems that we’ve incorporated. One of our keystone ones is the tangential flow filtration, where we’ll go in and we’ll help a customer control their whole filtration process in the downstream using our censored technology and our fluid path management systems in order to move the stuff down the line. You’ve got the upstream and you’ve got the downstream, so we work to facilitate to go from the way upstream where you’re just doing the cell culture and so forth, all the way down to vial fill and filtration. We have different solutions along that path.

Todd H:            Parker Hannifin Corporation, I think the mother ship there, their vision statement says, “The number one motion and control company.” Talk about how your division is doing that in bioprocessing and single-use.

Todd K:            Yes. It’s nice that we do have that big corporation, Parker Hannifin. Our CEO, Don Washkewicz is really interested and really passionate about this market. He’s done a lot to help get the different treatments and help improve the wellness of people.

                        The nice thing with our division is we also have a lot of focus on that, and with that take in the corporation’s strategy, which they’ve had for over 10 years. It’s actually called the Parker Win Strategy. Within that the vision is to be the number one motion and control company (0:03:15.9 unclear) different things.

                        The exciting thing is we can take that big power of Parker, we’re a $13 billion organization, and utilize that resource within our division to actually capitalize and help aid the whole industry with utilizing that type of background and support that some of the other companies can’t offer.

Todd Y:            Does that make a difference when you come into a bio-pharm customer or prospect knowing that Parker is in the background and you’ve got not only knowledge in the niche of bio-pharm, but a lot of R&D muscle perhaps behind it?

Todd K:            It’s tremendous. One of the biggest fears in this marketplace is the risk that’s associated with it. You want to make sure that you can help ease a customer’s mind that you’re not going to be part of the problem, or creating risk for them.

                        You want to actually be the one that helps to mitigate the risk. By having a big corporation like Parker that’s not just going to be here one day, gone the next… We’ve been around since the early 1900s and this is just another one of the things that we can take that stability and those engineering solutions, and apply it to just yet another marketplace.

Todd S:            I really agree with you, mitigating risk in this industry really is very critical, more so than in most. Talk about the process that a sales team would take to work with a customer to make sure that they understand the whole process on a holistic basis and come up with a solution that really is the perfect fit.

Todd K:            Yes, there is so much that we do, because we aren’t what they call a WYSIWYG. We’re not, “What you see is what you get.” It’s not an off the shelf. We take that whole Parker philosophy of going in and engineering solutions.

                        Because everybody’s application in here, they’re trying to develop a different therapy for a different disease, or something that they need to treat. With that differentiation from one-to-one, so it’s not one size fits all, and Parker brings that engineering power into this market in order to help design those solutions for our customers.

Todd S:            Talk about what you’re showcasing here at INTERPHEX.

Todd K:            We do have some of the live demos to illustrate the type of control we can bring to the customer base. We have, like I mentioned before, the tangential flow filtration unit is on there, where we’ve done some live demos just to see one of our processes in motion.

                        It’s a nice one in that it incorporates a lot of the things that we have for the solutions with sensors, with 2B manifolds, with bags, and then also the whole contraptions, the weigh stations. Basically what you would need in order to process a biological, we have something there to show we’re helping aid in that process.

Todd S:            I’ve got to ask you, the Mitos man (sp?)?

Todd K:            Oh, yes, yes. It’s a fine little challenge we’ve had, because getting back to the risk, nobody wants to have leaks as you’re transferring these critical fluids, very valuable product through the stream. The last thing you want is to have a leak occur.

                        In the past people have connected tube sets with mechanical fasteners. What the Mitos Man is, he’s actually an over molded part, so it’s all one solid thing and it’s much thicker, so you’re not going to get the leaks you would have. So the Mitos Man challenge is an excellent tool we’ve used to demonstrate how much it would take in order to tear it apart.

                        You can come up to the mechanical fastener thing and it wouldn’t take much effort to pull his arms off. We actually had a guy at a previous show come up for the Mitos Man challenge, he looked like he could have played linebacker for the Giants or somebody.

                        I was sweating a little bit, but he tugged on that thing and I thought it was going to snap at the tube, but it held up. I was like, “Wow, if we can illustrate how robust our design is with that---“

Todd Y:            Do you think three Todds could pull it apart? (Chuckling)

Todd K:            We could give it a try, but I’ve got to tell you, no. (Laughter)

Todd S:            You said something at the top of the show that I wanted to explore a little bit further. Pardon me, I didn’t capture the name of the complete organization, but is it Systems Alliance that you’re an active member of? Talk about what that’s about, and more importantly, why are you spending time and devoting time to an organization like that? What does that do for your customer in the long run?

Todd K:            We understand that this is still a relatively young part of the industry. You’ve had stainless steel vessels and glass containers out there for decades and decades, but single-use technologies are relatively new.

                        What the BPSA was formed to do is start working with supplier organizations and over the years evolved to include the actual drug manufacturers and users within the Alliance in order to come up with best practices, so that we’re doing whatever we can to make sure that when you use these types of products they’re going to be safe and you’re going to be able to deliver drugs to patients or therapies that are going to be available when people get sick and they need them in order to maintain their wellness.

Todd S:            What next Todd?

Todd K:            Oh, boy.  It’s really exciting being at Parker because we’ve got so many things in the pipeline that will be new and upcoming. The different types of solutions that we have, we come up with something new all of the time. I can’t get bored doing what I’m doing here, it’s just too exciting.

                        We’ve got some of those things on display at our booth here at INTERPHEX to get people to get their beaks a little bit wet to the different things that Parker does. You may have heard some of the things before with Mitos and Scilog, but Parker is bringing all those different types of brands together to really put together some different solutions.

Todd S:            Todd, take Parker out of it for a second. As Todd Kapp walks around these hallowed halls and you’re observing what’s going on… You obviously are a keen observer in the industry and what’s going on.

                        You pay attention, I trust. When you walk out of here, we’re nearing the end of Day 2 of this event, so we’re not far from this thing adjourning. What do you think will be the key takeaways for Todd Kapp?

Todd K:            Some of the big things are it’s nice to see that the activity level is up again here. There are a lot of people that are excited in the market and really want to learn, and are actually starting to apply a lot of the technologies that you’ve seen in earlier shows.

                        I haven’t seen INTERPHEX in different parts of the world to see the different types… You always see something new at the show. Also, it just keeps expanding the different things that are offered. It’s neat to be a part of that and to get to help with the industry as a whole.

Todd S:            Outstanding. Well Todd, I hate to say it, but we’re running low on time. Before we let you go, how can people get in touch with you and learn more about Parker domnick Hunter?

Todd K:            We do have our website, which is at www.parker.com. Then if you go to /dhsingleuse you’ll be able to see the wide portfolio of products we offer into this marketplace.

Todd S:            Alright. Todd Kapp, Market Development Manager with Parker domnick Hunter. Todd, it was great to have you. Thanks for stopping by and joining us.

Todd K:            Thank you, it’s been a pleasure.

Todd S:            Thanks Todd.

Todd K:            Thanks guys.

Todd Y:            Thanks Todd.

Todd S:            Alright, well that wraps this special edition broadcast, brought to you by Todd, Todd, and Todd. The Life Science Connect Radio live coverage from INTERPHEX will be right back.