Pharmapack Europe 2023 returns to its traditional February timing for the first time since the start of the pandemic and provides the industry with a vital early window into many of tomorrow’s technologies that improve patient experience, adherence, and delivery. In particular, the event is well known as a unique hub for many innovations in early development, with its start-up zone dedicated to exploring the technologies that are currently being launched or will come on to market in 2 to 3 years. Ahead of this week’s event, where some 5,500 executives and 300 companies will be present, Drug Development and Delivery caught up with five companies to get a sneak peek into the latest innovations in the drug delivery and packaging space. Veratrak, Congruence, Idevax,, and Use Factory are all presenting out of the box solutions to solve pharma packaging and delivery challenges. One of the present realities of the drug delivery industry is that many of the next-generation technologies are being developed by smaller companies before receiving investment, partnering, or acquisition. This is why Pharmapack continues to hold such an important role in the discovery and development of European technology – providing start-ups, university spin-outs, and smaller suppliers a vital platform to showcase new innovations.


One such start-up is Congruence, a company that is attempting to solving unmet medical needs in injectables. Their technology leverages a compressed gas source and is designed for emerging and unmet needs of high-dose products that are highly viscous or require high-volume doses. The challenge is that most autoinjectors present in the market have springs in them, and these springs get large with high-dose products, making the device impractical for self-application. In contrast, the use of compressed-gas power source and proprietary usability features removes the need for springs keeping compact format while incorporating standard primary containers.


Another company, Idevax is developing new technologies for improving the accuracy and patient comfort of intradermal drug delivery. Studies using influenza and Hepatitis B vaccines have shown only one-fifth to one-tenth of the dose is needed to achieve the immune response in intradermal delivery compared to the full dose administered intramuscularly or subcutaneously.1 VAX-ID®, which is an adaptor for injections, can be preconfigured with a 32-G, 30-G, or 27-G needle with a penetration depth of 0.85 mm, 1.00 mm, and 1.2,mm, respectively. The product works by holding the adaptor against the skin and injecting the syringe with the needle through the adaptor – penetrating just below the dermis. The device can be applied in administration of vaccines as well as in lymphatic applications.

A person holding a syringe with the VAX-ID adaptor

The reason this technology represents a breakthrough is that the currently used Mantoux technique for intradermal injections requires a very high degree of training – with clinicians needing to insert at an angle of 10° to 15°. This tiny adaptor could therefore be truly transformative, especially for mass immunizations in which the use of lower doses would enable more patients to be treated. An additional benefit is this route of delivery can cause decreased anxiety and pain particularly useful for the elderly cohort who were also seen to have a heightened immune response after intradermal flu vaccinations.2 The company is currently supporting bridging studies to demonstrate effectiveness in vaccines traditionally administered through subcutaneous routes.


But devices are not the only areas of pharma seeing massive improvements in 2023. The problem of high variation in production output, long ramp-up phases of new machines, and lack of skilled operators can all cause operational delays in manufacturing of pharma and packaging products. is a Fraunhofer Spinoff in the field of artificial intelligence for automated production. It uses an AI platform that works by learning continuously to situationally optimize complex manufacturing lines and injection molding machines leading to enhanced output, reduced resources, and improved energy efficiency.

plus10 software tools giving situational recommendations to shopfloor or maintenance to reduce trouble-shooting time

The automated monitoring and correction tools reduce short stops, errors, as well as troubleshooting time and suggest situational actions in real time. Based in Germany, the company is already serving clients in Europe and the US.


Another innovative approach comes from Use Factory – a design and creation company that integrates human factors in the conception, ergonomics, and design of medical devices and products for the health sector.

EASYGUIDE, an ergonomic and safe guide needle for hyaluronic acid cannalue insertion. Designed by USE FACTORY

Their designs are in use in many drug delivery devices, for example, the guide needle, which is used to create an entry point for hyaluronic acid cannula. This device provides a non-traumatic patient experience and ensures accuracy and safety for the cosmetic surgeon by guiding the entry of the needle on the skin. Another patented innovation with potential in packaging of cosmetic and pharmaceutical lotion, ointments, and creams is the “XTREM PUMP”, which is a flexible airless pump having 2 instead of the usual 16 internal parts creating a design, which is far more compact and sterile enabling dispense of premeasured dose from a clean nozzle.


Finally, Veratrak is a UK-based supply chain software provider that is changing the way supply chains work. A blockchain based platform, which has been built keeping in mind the life sciences industry, helps to harmonize data across the supply chain of pharmaceutical and packaging products. A blockchain is a shared digital ledger of transactions across disparate businesses without the need for control by any single central entity – meaning its free from any centralized control. The immutability of blockchain makes it suitable as a supply chain record.

The start-up’s newly launched product “The Hub” is a supply chain management software that links systems across pharmaceutical, logistics, and contract manufacturing organizations together. This potentially gives a single view on the journey of the product through its manufacturing. Given the recent supply chain issues in the pharma industry, solutions that make asset utilization of containers and ships possible also help with decreasing emissions at scale.


  1. Immunogenicity and safety of intradermal delivery of hepatitis B booster vaccine using the novel drug delivery device VAX-ID™, January 21, 2019,
  2. Intradermal Influenza Vaccine Administered Using a New Microinjection System Produces Superior Immunogenicity in Elderly Adults: A Randomized Controlled Trial, September 1, 2008,