Tuesday, 13 December 2022

Croatian Startup SimpleMatic Creates Solution for JGL Pharma Company

December the 13th, 2022 - The Croatian startup SimpleMatic has successfully designed a solution for one of the most irritating issues still faced by a large domestic pharma company.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, JGL, the very well-known Croatian pharmaceutical company, continues to face a very specific problem when it comes to the production process. Every four hours, as was explained by Mate Poropat, the director of JGL's pharmaceutical-technological operations, they have to change the sedimentation plates in the monitoring procedure. This process is still done manually and costs the company a lot of money and time.

"We want to automate that process in a simple way," said Poropat. Thanks to the Manufacturing Innovation Challenge (MIC) project, which is organised and implemented by the EIT Manufacturing Hub Croatia, they didn't have to wait very long for a solution to come running along. The Croatian startup SimpleMatic, consisting of Daniela Jaksic and Marko Brkljacic, came up with and designed a solution to this issue in a mere few weeks.

"Our solution is of great importance on a global level, because almost all pharmaceutical companies have to try and cope with the problem of manually changing sedimentation plates," explained Jaksic from the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry.

Knowledge and innovation

This example clearly shows how thin the line can be between a problem and a solution. However, it is only thin if the problem falls into the right hands - from industry to those of science. And they were brought together by the EIT Manufacturing Hub, one of ten such hubs in Europe whose goal is to create a network of European innovators in the field of manufacturing and to position Europe as a world leader in innovation in industry.

The EIT Manufacturing HUB in Croatia consists of the Centre for Research, Development and Technology Transfer of the University of Zagreb and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding. They implement a wide number of projects, including MIC, which connects manufacturing companies and startups.

"One of the key problems with startup teams is that they create products for which there's no market. At the same time, manufacturing companies have to face real challenges. It was logical to connect them both,'' explained Miro Hegedic, the co-coordinator in the Manufacturing Hub and an assistant professor at FSB.

Thanks to this project, JGL came to the solution they had been looking for for a long time, and the Croatian startup SimpleMatic got the opportunity to implement their innovation and develop globally. Another award-winning team that participated in the MIC competition - Integrators - who designed a solution for the giant company Podravka and their optimisation of the size of their production orders, also has such an opportunity on its hands.

More money

Those teams, awarded with 10,000 kuna, are two of the nine that participated in the competition. "We want to encourage the development of innovations through projects, including in regard to this competition," Hegedic pointed out.

The Republic of Croatia, which is unfortunately at the very back of the European Union (EU) in terms of innovation, will have a lot of work to do in this field. However, Vesna Petrovic, the co-coordinator of the EIT Manufacturing Hub Croatia from CIRTT, pointed out that she is satisfied with the positive energy she's felt.

"Everyone would like greater access to financing sources," she concluded.

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Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Ivo Usmiani: We're Ready to Produce Vaccines, We Just Need License

March the 23rd, 2021 - Ivo Usmiani, the founder of Croatia's largest and by far most successful pharmaceutical company has spoken out as issues surrounding the coronavirus vaccine across the European Union continue to dominate, claiming that his company is more than ready to start producing vaccines, but they require the proper licensing first.

Problems with the delivery of the ordered amount of vaccines to each EU member state continue to be at the forefront of the ongoing pandemic. The advent of the vaccine was supposed to mark the end of the global pandemic, but with an embarrassingly slow process taking place across the EU, with smaller member states like Croatia suffering the most, it seems that the end is still nowhere near in sight.

Could Ivo Usmiani's highly successful pharmaceutical company step forward and propose a solution to Croatia's pressing coronavirus question? Potentially.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the founder and one of the largest shareholders of the Croatian pharmaceutical company Jadran-Galenski laboratorij (JGL), Ivo Usmiani, said that the Croatian pharmaceutical industry has the potential to produce vaccines, and that he is ready to start.

"We have sterile production and we could quickly start producing vaccines, either vector or mRNA types, but only on the condition that we get the license to do so from a vaccine manufacturer," Ivo Usmiani quite plainly told Vecernji list during a recent interview.

“We have the knowledge and the skills for the production of sterile pharmaceutical forms, as well as the proper technological platform for that. In Rijeka, we also have a Science Centre of Excellence with a dozen quality viral immunologists and molecular biotechnologists, as well as Professor Stipan Jonjic, all of whom deal with vector vaccines, and with whom we often cooperate and with whom we could achieve strong synergies,'' added Ivo Usmiani.

For current information on travel, border rules, measures, testing centres and all things coronavirus specific to Croatia, click here.

Monday, 14 December 2020

JGL Pharmaceutical Company Employs 85 New Workers Despite Coronavirus Crisis

ZAGREB, Dec 14, 2020 - Despite a decrease in consumer buying power caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Jadran Galenski Laboratorij (JGL) pharmaceutical company has employed 85 new workers and ensured an investment of HRK 373 million, JGL said on Monday.

JGL executive director Mislav Vucic has said that he is proud of the results achieved in the current challenging times thanks to a quality strategy, operational flexibility and enormous enthusiasm and commitment by JGL employees in Croatia and other markets.

He added that maintaining the system's stability enabled solidarity towards the local and broader social community throughout the entire year.

Vucic underscored that the company would continue with its strategic projects in 2021, investing in its brands, markets and technology.

Recently JLG signed a contract with the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) for the Integra 2020 project, valued at HRK 373 million, which will enable it to step out onto the international market.

The company plans to invest in sterile pharmaceutical production, R&D, a new pilot plant and a robotised logistics-distribution centre. The project is expected to increase capacities for the production of sterile pharmaceutical solutions by 60% and integrate the research and quality process at a single location in Rijeka.

The project will enable JGL to continue producing the sterile ophtalmic preparations of its strategic partner from Poland in Croatia and continue exporting medicines produced in Croatia to Poland and other markets. This way, the company is strengthening its and the national pharmaceutical industry's export capacities.

Vucic said that the crisis caused by the pandemic would certainly have a major impact on the economy but it had also once again pointed out the significance of having a strong industry based on highly sophisticated technology.

"That is why we consider Integra 2020 to be a capital project that will position us even more strongly on the global pharmaceutical map and enable us to produce an additional 41 million sterile sprays, eye drops and BoV (Bag on Valve) products, intended primarily for export. Thanks to this investment, we are significantly raising the company's development-technological competencies and its global competitiveness," said Vucic.