As a leader in the Testing, Inspection and Certification (TIC) industry, SGS aims to increase cooperation and agility across its global network to leverage competencies. SGS India Managing Director – Shashibhushan Jogani, talks about SGS’s strategic focus on the Health Science industry, how its key investments in India will make the latest new-age technology available to native pharma companies and help to reduce cost for customers and result in faster turn-around time.
India is a major hub for manufacturing and exports of pharmaceutical products. These extend from APIs, drug intermediates to finished products. The Indian pharmaceutical industry has been consistently delivering a YoY growth over the past decade. The salient factors behind this boom in exports for India are price competitiveness as well as quality. As per the latest industry reports, nearly 60 per cent of the world’s vaccines and 20 per cent of generic medicines are manufactured from India. India also ranks at third position worldwide for Pharma production by volume and 14th by value. (Source: Ministry of Commerce & Industry). This clearly establishes that the Indian pharmaceutical industry is a key contributor which is defining and shaping the global arena.
Our Health Science services can add significant value with specialist services extending from exploratory development, testing, regulatory support, safety studies and clinical research, to commercial QC and post-market testing. Delivered with high accuracy, integrity and scientific rigour, these solutions are supported by state-ofthe- art laboratories, and a rich pool of local as well as global expertise that give us the confidence to meet the vast requirements of this industry. Pharmaceutical products are strictly guided by regulations which are a combination of legal, administrative, and technical measures that governments across the world take to ensure the safety, efficacy, and quality of medicines, as well as the relevance and accuracy of product information. Our regulatory support services offer a huge benefit to clients by helping them to navigate through these complex regulations and to comply with local and international standards and therefore increased market access.
Our team focuses on increasing the cooperation and agility across our global network. This is helping us to leverage the vast pool of expertise and competence that is available across our entire network and successfully meet the versatile requirements posed by our clients. It also helps us to keep abreast of changing dynamics of the industry as well as the regulatory landscape.
SGS has been consistently leading the TIC industry with integrated solutions to address various customer requirements, help customers to meet stringent standards along their supply chain and improve the quality of life in society by assuring the quality, safety, sustainability and security in the health, wellness, and nutrition industries.
Our vision is to become the most digital company in the TIC industry. As part of this process, we have accelerated our Digital & Innovation strategy to create new products and services, improve customer experience and automate our operations. We are leveraging new transformational technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and applying automations, through several new digital platforms to improve our efficiencies, deliver operational excellence and continuously improve customer experience. Our focus on use of advanced technologies also benefits on various compliance aspects which eventually help our clients in accelerating product development and go-tomarket of new drugs and formulations for patients.
Recently, we have made two significant and strategic investments in India. These are:
1. Advanced Analytics (AA) laboratory within our Navi Mumbai campus.
2. An Advanced Centre of Testing (ACT) within our Chennai laboratory. These two capability enhancements provide us a clear edge over the existing technologies that are available in the market.
The Advanced Analytics laboratory is equipped with new generation infrastructure for performing Extractable & Leachable (E&L) studies, assessment of Nitrosamines, Genotoxic impurities etc. in pharmaceutical materials.
The Advanced Centre of Testing in Chennai takes quality testing to the next level with solutions like Digital Sensory Analysis using the electro sensing devices like the electronicnose( e-nose) and electronic-tongue (e-tongue) which provide unbiased, accurate and repeatable measurements, allowing identification and classification of aroma mixtures and taste. These advanced digital sensory methods help to improve the palatability of oral solutions to make them acceptable to patients. It also reduces the potential safety risk to trained human sensory panels due to exposure to harmful agents and cuts back huge expenses for organisation to recruit, train and maintain taste panelists. Applications of these tools in the pharmaceutical industry plays a key role in measuring and comparing the taste-masking efficiency of formulations produced with different masking techniques, offodour investigations, development of placebos for blinded clinical testing, sensory features ageing overtime, comparing the taste of test medicines or generic products with benchmarked products etc.
We are very optimistic and excited about the growth of the health sciences industry in India and plan to accelerate our investments in India within this sector. Our focus is to align our services and scale with that of the industry, especially in the Biologics and Biopharmaceutical arena.
We not only plan to invest in new technologies and equipment, but also to leverage the technologies, platforms and quality systems that are already established at our network labs in US, EU to cater to the needs of our clients and the industry in India as well as the region. The integrated drug development and testing facilities that we plan to set up will drastically reduce the dependency that Indian biopharma companies have at present, on Contract Research Organisations (CRO’s) in US and EU. These new facilities would be capable of meeting our client requirements and facilitate faster product development and go-to-market. Another important area that we are working to expand our footprint is the testing of medical devices.
Our outlook for the next few years is to accelerate our focus and investments into strategic industry segments within health sciences and leverage the competence across our global network to deliver these services and excellence to our clients. Agility within the global network is something we are strongly focusing upon. We are also making significant investment in our employees, new technologies and platforms to improve customer experience and automate our operations. These strategic actions and investments would help us to secure a strong customer base and a healthy, organic top-line growth that reinforces our leadership position in the TIC industry.