At present, auto injectors are the mainstay of SHL’s business. “Compared to other systems, auto injectors have several advantages,” explains Mr. Heaton. “You have to hold them against your skin only and the injection is made automatically.”
One of the company’s latest developments in this business field is the auto injector Molly®2.25. Based on the platform of its predecessor, Molly® auto injector, it boasts the same simple two-step operation. Yet, the cap comes in a more ergonomic pull- or twistoff design with improved anti-roll features to prevent unwanted rolling. Molly®2.25 accommodates a larger pre-filled syringe (2.25 ml) while maintaining the strength of the previous device. Besides the simple two-step operation, and a quick-to-market timeline, the ergonomic engineering and customization possibilities are great advantages of the system.
“Our new Molly® auto injector is robust, extremely easy to handle and highly functional,” concludes Mr. Heaton. Another highlight in this field is the DAI® auto injector which re-defines the simplicity of self-injection treatment. Boasting a fast and easy three-step operation and integrated safety feature, DAI® is a simple, safe and reliable injection device.
Recognizing the increasing demand for digital control, SHL introduced the Alubena® program which is dedicated to connected device solutions. Here, Molly®C and the Recording Unit (RU) are the latest developments from the team. SHL presented its new solutions at the last PDA event.
“Molly® is a trusted and reliable device platform that has already proven its efficiency, functionality and adaptability,” says Mr. Heaton. “The auto injector is disposable, but the RU is reusable for two years without charging. The solution is based on bluetooth technology to transmit information to a user’s mobile device.” The hybrid design perfectly unites the advantages of a disposable auto injector and a reusable sensor and transmitter, boasting remote recording capabilities at a competitive price.
In another area of interest – pen injectors – Penny® is the latest addition to SHL’s family of devices. The 3 ml multi-dose disposable pen injector comes in a userfriendly and discreet design and an interface staying true to the established mental model of diabetic users. The device offers a platform for variable and set doses and has been designed for large scale manufacturing.
Last but not least, inhalation devices complete the product range of SHL medical. “Here, we can leverage some of the technologies we use for injection devices,” says Mr. Heaton. “The difference is that the device is not linked to a needle but to a mouth piece.”
Currently, a new line of droplet inhalers with a patented technology is in clinical trials. “From the very beginning, innovation has been our DNA,” Mr. Heaton explains the company’s success. “We launched our first auto injector back in 1996. Since then, we have been improving our existing systems and inventing new ones. For example, we launched our DAI® auto injector in 2006. We regularly carry out patient surveys and ask the patients what they like and what they do not like about our systems or what causes problems. Millions of doses are taken every year with our devices – this is the best market research we can get. Also, we connect the best of both worlds – the Taiwanese experience and know-how in manufacturing and the Swedish design talent. As a result, we are able to cover the complete value-added chain. The whole production is accomplished at our facilities in Taiwan. There, we have all moulding tools and manufacturing facilities needed and a large automation team. Our industrial design team is based in Stockholm where we have some very talented and experienced designers.”
Servicing pharmaceutical companies of all sizes, from start-ups through to multinational players, SHL focuses on Europe. In addition to this, the company supplies clients in the USA and in Asia where it also operates business development departments.
The company was established in Taiwan in 1989. The goal was to unite Asian world-class manufacturing with the strength of Western Management practices. Still, the combination of these assets is unique to SHL. The dynamic business will not rest on its laurels in the coming years and continues to launch innovative devices.
“We spend much time looking into different future scenarios,” says Mr. Heaton. “In the coming years, connected drug delivery solutions will be a key issue for us. We see promising perspectives in this field and great benefits for both the patients and the doctors. Once a patient uses the device, it sends a signal to the smart phone and then on to the cloud. The collected information is accessible for doctors, the industry and other involved parties. This way, you also ensure that every dose is taken – which is essential to the effect of the therapy. Therefore, we are searching for new technologies for integrated solutions. Our mission, that has always been the driver of business, is to make people’s lives easier with our solutions. This was coupled with the aim of avoiding the need for frequent visits to physicians or clinics, both inconvenient for the patient and expensive for the payer. We are sure that connected solutions will enable us to offer patients a new level of convenience.”