This year’s Covid19 pandemic has accelerated the consumer trend towards healthier lifestyles and nutritional supplementation. This in turn has increased demand for capsules in nutritional supplements markets. Immune-health supporting supplements such as vitamin C, vitamin D and zinc for example have recorded dramatic growth.
To meet this demand, Swiss firm Lonza recently announced a significant investment in its Capsules and Health Ingredients (CHI) Division, a dosage form delivery partner to the biopharma and health nutrition industry. The expansion underlines the strategic position of capsules within the broader nutrition industry.
"We continue to see strong demand for our products across all markets, as consumers take a more active interest in their health,” explains Claude Dartiguelongue, President Capsules & Health Ingredients, Lonza. “Therefore, we felt it was critical that we make this commitment to expand the manufacturing capacity of our network, not only addressing supply needs in the near term but also supply availability over the long term."
Meeting consumer demand
Production capacity will be increased across eight Lonza sites, strengthening the firm’s global manufacturing and supply chain network. Lonza says that the investment will allow a 15 % increase in CHI's current capsule production capacity. The addition of manufacturing capacity for a further 30 billion capsules is designed to address the high growth across CHI's gelatin, vegetarian, and speciality polymers portfolio as well as the liquid-filled hard capsules sold under the Licaps® brand.
"Dosage form technologies have evolved rapidly over the past ten years,” adds Stef Vanquickenborne, Head of Capsules & Health Ingredients Research and Development, Lonza. “We are committed to innovation and helping our customers successfully deliver next-generation nutritional supplements."
Tapping global trends
In addition to increasing production capacity, the company has continued to closely monitor consumer trends toward clean label and regulatory trends, Europe moving to TiO2 free.
As such, this has resulted in capsule solutions such as Plantcaps®, a plant-based capsule designed for delivering ingredients that require immediate dissolution. The capsules are made from naturally fermented tapioca and are preservative-free and non-GMO.
Lonza has also developed a clean label Vcaps® Plus WHITE OPAL™ capsule, to help manufacturers meet new regulations regarding titanium dioxide. The company also has the DUOCAP® capsule, which consists of a single oral dosage delivery system. A smaller pre-filled capsule is inserted into a larger liquid-filled capsule, offering numerous possibilities and a broad range of formulation and design options to meet today’s consumer needs.
Lonza, which has a presence in more than 35 countries, also continues to be heavily engaged in the collaborative global effort to develop vaccines and treatments to tackle Covid19. The company’s Pharma and Biotech division has carried out studies into the SARS-CoV-2 infection and immune responses, as well investigations into the effects of existing drugs. The company is also involved in the ongoing development of therapeutic strategies.