April 28th, 2020

During normal circumstances, supporting our client’s new product launches demands an exceptional level of planning and commitment from multi-functional teams within Sharp.  Last weekend, our US colleagues were able to support the launch of two innovative oncology therapies simultaneously.

Since the pandemic began, Sharp Packaging has remained focused on supporting our pharma and biotech clients with contract packaging services, while keeping employee safety at the forefront of all our operations.

The therapies we package on behalf of our clients include life-sustaining and life-saving medications, treatments for patients with rare diseases, as well as some that treat COVID-19 symptoms. Sharp also continues to collaborate with clients on packaging new innovative medicines for commercial launch.

Late last week, two of Sharp’s clients received early approval for their drug therapies at short notice.  As a result of diligent project planning, excellent communication and a dedicated cross-functional team, Sharp was able to package both of these new oncology therapies over the weekend, ensuring that the medications could be delivered to patients as early as the following Monday morning.

We are always driven by our client’s expectation to deliver medicine to their patients. To successfully expedite packaging services, including release paperwork, for multiple new product launches over a single weekend from multiple rooms at multiple facilities, is a true testament to the commitment of Sharp colleagues.

Jeff Benedict, Chief Commercial Officer, Sharp Packaging

Partnership, Expertise and Energy in Action

The complexity of supporting any new product at Sharp is reflected in the number of functions that are required to work together as one team to make it a success, including: project managers, engineers, validation, IT, procurement, warehouse/logistics, quality assurance, production operators, suppliers, production supervisors, and many more.  Last week our colleagues demonstrated our company Values of partnership, energy and expertise to support these new therapies, including:

  • Warehouse & incoming goods personnel came in during their off-shifts to receive and inspect components
  • Validation teams had to ensure production lines were running properly
  • IT had to ensure computer systems were enabled to support serialization
  • Procurement had to purchase both test components and the commercial components for the production run
  • Operations and Quality Assurance on the production floor turned packaging around in record time, ensuring batch records were reviewed and material was released to distribution
  • Warehouse operators had to adjust their plans to accommodate the speed with which packaging was completed, in order to ensure finished product was available for immediate distribution

The Additional Challenge of a Global Pandemic

There were additional challenges associated with these fast-tracked product launches.  The early approval announcement from the FDA was unexpected for our clients and therefore also for Sharp., given the pressure of the COVID-19 pandemic.  However, as with all launches of this type, the team had prepared themselves to be able to react immediately. 

The approvals also came through at the very end of the week, meaning the launch would happen through the weekend, with many employees coming into the production facility on their own time.  Due to COVID19 restrictions, some of the launch team who would normally be on site for a launch were working from home.  Project managers for example, we unable to move between buildings, to visit production teams, due to COVID-19 restrictions.  Those at the facilities working in production contended with many additional health and safety guidelines, such as social distancing.

These product launches occurred at a rapid pace and under difficult circumstances.  We are very proud of our US colleagues who again, demonstrated exceptional professionalism and commitment to our clients.  Sharp always strives to offer excellent customer experience and, at the end of the day, it is the patients in need that motivate us to deliver on our promises.  #OurWorkMatters