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A Q&A with Larry Kadis, President and CEO of Federal Equipment, on recent industry trends.
How has the increasing focus on biopharmaceuticals affected your business?
Federal Equipment Company buys and sells used process and packaging equipment for the pharmaceutical industry—as the needs of the industry evolve, so will our inventory.
The challenge for Federal Equipment to serve biopharmaceutical manufacturers will be to identify equipment that has value on the secondary market. Many biopharmaceutical and protein process trains are specific to the product. For this equipment, we would need to find a company looking to manufacture that same product—this is not always easy. Equipment specifically designed to produce just one protein or product may not have much more value than scrap after its current owner is no longer using it. With that said, major pharmaceutical manufacturers are investing in biosimilar production facilities. This development fits well with Federal Equipment's business model. Historically, generic manufacturers and contract manufacturers have found a great deal of value in our inventory and services.
Do you see a new industry trend emerging?
We currently see a strong trend towards containment equipment in solid-dose manufacturing driven by potent compound development. We have seen a great increase in the development of containment solutions for both pilot scale equipment as well as production scale equipment.
We also see a great opportunity for new solutions in aseptic manufacturing and fill–finish activities. These are very complex manufacturing processes and techniques and the manufacturers have made their way into headlines and news lately because of drug shortages. There are many new products and a great deal of life-saving products in vials—equipment suppliers should be leading the way with engineered solutions to the problems this segment of the industry currently faces.
In addition, we see manufacturers showing interest in disposable equipment for production processes. This will be an interesting study in whether a process with disposable equipment components will be more efficient, cost-effective, and reliable than a process with traditional equipment.