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Quotient & Capsugel partner on lipid formulation services

By Natalie Morrison , 26-Jun-2012

Quotient and Capsugel have teamed up to tackle drug delivery challenges in lipid-based formulations with new assessment and development services.

Under the deal, Quotient will provide its RapidFACT clinical manufacturing and testing offering to boost Capsugel’s existing lipid-based formulation know-how.

The pair hope to solve issues with poorly soluble molecules and to address the limitations of oral bioavailability of compounds using the platform, which most often comes in the form of or emulsions, liposomes or micelles.

Keith Hutchison, Capsugel’s senior VP of research and development (R&D) told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that with up to 70 per cent of pipelines facing solubility problems, the deal will go a long way to solving the industry’s drug development woes.

“The industry rightly expects technology partners to work smartly together and do more than simply execute template product development programmes,” he said. “When our two organisations combine their unique technologies, the cumulative effect can help drive better clinical outcomes.”

The alliance means that Quotient will complete a tech transfer of Capsugel’s liquid capsule filling and sealing equipment at its facility in Nottingham, UK, and will have access to its development team in Strasbourg, France.

Quotient’s CEO Mark Egerton also told Outsourcing-Pharma.com that: “Proven manufacturability and scale-ability will subsequently enable rapid transition from a RapidFACT program into downstream full development activities with Capsugel.”

When asked more about the deal, Egerton told us only that “this is a non-exclusive partnership”.

The lipid-based solution

Hutchison told us that with more developers looking at lipid-based formulations early in the preclinical development phases, the probability of bioavailability success is growing. But, he added, the need for a greater understanding is key to its growth.

“Initiatives such as the cross-industry Lipid Formulation Classification System development help to drive research and understanding in the field thereby increasing the visibility and acceptance of lipid-based formulations,” he added.

Egerton said that, on a more personal level, the firm has seen distinct need for more lipid-based expertise, with several recent RapidFACT projects focusing on the tech to address solubility.

He said the deal was a direct response to customer demand, adding: “Capsugel is the world leader in capsule technology and the development of lipid formulations that are incorporated into capsules.”

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