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  • Momentum for GSI global barcode standard grows with new Digital Link upgrade

    Dr Dominique Guinard CTO of EVRYTHNG, co-chairs the GS1 Digital Link working group that manages the standard. It reports significant momentum globally with brands adopting the barcode as a scalable, future-proof solution to deliver direct-to-consumer experiences, transparency, and proof of brand integrity. “GS1 Digital Link has gained significant momentum over the past 18 months, since its first release, and EVRYTHNG is pleased to be working with global brands using it to connect their product items with active digital identities in the Cloud,” said Niall Murphy, CEO and co-founder of EVRYTHNG. Research shows that 74% of consumers would switch to a brand that provides more in-depth product information, beyond what is on the physical label. While the US Census Bureau reports the majority of retail sales growth in the USA last year happened in eCommerce. The company is working with global brands using the GS1 Digital Link standard to have one code on their product packaging for both consumer engagement and supply chain applications, each item connected with an EVRYTHNG Active Digital Identity™ (ADI) in the Cloud. Mowi ASA, the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon, has rolled out the new standard at mass scale. A GS1 Digital Link-enabled QR code on each pack connects to a unique EVRYTHNG ADI managed by its Product Cloud. Consumers simply point their smartphones at the QR code to access item-specific provenance information. “Beyond supply chain traceability, the real-time engagement data and insights help us learn about consumer behaviors so we can meet future needs,” said Ola Brattvoll, COO, Mowi. “We are now able to forge direct customer relationships to build trust and ultimately grow sales.” Thanks to compression, the expanded standard supports smaller codes opening the door for a wider range of product types able to benefit from product digitization at scale. With the introduction of link types, direct-to-consumer (DTC) apps can now request specific content when a product is scanned , such as nutritional facts, provenance data, etc. Consumers’ scanning products results in 10 times more engagements than paid digital ads, according to the company. In the US alone an estimated 11 million households will scan a QR Code in 2020, according to a recent Statista survey, up from 9.76 million in 2018. Some 2 billion iOS and Android smartphones around the world are able to natively scan QR codes without the need for special apps. “The rapid rise of consumers scanning makes this newest release of GS1 Digital Link a game-changer for the consumer products industry — in particular, apparel, beauty, and luxury brands but also brands desiring to deliver very specific targeted content to their customers such as nutraceuticals,” stated Guinard.

  • International regulators provide guiding principles for COVID-19 clinical trials

    EMA has endorsed a joint statement on prioritisation of COVID-19 clinical trials published by the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA). Medicines regulators from around the world have jointly developed this statement to step up global collaboration to facilitate and expedite the development and evaluation of therapeutics, diagnostics and vaccines against COVID-19.

  • High demand for protective garments for the medical sector: Reifenhäuser converts another pilot line for production

    The Covid-19 crisis puts global production capacity for hygiene products to a severe test. In March Reifenhäuser has temporarily produced metlblown to produce roughly one million face masks a day at its Technology Center. The company has now converted another pilot line for production. The first batch produces 110 metric tons of protective film for a global leading manufacturer for medical coveralls for use in hospitals. The increased demand is currently very high for coveralls worn to treat highly infectious coronavirus patients.

  • Fast and Furious: Pharmaceutical Company Makes and Packs Hand Sanitizer in Record Time

    When a coronavirus pandemic is underway globally and there’s a widespread and shortage of life-saving hand sanitizer, companies of all types and in all sectors have jumped swiftly into action to do what they can to provide help at a critical time. However, the from-scratch fast and furious effort achieved by HR Pharmaceuticals, York, PA, may be one for the record books. With the invaluable help of C-P Flexible Packaging (CPF), the pharma company accelerated from a standing start in late March to filling unit-dose packets of self-made hand sanitizer 10 days later. That record-busting turnaround is made even more amazing when you consider that the pharmaceuticals company had not made sanitizer before. Setting the humanitarian effort in motion was Colby Wiesman, president of HR Pharmaceuticals, who responded to the nationwide shortage of hand sanitizer. Although the company had not had any experience making or packaging hand sanitizer, Wiesman knew that its ultrasound gels have a consistency similar to hand sanitizer gels. He had a simple, but strong motivation: Wanting to help. Wiesman quickly set out to mass produce hand sanitizer gel and provide it to various groups within the local community that were in desperate need of the product. A few things had to happen quickly, and they did. First, HR Pharmaceuticals’ product development and sourcing teams swiftly came together to bring the idea to fruition. Although the alcohol needed to produce hand sanitizer was in short supply, the company managed to overcome this obstacle and rapidly pull together all of the raw materials needed to mass produce hand sanitizer gel thanks to Suite-K based in New York City. Notably, while HR Pharma had experience with flexibles before, it had not worked with C-P Flexible Packaging, the converter’s Director of Marketing Amanda Dahlby tells Packaging Digest. That was surprising because both companies have operations in York, PA, which is a highly fortuitous and perhaps necessary proximity given the timeframe. A flexible solution is logical. HR Pharmaceuticals needed a format they could package safely and get the hand sanitizer literally into as many hands as possible and in expedited fashion. Knowing that hand sanitizer is generally produced in large bottles or packages, Wiesman figured the sanitizer would be widely distributed to more people if packaged in single-use flexible packets rather than multi-use bottles. “As you may know, there is a big shortage of alcohol, so if we're filling into a 32-ounce bottle, it gets into your house, but it doesn't get into everybody else's," he says. "This is a great opportunity of producing single-use packets where they can be widely distributed." He also felt that single-use packets would also eliminate any potential for cross-contamination. It’s a format that hits the sweet spot for the company, which packages lubricants in tubes and packets for personal and medical/surgical use. That’s when HR Pharma reached out to C-P Flexible Packaging’s Clark, VP of sales. Clark immediately gained the full support of the converter. The customer created and delivered graphics for the new hand sanitizer packets in one day, and C-P Flexible Packaging expediently delivered first order of printed rollstock. Packaging Digest is told that the supplier had the raw materials on-hand, a 2.25-mil lamination with moisture and oxygen barrier properties that is also designed to seal through contamination. It was 10 days from Wiesman’s first contact with C-P Flexible Packaging that his company started packaging the gel. Each packet holds 3 grams of hand sanitizer, and HR Pharmaceuticals is filling from 4 to 6 million packets weekly for six weeks on vertical form-fill-seal machinery at the York facility. In addition to making this product available for sale through the national medical distribution network, the product is being donated to local front-line workers like police departments, fire stations, EMTs, prisons, courthouses, and more. Says Wiesman, “We are constantly pursuing opportunities that do good for the community, doctors and patients we serve while doing good for our business and associates. We were thankful that C-P Flexible Packaging bent over backwards to help us get the product into the literal hands of those who need it, with lead times that are unheard of in this industry. Seeing our internal associates and external partners come together for this noble project has been one of the greatest joys of my professional career.” This story may not end. Even as the planned six-week production run winds down, HR Pharmaceuticals is considering adding hand sanitizer to its standard portfolio, according to C-P Flexible Packaging’s Dahlby. To read more, visit Packaging Digest's archived listing of COVID-19 articles.

  • Plastic packaging replacement for Mettler Toledo InLab® sensors

    Our approach: Easy setup corrugated cardboard box DSS Plant Oftringen (Switzerland) created a single-material solution which is easy to set up without any additional inlays. Results: • Monomaterial solution – corrugated cardboard • Easy to recycle – better environmental protection across the supply chain • Easy to set up which leads to higher efficiency • Packaging fit for several sizes of the product • Lower cost and lower complexity • The solution won the World Star and Swiss Star Packaging Awards in 2016.

  • Dispenser is a Sweet Solution

    The original polystyrene (PS) construction of the lid and container has been replaced with a dispenser made entirely out of PP, which greatly increases the pack’s ability to be recycled. Equally important, the new dispenser offers the same durability and ease of use to ensure effective product protection and consumer convenience. The dispenser also retains the distinctive attractive design of the original to create maximum on-shelf appeal. The high gloss finish can be fully customised for effective brand differentiation, including individual colour matching, printing and sleeving. The side-actuator ensures ease of use for the consumer. The Bramlage Sweetener Dispenser 2.0 is available in two sizes, with a capacity for 650 or 1200 tablets up to 5mm in diameter and 2mm in depth.

  • Emer Cooke nominated as new EMA Executive Director

    The EMA Management Board has nominated Emer Cooke as the new Executive Director of the Agency. At an extraordinary virtual session on 25 June, the Board selected Emer Cooke from a shortlist of candidates created by the European Commission. Ms Cooke will now be invited to give a statement to the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on 13 July 2020. The appointment of the new Executive Director will only be made after that meeting.

  • First COVID-19 treatment recommended for EU authorisation

    EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) has recommended granting a conditional marketing authorisation to Veklury (remdesivir) for the treatment of COVID-19 in adults and adolescents from 12 years of age with pneumonia who require supplemental oxygen.


    For this reason, it implemented all the indications provided for by the Shared Protocol on March 14, 2020 between the Government, Trade Unions and Trade Associations. In order to allow its employees and suppliers to access workplaces in compliance with the precautions that the current serious situation requires to adopt. Below you will find the main measures that Makro Labeling Srl has put in place to ensure the safety of its employees / collaborators for the benefit of the entire community of customers and suppliers and to guarantee - at the same time - the continuity of activities with our customers, where possible. In particular: The Committee for the verification and application of the rules established by the Shared Protocol was set up in the company. The Committee meets virtually every day to follow the evolution of the emergency and act accordingly. For security reasons, from the first day we reduced the organization of face-to-face meetings to a minimum, favoring remote communication tools such as webinars, skype calls, etc. We have activated the working mode in smartworking as much as possible and reduced the staff present in the production departments, using backward permits and holidays, always in such a way, however, to guarantee continuity of service. All our telephone numbers / contact points are manned, as usual. We confirm that, to date, no employee and collaborator of Makro Labeling Srl is affected by the COVID-19 virus and therefore subjected to restrictive individual health measures as required by the emergency protocol. For the protection of everyone's health, our office is currently not accessible to outsiders (suppliers can deliver, in compliance with company safety procedures, by agreement with the warehouse. For operational questions and specifics on current projects, we ask you to refer to your internal contacts at Makro Labeling Srl. We will take care of updating you with further communications in the case of new provisions that may be adopted following directives from the Competent Authorities. Cordial greetings Goito (MN), there March 24 2020

  • Global regulators discuss data requirements for phase 3 trials of COVID-19 vaccines

    Under the umbrella of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities (ICMRA), international regulators discussed COVID-19 vaccine development and the necessary evidence required for regulatory decision-making at the second regulatory workshop on COVID-19 vaccines. The meeting was jointly organised by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on 22 June 2020.

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