Pharmaceutical Processing

INTERPHEX Q&A: Biopharma Pump Technology

Pharmaceutical Processing created a questionnaire to learn more about PSG®, their technologies, and some of the upcoming trends they are seeing in the industry. Quattroflow, part of PSG, a Dover Company, is an exhibitor at INTERPHEX 2016. Wallace Wittkoff, Global Sales Director, Biopharma, PSG®, answers our questions.

Below are the edited responses to this exclusive Q&A.

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Wallace Wittkoff
Global Sales Director, Biopharma, PSG®

Q: Tell us a little bit about your company—what do you do and what are some of the areas that you specifically excel in?

Wittkoff: Quattroflow™, developer of the renowned quaternary (four-piston) diaphragm pump technology, is part of PSG®, a company dedicated to offering the pump solutions in a broad array of industries, but segmented to provide specialized technical solutions specific markets, such as the biopharmaceutical industry. Quattroflow pumps possess the capability to transfer high-value fluids while giving unparalleled flow control. This enables optimized effectiveness when used in new processes like single-use closed manufacturing or continuous processing (instead of batch), such as during in-line formulation or dilution.

Q: What don’t most people realize about your company?

Wittkoff: PSG houses some of the world’s leading pump brands, such as Quattroflow™, Wilden®, Blackmer®, Mouvex®, and Neptune™, among others, that offer continuous processes capabilities. In addition, under the Dover Corporation umbrella, Colder Products (CPC) is a sister company that develops single-use and/or aseptic connectors for the biopharma industry, as well.

Q: What is one of the biggest successes of your company?

Wittkoff: Following the invention in the mid-1980s of the Quattroflow pumping principle by Frank Glabiszewski and his team, Quattroflow pumps have become a sought-after technology in the biopharmaceutical world and have played a significant role in contributing to the development of treatments/cures to some of the most troublesome modern diseases. With single-use pumps as the heart of reliable, cost-effective development and manufacturing solution, these treatments/cures our coming to market faster than ever.

Q: Are there other areas of specialties in the pharmaceutical industry your company is hoping to delve into? If so, please explain.

Wittkoff: New bioprocessing concepts like continuous production, extended campaigns, and closed manufacturing that all leverage single-use technology can have their needs addressed by Quattroflow quaternary diaphragm pumps. We will also address the requirements and demands posed by new technologies like perfusion solutions and radial chromatography. These processes place greater demands on the pump technology to ensure precise flow control, low shear, product purity, and containment.

Q: What are some of the biggest challenges in your industry?

Wittkoff: The biopharmaceutical industry is highly dependent on rapidly evolving scientific and technological developments with close, but many times unknown, regulatory implications, such as the progression of new or old processes into continuous processes that bring great benefit. The main challenge is to keep bringing treatments and cures as fast and safely as possible to the market by deploying these advances as quickly as possible while still satisfying all regulatory tenets.

Q: What is one of the biggest areas of growth your industry has seen in recent years?

Wittkoff: Enabling continuous instead of batch production processes with pumps. Quattroflow pumps can be found in many of these processes, which are becoming increasingly popular.

Q: Where do you see the industry going in the next 10 years? Your area of expertise?

Wittkoff: The industry is simultaneously scaling up and scaling down for biopharmaceutical processes because of different industry drivers. Some processes are scaling down because it is no longer economically applicable or needed to produce treatments in large volumes since their potency can be optimized with smaller overall volumes. On the other hand, technologies such as pumps that offer higher capacities for critical processes enable small-scale production processes to be scaled up.

Q: What would you consider to be a major achievement for the industry in the near future?

Wittkoff: Develop broader and more accessible treatments, cures, and improve the overall quality of life for the world’s population, whether it be the providers or consumers of these treatments, while reducing the impact on (or perhaps even enhancing) the environment.

Q: Will you be exhibiting any new products at the show? If so, tell us about them!

Wittkoff: Yes, we will have several brand-new technologies on display at the show:

  • 20K Single Use Pump: A single-use pump that is available for flows up to 16,000 L/hr, which can help increase the level of adoption of single-use pumps.
  • QF1200HT Pump: Possesses an enhanced drive for Quattroflow's popular 1200 series pump. The HT, or high turndown (200:1) drive, offers exception flow-range performance for scale up or in-line dilution/formulation.
  • QuattroMix: A new drive-less single-use mixing solution that takes advantage of the Quattroflow pump that is already used in the production process. Allows quicker mixing of certain additives and the simplification of the mixing bag by enabling relocation of instrumentation to a recirculation line.  

Q: What are you most looking forward to at INTERPHEX this year?

Wittkoff: INTERPHEX Is always a great venue in which to meet with friends, business partners, associates, customers, and participants while seeing the latest technologies and trends in the industry we work in every day.

Q: What is one of your favorite INTERPHEX memories?

Wittkoff: Several very similar situations where key OEMs in the industry were exhibiting their systems and the company’s representative shared with excitement the capabilities that their product/solution possess, including their vision how these solutions can help their customers. The icing on the cake was learning how Quattroflow pumps really played a key role in helping these solutions deliver their promise.

Q: If your company was a superhero, what superhero would it be?

I would say The Avengers because they together as a group to fight the same challenges. That has also been the driving force behind PSG—bringing together multiple fluid-transfer technology superheroes and working together to solve the critical flow challenges that face operators in a wide variety of the world's most important industries on a daily basis.