Annual Report from the BFS IOA Chairman 2007

Dear BFS members,

After being elected to replace the former chairman Anders Löfgren at our Annual General Meeting in Antwerp in the beginning of the year, I am now just about to finish my first year as the new chairman of the Board in the BFS IOA. Although I have been a member o nf the Association since many years back, the position as Chairman is a new challenge. For me it has been a very exciting year, as I realise that there are a lot of new subjects to learn and get involved in. However, I have the privilege to work with a very competent board that supports me in these duties.

Looking back over the last 12 months, it has been another successful year for us. The trend of growing interest for the Association that started last year has continued during 2007. We have attracted both several new Operators to become members as well as new suppliers that have entered as valuable sponsors to the Association. On behalf of the Association I want to express our gratitude to all our sponsor for their important contribution to our mission.

In 2007 we have had three meetings, Antwerp, Chicago and Singapore, and in the latter we had 66 participants, which is about the highest number for an Asia meeting in several years. For me it was my first visit to a meeting in this area, and I have to admit that I was really impressed about the strong expansion for Blow-Fill-Seal technology in the Asia Pacific area. It is likely that we will see many more members from this region in the coming years.

The topics we have focused on in 2007 has among others been related to Air Handling in the CPZ (Critical Processing Zone), Media filling, Regulatory Experiences and Updates of new guidelines and standards.

Other achievements during the past year are that we have expanded the Board with a new member - Daniel Østerby, Director of Technical Operation at Catalent, US. Daniel will add important experience from the North American business to the Board.

With a considerable work by our Technical officer, Eric Dewhurst, we have not only finalized the third revision of our "Points to Consider" document, we have also nearly finalized an agreement with PDA, Parenteral Drug Association, to assign the rights to them to publish this document as a PDA Technical Report on Blow-Fill-Seal technology. In this respect, the Board and myself are convinced that we will be able to spread the knowledge of BFS operations to a much wider audience.

Finally, some words about what will happen during 2008. As you might have heard we will celebrate the 20th anniversary for the Association next year. The meeting will be held in June in the same area, (even the same Pub as where the first discussions to form the Association was held, if possible), near Bracknell in United Kingdom. The two other meetings are not definitively settled, but for the moment we plan for a US meeting in Texas in March/April, and an Asia Pacific meeting in Kuala Lumpur in end November / first week in December.

The Board has started the planning for what topics we want to cover in 2008. One of these are a more thorough review of different aspects of our most important raw material, the polymer resin. Topics we will try to include are extractable / leachables, auditing of suppliers and how to perform incoming inspection of deliveries. Other areas of interest are Maintenance, SIP Qualification and Sterile filters from a user perspective.

But however, it is also up to you as members to suggest any ideas of what subjects you want us to pay special attention to in the Association. And maybe, you might be able to present any work in this area yourself ? If so, please feel free to contact the Board to discuss this further.

At the Annual General Meeting in March, we will have an upcoming election of members to the positions as Technical Officer and Officer of Operation. We invite all members to come up with suggestions for candidates for these positions. You will find the names of the candidates published on our homepage in advance to the meeting, so you can evaluate whom you think will be the best person to vote for.

In a few days we will also post to you the invoice for your membership 2008. The Board has decided that the fee for 2008 will be 1200 Euro (corresponding to 1800 US dollars). As always this is valid as a company membership, which will allow several people at your site to participate in the coming meetings during 2008.

With these words, I want to thank you for your interest in the Association during 2007, and wish you the traditional Seasons Greetings and all the best for the New Year to come.


Best personal regards

Peter Åkerman
BFS IOA Chairman
January 2008