Clinical trials service provider, The Specials Clinical Manufacturing, has announced the recent installation of Isopak's In-Cap machine, an automatic bench machine that is currently the smallest automatic filling machine in the world.
The machine aims to aid in the development of pharmaceuticals in clinical trial batch sizes, which has increasingly become a crucial element in new product development. The process is extremely cost sensitive, so it is within pharma company's interests to find the most economical equipment that is tailored to such work.
The In-Cap machine is capable of filling powder, pellets, liquids, jelly, tablets and gels in to almost any size and format of capsules, with a maximum rated throughput of 3,000 capsules per hour.
The In-Cap machine has been installed in The Specials' new 17,000 square foot purpose-built manufacturing facility at Northumberland, US and will be used to make special pharmaceuticals that are not subject to conventional medical licences, or are licensed elsewhere and adapted by the company for particular purposes, such as child doses, or to suit a particular type of patient.
The capsule filling operation forms part of The Specials' development. The business invested £1.8m (€1.5 million) in the Prudhoe site and it is rapidly expanding with sales of £6m for the year to July, up from £4m last time and £2m the previous year.
"We're involved in products undergoing phase one and two clinical trials so we usually deal in batch sizes as low as 50 grammes," said Jackie Delap, technical manager at Isopak.
"Our research showed that the only machine that could handle that, which was also small enough for use in a laboratory and wasn't too expensive, was the Dott Bonapace In-Cap capsule filler, supplied by Isopak," she added.
The In-Cap at The Specials features a stainless steel top plate, stainless steel trolley with a dust extraction vacuum pump inside.
The choice of filling machines has never been more varied and cost-effective with podcuts being produced to fill every area of this niche market.
An equipment supplier to the pharmaceutical industry, Isopak goes up against such manufacturers as Italian pharmaceutical dosing and packaging equipment manufacturer, MG2, which currently have two dosing machines for hard gelatine capsules, suitable for powder and tablet, pellets and tablet, or micro-tablets and tablet.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing supplier, Bosch, also provide capsule fillers for dosing of liquids, powders, tablets or pellets into hard gelatin or gelatin-free capsules.