By Dave Wilson, Head of Operations, Sharp Clinical Services UK
Delivering clinical trial material in small quantities to multiple destinations, while maintaining the required temperature conditions for the product, has long been a challenge of the clinical trial supply chain.
Historically this problem has been tackled using single-trip polystyrene shipping containers & gel packs, all destined for disposal to landfill at the end of their journey.
The CRĒDO CUBE is a reusable, returnable packaging container offering a better temperature performance and a reduced impact on the environment by reducing both the creation and destruction of packaging materials.
Sharp Clinical Services UK started using the CRĒDO system in June 2017, having seen the success it brought for our Packaging colleagues in the US.
The CRĒDO CUBE incorporates a patented Thermal Isolation Chamber System, developed by Pelican BioThermal. Precision-formed, interconnected TIC™ panels specifically formulated and encapsulating a phase change material (PCM) surrounds and isolates the payload from temperature excursion with a tight, protective thermal seal for a pre-determined temperature range and duration. Vacuum insulation panels form a continuous barrier on all six sides of the modular shipping container, between the TIC System and the outer CRĒDO shipper, eliminating possible hot or cold pockets or the need for ice, dry ice or gel packs within the corrugated shipper.
Each time we ship using this system, Sharp saves about 18kg of packaging material being disposed to landfill. This system has been available for customers previously through specialist courier services, however this comes at a high price, and this makes it harder for organisations to make sustainable choices in their procurement activities.
Environmental benefits have included reducing waste to landfill by 1.2 tonnes in the first phase of introduction. It is anticipated that this figure will increase to 10 tonnes over the first year as roll out continues.
By investing in, and having control of our own CRĒDO system, Sharp is able to offer much more competitive pricing to our customers and help these sustainable decisions be made without compromising on other decision-making factors.