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Bioavailability drives Patheon and Catalent investments

By Dan Stanton , 04-Feb-2013
Last updated on 05-Feb-2013 at 16:52 GMT

Patheon says expanding its UK facility is necessary in offering its Solupath services to a European and Asian market.

The investment will add additional tools to Patheon’s Milton Park capability, located in Oxfordshire, UK including spray drying and hot melt extrusion in order to improve bioavailability and provide an offering of its Solupath technologies to European and Asian clients.

Robin Platt, Director at the Milton Park site, told In-Pharmatechnologist.com that “so far Solupath has only been offered from North America but in early development many clients prefer to work with local CDMOs.”

The investment is part of Patheon’s global preclinical strategy and is driven by clients. “More and more compounds entering development suffer from low aqueous solubility,” said Platt “and we are increasingly asked by clients for help and advice on formulation strategies to improve bioavailability.”

Patheon’s Solupath is a screening tool which evaluates poorly soluble drugs using a variety of different platforms.

No financial details were given, however, Patheon describes the investment as “modest.” It also said that although some growth in personnel is expected, the work will initially be handled by the existing staff.

Catalent also offering bioavailability solutions

Patheon's comments fit with those of rival CMO Catalent, which also cited demand for bioavailability as the driver for a number of recent investments, licensing deals and partnerships.

Speaking with In-Pharmatechnologist.com, Steve Hamlen, the Global Group Product Manager for Catalent’s Modified Release Technologies, said the CMOs approach is to offer "our customers multiple technology approaches to solve their bioavailability challenges.” 

Hamlen cited Catalent’s recent collaboration with BASF and its decision to license exclusive rights to Sanwa Kagaku Kenyusho OptiDose tablet technology outside China, Japan and South Korea as examples.

The OptiDose technology does not directly enhance bioavailability but when used in encapsulating the therapy produced from Catalent’s Optimelt hot melt extrusion technology, solubility of the API is enhanced.

Hamlen explained: “OptiMelt hot melt extrusion is an alternative processing option to Softgel technology, proven to have enhanced solubility/bioavailability for several compounds through production of amorphous state dispersions or solutions.”

So far the technology has been applied for two marketed products in Japan for a type II diabetes and a cardiovascular product.

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