Dow Signs Up Cambrex for Bioavailability Partnership

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Solubility Pharmacology Polymer Dow

Dow collaborate with Cambrex on Bioavailability deal
Dow collaborate with Cambrex on Bioavailability deal
Dow has contracted Cambrex to make its solubility enhancing polymer HPMCAS, adding manufacturing clout to its bioavailability-focused collaboration with Bend Research.

The deal will see the Cambrex manufacture Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose Acetate Succinate (HPMCAS) for Dow, thereby becoming a third player in a collaboration Dow made last October over the development of spray-drying based solutions with Bend Research​.

According to Nathalie Knabe, Dow’s Global Business Communications Leader, Bend’s Spray-Dried Dispersion (SDD) screening, formulation, scale-up and technology-transfer capabilities are “complimentary”​ with the Cambrex-Dow collaboration.

Knabe told this publication that: “Dow designs the polymer solution, Cambrex manufactures the initial material, and Bend develops the drug formulation using the polymer​.”

No financial information regarding the collaboration with Cambrex was disclosed though the contract manufacturing organization (CMO) has begun work at its facility in Sweden specifically to attain Dow’s target of late 2013 to enter the market with solubility enabling excipient.


As a compound proven to be effective at maintaining supersaturation and creating homogenous bioavailability formulations, Dow has taken HPMCAS and will - according to Knabe - offer unique tailoring with each Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in order to address the bioavailability issue.

“By selecting optimal polymers for particular APIs,” ​Knabe explained, Dow is​ able “to analyze and subsequently design distinct polymers to facilitate the required solubilisation performance.”

She continued, adding: “Coupled with hypromellose products, Dow’s Hypromellose Acetate Succinate (HPMCAS) offering goes beyond the products commercially available today.”

Bioavailability Challenge

Bioavailability is a continuing issue for pharma companies as they look for ways of improving API efficacy as trends in drugs move towards more complex and less soluble molecules.

Knabe described the challenge: “It is estimated that more than 40% and perhaps as much as 80% of new molecular entities now suffer from poor aqueous solubility and therefore are susceptible to poor oral absorption.”

Recently Patheon, Catalent​, Merck Millipore​ and BASF​ have all made collaborations in order to tackle the problem.

On the 20th​ March the Bioavailability Challenge will be addressed in a special online event, organized by For more information on speakers and how to gain access to the event, please click here​.

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