Melbourn Scientific announces dry powder analysis service at RDD 2012

Melbourn Scientific is to extend its portfolio of formulation and analysis services for inhaled product and device development. This follows the introduction of the Freeman Technology FT4 Powder Rheometer, which provides characterisation of powders in order to predict performance.

Derek Solomon, Operations Director at Melbourn Scientific says:

“A key challenge of developing pharmaceuticals for inhalation is creating a formulation that offers both good pharmacologic activity and desirable pharmaceutical properties – fluidity, dispersion, delivery and deposition.

“It is becoming more widely understood that powder properties can vary widely with different formulations and this can impact the performance of a DPI. Use of specialist equipment, such as the FT4, makes it possible to characterise the powder and optimise the formulation.”

Particle size determines where product is deposited in the lungs but it is just one of many factors that can impact on the flow properties of a powder.

Most DPI formulations consist of a micronized drug blended with larger carrier particles. When the DPI is actuated the formulation is fluidised and enters the patient’s airways. The inspiratory airflow carries the drug deep into the lungs while the larger carrier particles impact the oropharyngeal surfaces. If the cohesive forces in the powder are too strong the shear of the airflow may not be sufficient to separate the drug from the carrier.

Melbourn Scientific provides support for early stage product development and device development, with teams of formulators and analysts working closely together in teams. Investment in the FT4 means that modifications to formulation can be made and the impacts realised with great precision.

Freeman Technology Operations Manager, Jamie Clayton agrees:

“The FT4 provides an innovative and patented approach to powder testing that quantifies dynamic properties (flow energy, stability, aeration) bulk properties (permeability, compressibility) and shear properties. For the first time this allows sensitive and reliable characterisation of powders with respect to a given process, which helps improve quality control and performance from development through to manufacture.”

The company anticipates that this further investment in leading-edge technology will be a valuable addition to its suite of services.

Written by Rachel Holdsworth

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