Vetter, a global contract development and manufacturing organization based in Ravensburg, Germany, has announced the winner of its first Open Innovation Challenge — Injection 2.0. The competition, which kicked off in June, brought together four different teams to submit ideas on how digital trends can be used to develop innovative and sustainable solutions for new drug injection therapies.
Claudia Roth, vice president of innovation management at Vetter, said the competition was designed to help the company explore new pathways to further the development of the injection process. She also said it has already proven to be a success.
“The winning proposal is a novel idea that has the potential to improve the documentation process as it pertains to the administration process of drugs for healthcare professionals,” Roth said. “This new idea helps to make the process step easier, faster, and safer for patients. Following an engaged and intensive jury meeting, the winning idea was selected as the one judged to be the best in regards to both content and comprehensive presentation.”
The competition was arranged in a multidisciplinary fashion that included both students and professionals from the fields of medicine and economic sciences. Vetter also included staff members on each team to help design the initial idea concepts and prototypes before entering the development phase.
“As a globally operating contract development and manufacturing organization, Vetter is always looking for new pathways that can help further develop the injection process,” Roth said. “We believe these new ideas can help provide patients around the world, in alliance with our customers, improved and more up-to-date services related to the delivery of injectables.”
After the competition kicked off in June, the participants entered into a dialogue with different users of injectables — specifically caretakers and patients. After gathering useful knowledge and feedback, the teams set out to design an initial concept and prototype for their idea that could be tested among potential users. Another development phase quickly followed, and on Sept. 25, the four groups presented their ideas at Vetter’s Ravensburg office in front of a panel of judges.
As the company moves forward with the contest winners, Roth said they could choose to develop multiple projects from the competition, or at least help advance certain elements from different groups. Given the wonderful response to this year’s competition, the company also plans to consider holding future competitions in an effort to help continue to drive new ideas and innovation.
“Moving forward we will decide which project areas or elements from the teams will be advanced in the future, as well as in which space this will take place,” she said. “Overall, these positive initial outcomes are the reason why we are considering the establishment of such formats alongside our already proven processes. In this way, we can move forward the promotion and advancement of innovative capabilities that significantly contribute to the preservation of the patient’s quality of life, well into the future.”
Regardless of whether or not the company decides to hold a second competition, the results of the Open Innovation Challenge certainly speak for themselves. Roth said the company was not only impressed with what the teams produced but that their general approach and team spirit was encouraging as the company looks for new ways to improve patient therapy through the delivery of injectables.