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Second generation HPMC excipient can cut costs by 60%, says Dow

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Drug development, Pharmaceutical industry, Dow

Dow to showcase new polymer tech at AAPS next week
Dow to showcase new polymer tech at AAPS next week
A new tableting excipient eliminates the need for wet granulation and saves up to 60% on overall manufacturing costs according to developer Dow.

Methocel DC2 is the latest addition to Dow’s Methocel hydroxypropyl methylcellulose (HPMC) range of controlled-release excipients. Though the firm will officially launch the polymer at AAPS in San Antonio, US next week, caught up with Dow’s Global Marketing Director Christophe Massip last month at CPhI Frankfurt, Germany to discuss what the new excipient will mean for drugmakers.

Typically HPMC “is a polymer that doesn’t flow extremely well and it’s poorly compressible,”​ he told us. “Very often the application of our product is in wet granulation, so we’ve been trying over the years to improve the flow characteristics as well as the compression characteristics of methocel.”

By opting for direct compression using this second generation polymer, the tableting process avoids the wetting (granulation), wet-screening, drying and dry-screening stages and thus, Massip said, benefits companies from a financial standpoint.

“For a customer who is currently using or planning to use a wet granulation process, we can shorten the manufacturing process to a few less steps and save pretty much from 50-60% of the overall manufacturing costs,”​ he said. This “also makes the development of the drug faster.”

He continued: It is “very interesting for drug companies to think in a more cost efficient way… and what Methocel DC2 allows the manufacturer to do is do that change and save themselves time and a lot of money in the process.”

It is not just new drug development that can benefit from this technology, Massip said, but also lifecycle management where a drug is going to lose patent protection.

Colorcon Collaboration

The Methocel range of excipients is part of a long-term collaboration Dow has with Colorcon​ over oral controlled-release technologies.

As part of the deal, Colorcon has - as Dow Communications Leader Nathalie Knabe told us - “its arms and legs on the ground,”​ being responsible for global marketing, sales, technical services, distribution and logistics, whilst Dow offers its polymer chemistry and manufacturing capability.

The partnership has “been going on for the last five or six years,” ​she said, “and we are really happy with it.”

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