BioConnection’s operational expertise is filling vials and syringes for small to medium-sized pharmaceutical companies and Bio-techs. In 17 years since it was founded, this Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation (CDMO) has grown into a major company with a global customer base.
Perfect infrastructure is essential
BioConnection’s operational expertise is filling vials and syringes for small to medium-sized pharmaceutical companies and Bio-techs. In 17 years since it was founded, this CDMO has grown into a major company with a global customer base. “BioConnection was founded by Organon, BOM and Mibiton” says Alexander Willemse. He further explains that filling medicines in vials and syringes is all about precision and conforming to extremely strict guidelines outlined in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). Each individual drug requires its own bespoke production settings on the filling line which has to be set up separately. Accuracy and attention to the minutest detail are vital.
In the past, MSD/Organon started the clinical production in a separate building, also known as the RY building, the Aletta Jacobs building or, very recognizable, known as ‘the big red building’ in Oss. In order to help young biotechs and startups, Organon/MSD made a part of the building’s capacity available to the outside. So in 2005, BioConnection was established. The initial housing was arranged in the management building of Organon just outside the premises. This was well before the time of Pivot Park. The deal was easy; BioConnection could offer the expertise and capabilities of the Organon labs and its assigned part of the production capacity to the market. The set-up and RY production facility was completed within the same year. Not by coincidence; the day of opening of the RY building was the day of incorporation of BioConnection.
A productive move to Pivot Park.
After a productive start, challenging times followed especially between 2010 and 2016. The future of Pivot Park wasn’t certain and neither was the success of BioConnection. But BioConnection continued to grow. Even at such a pace that two times in a row a Gazelle Award was won. In 2016 disaster was about to strike when MSD determined that it had no use for the RY building anymore and intended to end manufacturing by 2016 at the latest. However, Willemse saw a bright future for the company. Through the help of various investors such as the BOM and Mibiton, he managed to keep the company building open and in 2016 BioConnection was able to take over the MSD factory while the ownership of the location transferred to Pivot Park. It must be noted that MSD assisted BioConnection in a smooth and ‘warm’ transfer of the RY building and supported BioConnection with services for the first 2 years. From that point onwards, BioConnection was an independent company, and an extremely successful one. Willemse explains, “In 2005 we began with 2 people and at the beginning of 2016 we had 6 employees and we ended the year with 21. By 2022 we had grown to 90 employees.”
With this huge increase in staff, the number of square meters BioConnection required at Pivot Park also increased dramatically. “In 2020, we opened a brand new production line on the third floor of the RY building,” says Willemse. “BioConnection has evolved from a broker with limited production capacity into a full manufacturing company offering its own services to small and medium-sized (and sometimes big) pharmaceutical organizations and biotech companies worldwide. The cornerstones of our CMC services are: Fill and Finish, Freeze Drying, Finished Product Services and Drug Product Development.”
Our core business begins and ends with Fill & Finish
“Fill and Finish remains our core business. We can produce runs of 1 to 150,000 vials per day. Additionally we offer freeze-dry services for vials and also have a significant capacity for syringe filling. To summarize, the ingredients and the ideas come from our clients and we put it in vials or syringes. We also offer handfill services where, with relatively small amounts, we are a perfect fit for Personalized Medicines , a form of therapies and products that has seen a recent rise in demand.” BioConnection serves a large international clientele. Willemse continues, “It is essential that we not only comply with the European guidelines regarding GMP, but also with those of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the FDA. So we can work for major clients in the US, but, more important, the products produced for any customer on our filling lines can be exported to the US market.” He believes it is important that BioConnection continues to grow so that a good infrastructure for developing medicines in the Netherlands remains in place. “Because if anything has become clear in recent years, it is how important research and development of new medicines and vaccines is not only from a Dutch or European perspective but worldwide. We can maximize knowledge and efficiencies of scale by having the entire chain from R&D to production also here.”
BioConnection offers young, innovative bio-pharmaceutical companies access to a state-of-the-art-GMP manufacturing facility and a broad range of support services. BioConnection is a contract services and manufacturing organisation focused on the development and manufacture (Filling and Freeze drying) of injectable (bio)pharmaceutical products. From its proprietary site in Oss the company supplies both clinical as commercial products to a worldwide customer base (FDA/EMA).