Darren Hieber was named Vice President of Catalent Biologics’ North American business development team in September 2020, leading their drug product sales efforts, and was previously Sr. Account Director for several of Catalent’s largest strategic drug product customers. He joined Catalent as part of the acquisition of Cook Pharmica in 2017, where he had spent the previous six years as a key member of the team that built one of the leading biologics drug product portfolios in the industry. Darren has been in the life science sector for over 20 years with prior leadership roles at Baxter, Becton Dickinson, and Abbott Labs, and received his BA in Accounting and Economics from Western Michigan University and his MBA in Marketing from Butler University.
We caught up with Darren to learn more about what makes Catalent Biologics unique, insights into new technology, and top trends he sees leading the industry.
What makes Catalent Biologics a unique company?
Catalent is one of the leading providers of drug development and manufacturing solutions, powering many of the world’s leading pharma and biotech companies. We’re flexible and provide tailored solutions to transform our customers’ projects into better treatments for their patients.
INTERPHEX is a launching point for innovation and technology. Can you share some insight into the innovation and technology that Catalent has recently launched?
Our Bloomington, Indiana site recently had two (2) new high-speed vial filling lines become available to support our customer’s COVID-19 vaccine programs. By partnering with our vendors and strategically thinking through the industry need, we realized speed was key. These lines are some of the fastest in the world, using isolator technology to maintain the highest quality standards and to ensure patient safety. I’m really proud of the site team who has dedicated a significant amount of time over the last year to speed up this project and make them available sooner than we had originally intended.
What is a typical “can’t miss” moment for you at INTERPHEX, and how will that change for 2021?
I believe we all want to be in-person again, seeing familiar faces, walking around the event center, and showcasing our booths. As more individuals become vaccinated over the coming months, the hope is that we will be able to see each other again whether that’s this year or next.
What is your company’s biggest success thus far?
Catalent’s ability to be flexible and pivot our strategy during the pandemic has been critical to not only our success, but our customers success. In 2019 we announced a $100 million drug product investment into our Bloomington, Indiana site adding new high-speed filling lines and secondary packaging. Once we realized how serious the pandemic was, we knew we needed to accelerate the expansion to make those manufacturing lines available sooner for customers’ COVID-19 vaccines and have been supplying vaccines for multiple customers for several months.
Being part of the solution is a great honor and our teams continue to work 24/7 to manufacture and supply treatments and therapeutics for both the U.S. and European markets.
What are the top three trends you see leading the transformation of the pharmaceutical, biotechnical, and medical device industry?
The pandemic has forced our industries to be more creative in the way we work, the way we partner, and how we deliver. Take the development and manufacturing of vaccines for example: the industry has adjusted what would normally take about 10 to 12 years and compressed it down to 12 to 18 months by performing several activities in parallel to one another. In addition, our industry continues to look at speed as a key driver for getting medicines to patients. By doing so, more and more companies have invested heavily in high-speed automated equipment with the ability to fill components faster than ever before.
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