How To Start A New Pharma Business

Back in 1994, the ILC Dover team chose a promising way to expand our business. We decided to use our expertise in protecting the lives of astronauts in space to protect drugs that help patients here on Earth.

We partnered with pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company to study how to contain powder compounds used in drug manufacturing so they don’t become contaminated and workers stay safe. This was our first step toward a major expansion into the pharma and biopharma industries and a long line of successful ILC Dover products.

The collaboration with Lilly led to the first DoverPac® Containment Systems, premier products for reliable, high-level powder containment during production of active pharmaceutical ingredients. Since DoverPac prevents worker exposure to highly potent compounds, it can eliminate the need for protective garments and respirators.

A key element of DoverPac is a film material we created called ArmorFlex® which is custom formulated for each customer to deliver durability and strength. DoverPac is widely accepted by the pharmaceutical industry—more than 300,000 have been installed worldwide.

Our containment products thrived in the marketplace and in 2007, our biopharma group established its presence in Ireland to manufacture and distribute the products throughout Europe.

The ILC Dover expansion continued in 2014 when we obtained the Swiss company JetSolutions, which has expertise in powder and liquid mixing as well as processing operations such as dosing and powder conveying. Adding JetSolutions’ business, technology and employees to the ILC Dover family allowed us meet the needs of our pharma and biopharma customers more completely.

Our expansion into the pharma and biopharma marketplace has strengthened our business, but that’s only half the story. ILC Dover products for containment, powder handling, product transfer and mixing improve our customers’ profitability by reducing their capital and cleaning costs, supporting their operations from R&D through production and reducing the time they need to get their products to market.

No one knew it was possible to keep a man alive on the moon – but ILC Dover made it happen. We use this ingenuity and problem solving to take tough problems in Pharmaceutical manufacturing.

Our desire for further expansion and innovation remains strong. We constantly search for new ways to leverage our materials, engineering, process and design experience to create more high performance products and satisfy the needs of more customers.


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