The project will combine Dow’s materials design, high-throughput screening, pilot-plant, and commercial scale-up production capacity with Bend Research’s spray-dried dispersion (SDD) screening, formulation, scale-up, and technology-transfer capabilities.
Bend CEO Rod Ray said the collaboration –financial terms of which were not disclosed – is about developing new technologies and securing supply lines.
“It is extremely important to us not only to develop new technologies for our clients, but to use cutting-edge research to enhance our existing technologies. Our collaboration with Dow is part of that initiative. It also ensures our clients access to a reliable supply of solubilization excipients that meet the critical-to-quality properties that are key to the performance of their compounds."
The last 12-months have seen a number of high profile deals for Bend’s SDD unit, beginning last November when the contract services firm has signed co-development and supply agreements with Merck & Co and Eli Lilly .
In February this year, Bend stated that, based on the progress made in both these projects - and its existing agreement with Pfizer - it was looking for more deals. Shortly after this it signed a licensing agreement with targeted antibiotics developer Affinium Pharmaceuticals.
More recently Bend set up a new spray drying facility at a site in Oregon, US designed specifically for high-potency active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Like the new Dow agreement that investment was also about bioavailability as senior research VP David Lyon told Outsourcing-pharma.com at the time.
“The use of spray-drying for pharmaceutical applications is important because amorphous dispersions are a key delivery technology for increasing the solubility of BCS Class II and IV drugs, which make up an increasing proportion of pharmaceutical pipelines.”
Bend and Dow’s new partnership is not the only instance where a chemicals firm has teamed up with a contractor to take on the complex challenge of improving drug bioavailability.
Earlier this year Catalent – which is also working with Bend on an unrelated co-development project – teamed up with German chemicals giant BASF.
That deal - in a similar approach taken by Bend and Dow – sees the chemicals firm supply its range of excipients and development knowhow and the contractor contribute its formulation capabilities and delivery technologies.