The alliance takes the form of two separate agreements. The first will see the two companies work together on the development and marketing of improved spray drying and formulation technologies to hike the bioavailability of APIs. And in the second, ISP will acquire the Danish company's's Pharma Technologies business in Columbia, Maryland, from Niro's US affiliate, Niro Inc.
The latter business provides contract formulation, scale-up and manufacturing services and has a particular focus on the use of spray drying technology to improve the properties of drugs.
Many modern molecules have a poor solubility in water and body fluids. Thus it takes an extremely long time for the crystalline active to dissolve and for the drug concentration to reach the required level. Niro has looked at a number of way to use spray drying to improve this. For example, if a drug product is to be given orally, the dissolution rate may be increased effectively by keeping the spray dried active in amorphous form using a polymer.
Sunil Kumar, ISP's president and chief executive , said that Niro's spray drying technology has 'an excellent fit' with its pharmaceutical excipients business. Meanwhile, Niro Inc president Steve Kaplan said the collaboration would allow Niro to draw on ISP's material science and formulation expertise and accelerate the commercialisation of the technology.
Niro recently unveiled a new series of spray dryers dedicated to the manufacturing in the pharmaceutical industry. The new dryers, sold under the PHARMASD (PSD) brand, have been designed using standard modules that incorporate all the required features necessary for cGMP production in the environment of a pharmaceutical plant.