TCG’s technology can be applied to standard blister packages and records when a pill has been removed. This information can then be wirelessly sent to care givers, pharmaceutical companies or clinical research organisations.
DSM’s investment gives it a foothold in the smart packaging market, which a 2006 NanoMarkets’ report predicted would grow to $14.1bn by 2014. Financial details of the deal are not being disclosed.
Tony de Vrught, vice president of DSM specialty packaging, said: "Intelligent packaging systems aimed at improving patient adherence could substantially contribute to decreasing overall healthcare costs in the future as they reduce the need for more costly interventions.
“I see this as a logical step forward in combining our knowledge of life sciences and materials sciences opening up interesting perspectives in innovative packaging applications. I look forward to working with TCG to develop innovative solutions for this market."
Smart packaging has been identified as a technology that can help better diagnose or judge the effectiveness of a medication, as well as reduce healthcare costs by improving patient compliance.
TCG claims that in Europe alone, mal-compliance causes the deaths of 150,000 a year, with 40 to 70 per cent of patients developing a new medical problem due to the incorrect use of medication.
In addition the company says that only 70 per cent of prescribed medication is actually used, costing pharmaceutical companies €20m per annum.
By utilising its knowledge in material science DSM believes it can collaborate with TCG to develop new technologies. DSM’s venture capital division now has 21 active collaborations, with a further €200m earmarked for use before 2012.
Smart packaging market hots up
DSM has been making a concerted effort to gain a leading position in the specialty packaging market. This is one of four emerging business areas that the company has targeted as part of its Vision 2010 strategy.
However, other players in the market have also been making moves, with Cadmus and MeadWestvaco both acquiring technologies to create electronically-enhanced pharmaceutical packaging.
The creation of low-cost compliance packaging could see the market expand beyond the clinical trials sector, offering significant revenues for the companies involved.