The event in the Marriott Cité Internationale in Lyon (France) was organised in collaboration with Nelson Labs Europe and offered key industry presentations over two days.
Day 1 - Wednesday, 4 July
MedPharmPlast Europe President James Stern (Albis) moderated the event on both days. On Wednesday, he first welcomed Thor Rollins (Nelson Labs) from the ISO 10993 Committe who gave an excellent overview of the upcoming changes to the ISO 10993. The next two sessions focused on selection of raw materials for risk reduction. First Stefan Roth (Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences) explained the development of the new VDI guideline for medical grade plastic - an initiative launched by the Association of German Engineers. Afterwards Nicholas Berendt from Sealed Air presented a case study on how to manage risk and consistency in the raw material supply chain before Frank De Smedt (Nelson Labs Europe) gave a regulatory update on developments in the European Pharmacopoeia and US Pharmacopoeia.
Subsequently the focus shifted to toxicological assessment of extractables & leachables with a technical presentation from Koen Van Deun (Nelson Labs) explaining the general principles and a presentation from Pascale Van Hoydonck (Terumo) sharing insights on her company's hazardous substances database.
Before the first day of the conference ended with a networking drink, James Stern presented the activities of MedPharmPlast Europe (MPPE): he stressed the fact that MPPE represents the total value chain of plastic medical devices and pharmaceutical packaging in Europe. The membership of MPPE is constantly growing. At the moment the association counts 19 members from all over Europe, its latest addition being Sanofi, one of the world's leading healthcare companies employing more than 100,000 people worldwide.
Day 2 - Thursday, 5 July
On the second day Thor Rollins gave a second presentation on biological evaluation plans - a risk-based approach to biocompatability. Afterwards Elisabeth Mertl (OFI Technologie & Innovation GmbH) presented an in-vitro testing battery OFI developed to assess biocompatibility of medical devices and showed that many alternatives to animal-testing are coming up. After a networking coffee, Dario Pirovano shared MedTech Europe's views on the implementation of the Medical Devices Regulation - a recently highly discussed topic.
Following MedTech Europe's presentation two speakers gave valuable insights on sustainability issues in the plastics industry. First, Silvia Freni Sterrantino from EuPC gave an overview of what has been going on on a European level by updating the audience on the EU Plastics Strategy and Toxic Free Environment Strategy. Afterwards Gregoire Gauthier (Nemera) had the honor to give the last presentation in which he explained what his company is doing regarding sustainability. He shared examples of eco-design demonstrating that medical devices can be efficient and light-weighted while maximizing patient safety and minimizing environmental impact.
James Stern closed the event by thanking all speakers and participants for making this year's summer conference a big success. We at MedPharmPlast Europe are already looking forward to the next edition of our event.