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Lilly teams with Bend over spray-dried dispersion tech

By Natalie Morrison , 09-Feb-2012
Last updated on 09-Feb-2012 at 11:57 GMT

Eli Lilly has licensed a spray-dried dispersion (SDD) technology from Bend Research, expanding its manufacturing capabilities.

Under the deal, Lilly will gain access to the formulation and dosage-form specialists’ proprietary platform, which is used to improve delivery of compounds with low aqueous solubility.

Both firms have so far remained tight-lipped about the SDD’s intended applications. However Lilly’s VP of global communications Jeff Winton told in-PharmaTechnologist it will be widely implemented.

“While we cannot comment on which molecules we will use this technology, what I can tell you is that this technology could have broad applicability across our clinical pipeline,” he said.

VP of pharmaceutical sciences research and development (R&D) at Lilly, Ralph Lipp also told us the technology’s ability to enhanced absorption is something that is always needed in development at Lilly.

In a statement from Bend, a spokesperson added that the technology can be used on hundreds of different compounds throughout the development spectrum, having been proven from preclinical study right up to Phase III clinical trial.

Teams from both business will now work together to advance Lilly’s poorly soluble molecules with the SDD.

The agreement is not the first between the two companies – Bend already provides formulation, development, analytical, engineering and manufacturing services to Lilly in preclinical and clinical programs.

Dreaming Big

It seems Oregon-based Bend’s ties with the giant are a reflection of its preference towards Big Pharma in recent months.

Merck deepened its relationship with the company in November when it took on a similar SDD licensing deal .

Bend has also recently inked a development deal with Pfizer, over its nanoparticle drug delivery system for treating osteoarthritis , as well as a 2010 agreement with Bristol-Myers Squibb, who use Bend’s drug formulation services.

In April – speaking about the type of client the company would target through its extended bioavailability functions– CEO Rod Ray told in-PharmaTechnologist: “Pharmaceutical industry leaders acknowledge that discovering and bringing these new compounds forward is very complicated.

“Bend Research scientists and engineers are well known for providing key assistance to leading pharmaceutical companies facing this challenge.”

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