BMS and Dowpharma will use the collaboration to monitor the effectiveness of Dowpharma's BioAqueous technology in a range of candidate drugs, although the identity of these is being kept secret.
The agreement funds feasibility studies and includes provisions for milestone and royalty payments to Dowpharma based on successful progression of the compounds toward regulatory approval and commercialisation.
With the new service, Dowpharma is targeting pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical developers who want to improve performance of poorly soluble drug compounds.
Nick Hyde, business director, Dowpharma, said: "Companies know they can turn a challenging drug compound into a real win if solubilisation difficulties can be overcome. Now, when off-the-shelf remedies don't work, BioAqueous services offer them more alternatives."
The service makes use of technologies developed by Dow that show the ability to alter particle size, surface area, or morphology to create nanostructured particles that can improve a drug's ability to dissolve in the body.
Based on the specific challenges of a particular drug compound, an initial feasibility study employs these particle-engineering technologies to try to meet the desired performance objectives of the compound. Thereafter, the service provides support through all stages of development, optimisation, and production of clinical supplies, right through current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) manufacturing of particles at commercial scale.
Dow's BioAqueous technology portfolio includes controlled and evaporative precipitation into aqueous solutions (EPAS), spray freezing into liquid (SFL), and template emulsions.