Banner Pharmacaps has unveiled what it claims is the first controlled-release system to be based on a softgel capsule platform.
The company is not providing extensive details on the technology before it gets patent cover, but says that it is suitable for tailoring the release of a wide variety of drugs "to minimise adverse reactions and maximise efficacy."
Banner is hoping that its customers in the pharmaceutical industry will use the technology to extend their existing softgel-formulated product ranges, or use it to develop completely new products.
Banner scientists Emad Hassan and Nachiappan Chidambaran are scheduled to present the softgel technology as a new drug delivery system at the Controlled Release Society's annual meeting, held in Glasgow, Scotland, 19-23 July.
Two studies exploring the use of the technology are being presented at the CRS meeting, one looking at the delivery of theophylline (on 22 July) and the other on diltiazem hydrochloride (23 July).
Privately held Banner does not publish its accounts, but is a major global supplier of softgel capsules with annual revenues estimated at around $200-$300 million. The company is in the process of transforming its business, with the addition of upgraded R&D facilities, in order to enhance its offerings to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, and the latest development is one of the fruits of that endeavour.
The company is also working on a non-gelatine soft capsule, a chewable softgel aimed at children and coated products that can reduce gastric irritation and mask unpleasant tastes and odours.