UK contract research specialist Molecular Profiles has introduced a suite of analytical techniques, collectively known as nanoPASS, that promises to help pharmaceutical scientists come up with the best formulations for their products.
nanoPASS (nanoscale predictive analytical screening solution) gives insight into the formulation of APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients) and excipients in new drugs. Applying it to a number of different formulations during development can give greater understanding of bulk and surface physicochemical properties and the interaction and allow prediction of what formulations will be best, according to the firm.
It is sometimes difficult to predict how particular formulations will affect the chemical, bulk and surface properties of a drug, such as stability. Molecular Profiles is now hoping to make this process easier by offering a simple, outsourced service.
nanoPASS uses a number of different analytical technologies to inform the formulation design process. They include chemical spectroscopy, physical properties (XRPD and thermal techniques), high-resolution spatial mapping and imaging of chemical, physical, thermal and material properties using techniques such as Atomic Force Microscopy (pre-formulation screening of single particles).
Molecular Profiles says that nanoPASS can provide information much earlier about the combination of different materials allowing a choice to be made for excipients and formulation ingredients before crucial stages of drug development. The process could certainly help to save money by giving results quickly and easily (minimal sample preparation is needed and the results are available in only a matter of days).
Dr Andrew Parker, of Molecular Profiles, commented: "Information gained from applying nanoPASS can be used to feed into the selection procedures of the pharmaceutical research attrition process of developing various salts or polymorphs of APIs from initial screening hits through to a final lead compound optimisation."
Conventional testing at present feeds in information at various stages such as the ease of crystallisation of a particular material, the chemical and physical stability and whether a material is hygroscopic, he added.
"The results of this testing are compared for many materials, which are thus ranked for further development and, with considerations such as the intended final dosage form or whether a material modification is required, a subset taken forward."
"It provides a further discriminatory test to streamline the selection process and another powerful tool of assessing the suitability of a particular candidate material for consideration of further development," said Parker.
Headquartered in Nottingham, UK, Molecular Profiles is a well-known company in the contract research services sector. Founded in 1997 the company is a spin-off from the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nottingham, specialising in solid state analysis. They provide a range of innovative methods to the pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biomedical sectors.