How COVID-19 Affected the Freeze-Drying Industry – A Reflection
8 Apr 2021
Biopharma Group has published an article reflecting on the effect of COVID-19 on the freeze-drying industry, and what was learned in 2020.
The process of freeze drying is used for many applications including pharmaceuticals, biologics, food and nutraceuticals. It became apparent early in the pandemic that freeze drying methods on a large scale would be integral to product storage and distribution.
During an unprecedented year, the Biopharma Group experienced significant demand for design and manufacturing of products for diagnostic applications, evolving to a focus on the research and development of potential COVID-19 vaccine candidates.
Lyophilisation was used extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic, including in the research and development stage of covid specific vaccines and production of IVD (In-Vitro Diagnostic) tests. The difficulties faced by organisations involved in developing these vital resources, centred around the sheer volume, increased demand for products and time taken to deliver them to market.
There was a sharp increase in demand and timelines to get products to market – which was especially prevalent across the diagnostic and pharmaceutical sectors. The article looks back on how the challenges were met and how a limited cold chain affected the ability of transporting products to climate sensitive regions. The article also considers how outsourcing lyo research and development for tackling the freeze-drying process efficiency was fundamental in successfully getting products to end users safer and faster than ever before.