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Predicting most effective non-stick coatings will save Pharmas money, says I Holland

By Gareth Macdonald , 17-Dec-2012
Last updated on 20-Dec-2012 at 09:05 GMT

The ability to predict which non-stick coating is best suited to a particular tablet production environment will save drugmakers time and money according to I Holland.

The UK tooling firm has been developing a “predictive coating selector” since April , reasoning that the option of bypassing the extensive testing process usually used when choosing machine coatings will be attractive to customers.

Rob Blanchard, I Holland’s research, development and quality systems manager, told in-Pharmatechnologist.com that: “We have been using these coatings to solve sticking very successfully for the last five years. 

However, sometimes we have to test a range of different coatings as the same formulation compressed in a different environment can sometimes cause sticking.  This multi coating approach to the testing process can be costly and time consuming for both our customer and I Holland. 

The pharmaceutical industry has played a critical part in the project according to Blanchard, who said: “We have had a tremendous response from pharmaceutical companies around the world who have supplied many different excipients and API's.

We are almost half way through the analysis stage now and will soon start to use multi-variant analysis to sort through the extensive data sets we have built up using equipment such as Atomic Force Microscopy and Time of Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectroscopy.”

He also explained that data from the Tabletting Science Anti-stick Research (TSAR) project – on which I Holland is collaborating with the University of Nottingham School of Pharmacy – may feed back into the firm’s own R&D efforts.

Although the main aim of the project is to create a powerful coating selector, it is highly possible that with the data gathered we will also be able to develop new coatings that could offer anti-stick performance far beyond that previously thought possible.

Blanchard added that: “More information will be available in around 4 to 6 months time when we will have sorted through the very detailed and extensive data sets gathered to date.”

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