The growing number of highly potent active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in development means that, increasingly, drugmakers are looking for powder handling methods that are safe, efficient and capable of dispensing very small quantities.
Capsugel, a division of US drug giant Pfizer, says its new Xcelolab bench-top powder dispensing system provides just such capacity.
The firm claims that the technology can dispense a range of drug powders, be they cohesive, micronized, free flowing or for inhalation, in quantities as small as 100µg with a relative standard deviation (RSD) of typically in the 1 to 2 per cent range.
Capsugel explained that the Xcelolab system, in common with the rest of the Xcelodose range, uses technology that makes the powder in question behave like a liquid and form “micro-bridges.”
These microscopic structures break and reform if a small shock is applied to the dispensing hopper, triggering the passage of a small but consistent amount of the powder through the hopper mesh into a container.
The firm said that Xcelolab was developed in response to demand for a way of conducting method development, dispenser head selection and powder characterisation studies in the laboratory rather than in the pilot plant.
It explained that: “The data produced and methods developed can then be directly transferred to their Xcelodose system so they can continue manufacture of clinical trial materials without interruption or unnecessary downtime.