Bend and Dow team on spray-dried dispersion solutions for bioavailability

Bend and Dow partner on spray-drying
Demand for better bioavailability drove another deal this week with Bend Research and Dow teaming up to develop spray drying-based solutions.

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 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.

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