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SKAN in the New York Times

Two female scientists work together in a laboratory. One of them is pipetting, holding a pipette in one hand and a small flask in the other one.

On January 24, SKAN appeared in the New York Times Switzerland special with an article on how Swiss technology continues to improve safety in pharmaceutical production:

World Leader in Isolator Technology Stays One Step Ahead of the Innovation Curve

Swiss technology continues to improve safety in pharmaceutical production

The manufacturing of pharmaceuticals is a complex and high-stakes undertaking. Patient safety and product quality are of paramount importance. To mitigate manufacturing risks and improve safety, pharmaceutical manufacturers are opting for isolators instead of classic cleanrooms for aseptic production activities such as filling and formulation. An isolator’s enclosed environment is easier to control than that of a whole cleanroom, and it provides superior sterility and better operator safety.

At the forefront of isolator technology is SKAN, a Swiss innovation pioneer that delivers unique solutions to the global isolator market. During its 50- year history, the company has grown from a handful of employees to more than 900 worldwide and is the market leader in its niche.

Isolator technology pioneer

Since its founding in 1968, SKAN has pioneered state-of-the-art, client-specific solutions to protect the aseptic process from human operators, and operators from any toxic products. One of SKAN’s innovative milestones was the first filling line isolator with a hydrogen peroxide decontamination cycle of fewer than two hours, and many other improvements ensuring aseptic production complies with the highest FDA standards.

Driving the company forward is a mindset seeking to actively push new boundaries. Adopting this disruptive outlook allows SKAN to meet current and future pharmaceutical industry challenges and opportunities. Driving the company forward is a mindset seeking to actively push new boundaries. Adopting this disruptive outlook allows SKAN to meet current and future pharmaceutical industry challenges and opportunities. As economies grow and healthcare provision expands, the demand for pharmaceutical products is on the rise. The diversity of pharmaceutical needs is also increasing, and consequently, the need for isolator technology is greater. At the same time, regulations are becoming more stringent. To develop customized solutions, SKAN works closely with its customers in line with regulatory bodies such as the FDA to ensure its products meet the highest standards. 

“Our goal is to get closer to the customer’s needs,” says Thomas Huber, CEO of SKAN. “We don’t just want to merely sell clients machines. We have an abundance of know-how and can support the customer in how to ramp up their products quickly and have machines FDA compliant. This is beneficial not only for our customers, but also for patients around the globe. As regulatory bodies approve pharmaceutical products, companies are able to roll out products and begin production on a shorter timeline. We are improving our services to make sure we can help our customers accelerate their time-to- market.” It is a lofty goal, but one that SKAN is determined to achieve.

One step ahead

This world leader in aseptic isolators is based in Basel, one of Switzerland’s most populous cities and a chemical and pharmaceutical industry hub. It also has subsidiaries in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, and the United States, and representations around the globe. Ambitious growth plans are on the horizon as it seeks to expand its international footprint, particularly in the USA. The company is making significant investments in manpower and equipment to ensure prompt maintenance for clients’ isolator machines.

“We are working with highly talented engineers in the USA and around the world to bring them up-to-speed on our specific equipment and technology. Currently, since our technology is very specific, it takes about six to twelve months of training for an engineer to become an expert, and we offer extensive on-the-job training. In addition, we have our own academy, which also expanded to the USA,” stated Huber.

In the coming year, SKAN’s workforce is set to expand to more than 1,000 global employees to help the company stay ahead of the innovation curve. Huber added, “SKAN is a typical Swiss company. We value innovation, and our mission is always to be one step ahead. We have followed this method for many years, and it has allowed us to achieve the success we see today and continue to scale our business into the future.” 

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