Specialist packaging company Wasdell is becoming a central part of the fight against some of the world’s most deadly diseases, with the Swindon-based company playing a key role in patient trials into the latest drugs yet to be released onto the market.
Over the last couple of years, Wasdell – the UK's leading provider of packaging to the pharmaceutical, healthcare and veterinary industries – has been expanding its support to pharmaceutical companies who are embarking on patient trials, where new drugs are tested on groups of patients overseen by medical professionals, usually in a hospital.
With three trials currently underway, Wasdell hope to be able to be part of the next breakthroughs for conditions connected to cancer, mental health and to prevent potentially fatal oesophagus bleeding. More patient trials are expected to commence over the coming months.
The patient trials work is overseen by Wasdell’s team of Qualified Persons: pharmaceutical experts who have spent many years developing their knowledge of the manufacturing and development of pharmaceutical products.
Lucia Dalvit, QP at Wasdell, explained: “As part of the patient trials we work directly between the manufacturer and hospital to provide the pharmaceutical products going through the trial.
“The trials can take place across many different countries and for a number of years and are a precursor to the drugs being granted a licence for use before entering the market.
"The trials that we are currently involved in can involve hundreds or even thousands of patients globally and so we must ensure that the products are packaged correctly so that the right patient receives the right drug, whether that might be a placebo or an active product.”
With the entire process of trials and bringing a new pharmaceutical product to market potentially costing in the hundreds of millions of pounds, it is imperative that Wasdell’s role in the trial does not compromise the overall work in any way.
"Therefore rigorous production line and packing procedures are in place, with additional training provided to staff involved in the whole process; from when the product is received into the Swindon site to when it leaves for its final destination.
Lucia added: “Many times we are in a very privileged position where only we will know whether the drug supplied to a patient is a placebo, alternative or active drug.
"These ‘double blind’ trials, where neither the patient or the hospital knows what they are being given, are crucial to providing the evidence needed in order to license a drug.
"Whilst challenging due to the amount of rigorous procedure and protocol involved, these are very exciting projects to be involved in as you are one of the first to know that there has been progress in finding a cure for a condition.”
Wasdell is also well-placed to advise on related issues such as the composition and design of packaging, manufacturing, transportation and supplier auditing to support licensing applications and the release to market.