Innovation in Pharma Manufacturing

2019 ISPE Facility of the Year Award Winners Demonstrate Excellence in Facility Design, Construction and Operations

  • Vial-filling robot in sterile production area at the new compounding pharmacy of Kantonsapotheke Zürich, winner of the 2019 FOYA Operational Excellence Award Category. © Kantonsapotheke ZürichVial-filling robot in sterile production area at the new compounding pharmacy of Kantonsapotheke Zürich, winner of the 2019 FOYA Operational Excellence Award Category. © Kantonsapotheke Zürich
  • Vial-filling robot in sterile production area at the new compounding pharmacy of Kantonsapotheke Zürich, winner of the 2019 FOYA Operational Excellence Award Category. © Kantonsapotheke Zürich
  • John Bournas, ISPE CEO and president © ISPE
  • Antonio “Tony” Crincoli, chair of the FOYA judging committee and senior director, Upjohn Global Engineering, Pfizer © CIANJ

Established in 2004 by the International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering (ISPE), the Facility of the Year Awards (FOYA) recognize innovation and creativity in manufacturing facilities serving the regulated healthcare industry. The award-winning projects selected by the FOYA program set the standard for pharmaceutical facilities of the future by demonstrating excellence in facility design, con­struction, and operations.

The FOYA program each year recognizes state-of-the-art projects utilizing new, innovative technologies to improve the quality of products, reduce the cost of producing high-quality medicines, and demonstrate advances in project delivery. This year, the category winners were announced at the ISPE Europe Annual Conference in Dublin, Ireland, in April.
The overall winner will be revealed at the ISPE Annual Meeting to be held in Las Vegas in October.
“The 2019 Facility of the Year Awards category winners are at the forefront of not only setting the standard for pharmaceutical facilities of the future, but also creating new opportunities to enhance patient health and safety worldwide.” said John Bournas, ISPE CEO and president. “We are pleased to spotlight the dedication of these companies who epitomize the future of global innovation and facility design.” Antonio “Tony” Crincoli, chair of the FOYA judging committee and senior director, Upjohn Global Engineering, Pfizer, adds: The FOYA program represents the best of the best — what we call benchmarking. All companies want to know what is happening on the forefront of technology, innovation, and equipment. ISPE’s FOYA program lets the industry know what is happening all in one place, what is truly exceptional.”
According to Crincoli, who feels privileged to work in an industry that improves the lives of patients, it is a myth to dispel, that only large complex projects win these awards. Most are actually smaller projects that improve quality and efficiency, reduce cost, improve transfer of new products, or implement new information technology solutions.

2019 FOYA Category Award Winners
Celgene is the winner of the Sustain­ability Category Award for its Green Fairy project (La Fée Verte) for their manufacturing facility in Couvet, Switzerland.

One of the main objectives for the new facility was to implement an environmentally responsible and sustainable site in-line with their corporate principles.

Eli Lilly won the Process Innovation Category Award for its IE2 small volume continuous facility in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland. This innovative facility and the process design concepts incorporated advance the industry in three specific areas; process analytical technologies and advanced automation, development of new continuous technologies, and significant improvement in process safety and environmental impacts.

The Equipment Innovation Category was awarded to Janssen Cilag for their project Dosepak Equipment which entailed the design, installation, and qualification of state-of-art equipment at their manufacturing facility in Latina, Italy. The facility integrated advanced robotics and automation into a standard packaging process steps and enabled lean, ­flexible, and sustainable manufacturing.

Moderna is the winner of the Facility of the Future Category Award for its New cGMP clinical manufactur­ing facility in Norwood, Massachusetts USA which was designed to be highly-flexible, adaptable and capable of manufacturing both for clinic and research. The digital production environment was designed to enable high throughput with a robust and diverse set of products.

Kantonsapotheke Zürich won the Operational Excellence Award Category for its new compounding pharmacy for Canton Zürich Hospitals — a leap forward for hospital pharmacy compounding operations. The project (photo) realized jointly with design-build partner Exyte, Stuttgart, Germany, demonstrates a transformational step in hospital compounding operations and establishes a new norm for future facilities in this important step of patient therapy.

The Facility Integration Category was awarded to Pfizer for the biotechnology center built in the Hang­zhou Economic Development Area (HEDA) in Hangzhou, China. The HEDA site was transformed from a strawberry field in March 2016, to producing mAbs development batches twenty-five months later.

Pfizer was also awarded the Project Execution Category Award for the construction of the Pfizer Biotechnology Center. The $195 million project was the culmination of an unprecedented construction schedule, efficient cost control measures, and an unmatched safety record in China.
Avexis received an Honorable Mention for its manufacturing facility for its next-generation medicine. To manufacture its proprietary investigational gene replacement therapy, Avexis built a 49,000-square-foot state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

An Honorable Mention was also given to Takeda (formerly Shire) for its new 1.1 million-square-foot Georgia manufacturing facility near Covington, Georgia. Planned within a 160- acre site, this state-of-the-art facility integrates the technical requirements of both upstream and downstream manufacturing, while achieving optimal adjacencies between process areas and creating an environment that positively impacts the wellness of employees.

The 2019 Facility of the Year Awards Category Winners will be formally recognized at the ISPE Facility of the Year Awards Banquet and Dinner on October 26 in Las Vegas, Nevada USA. Held in conjunction with the 2019 ISPE Annual Meeting & Expo, the banquet will feature acceptance speeches from the FOYA recipients and presentations from noted industry leaders. The 2019 Facility of the Year Awards overall winner will be announced at the conference during the Membership and Awards Breakfast.

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