Article taken from a speech by Nathalie MASSON, Director of Innovation & Development at Unither Pharmaceuticals, on 8 November 2023 at Unither’s 30th anniversary event in Nanjing, China.

“It’s a great honour for me to have the opportunity to introduce Unither’s Research & Development (R&D) department, which we call I&D (for Innovation & Development) because we don’t do basic research on new molecules,” says Nathalie MASSON, Director of I&D at Unither Pharmaceuticals.

Innovation is at the core of our identity, as we believe it opens up new pathways for patient wellbeing, ensuring our future success. Innovation is more than just developing new products. As a result, we have focused our efforts and resources within the Unither Group on five major innovation themes:

  • Ophthalmology: A major challenge is to reach the retina without injecting into the eye.
  • Respiratory: We aim to simplify treatments by judiciously combining active molecules. At the same time, we are committed to replacing current propellants with low-impact alternatives that are less harmful to our planet.
  • Rhinology: encompassing saline solutions and nasal sprays, this theme explores treatments not only for local pathologies, but also for systemic applications. Nasal vaccination, which is booming, is a key topic.
  • Industrial Innovation: At the heart of our plants, industrial innovation remains a key factor in our success. We are constantly striving to develop faster, more economical and environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes.
  • Environment: Any initiative aimed at limiting our impact on the environment deserves to be explored and integrated into our daily practices.

With R&D teams at every Unither plant, a dedicated ophthalmology R&D centre in Bordeaux, France, and a central team in Paris, our dedicated staff of almost 130 worldwide work tirelessly to develop and integrate new medicines and medical devices.

China, an important player in our global innovation strategy, is no exception. Our Nanjing plant is booming, with ambitious plans to develop and produce Blow-Fill-Seal (BFS) ophthalmic and respiratory products for the Chinese market. Cross-border collaboration between our R&D teams is already underway, with the successful transfer of two respiratory products developed in France to Nanjing.

A thorough understanding of the needs of the Chinese market is essential, especially through meetings with Chinese ophthalmologists to learn their requirements and potentially identify new drugs that are suitable for their patients. Recruitment of talented R&D engineers in Nanjing will be a key factor in the future. In order to ensure our continued success, we plan to reach out to Chinese universities and academic laboratories.

All the elements are in place to make Unither Nanjing a success, both in terms of drug production and development.