Last October, Australian Pharma Company Mayne Pharma – itself a $2bn acquisition of Hospira – made an upfront payment of $105m (€80m) to purchase niche generic developer and manufacturer Metrics. Now the acquisition is to offer its clients Mayne’s extrusion and speronization technologies as pharma companies look to increase bioavailability and efficacy of larger sized API molecules.
Though Metrics’ VP of Business Development, Jeffery Basham, told in-Pharmatechnologist.com the “pelleting technology has been used for quite some time by Mayne,” the acquisition of Metrics has led to the full access to and the use of the platforms by the company.
As molecule size increases, the body’s natural absorption and the bioavailability of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) decrease and, according to Bashem, “extrusion, speronization and spray drying combined with API molecule sizing have become methods of choice to manage delivery and absorption.”
Bashem continued to explain Metrics’ two new tech offerings. In simple terms extrusion is a method of formulating oral dose forms where the mixture is forced through an extruder and the extruded material is then cut into exact dose form usually looking like a tablet.
With spheronization, the starting point is a spere – either a placebo or dose form - to which the drug formula is sprayed on and then dried.
Metrics joins a growing list of firms tackling the issues of efficacy and bioavailability, especially in modified release drugs. Catalent, Patheon and Taiwanese API maker Scinopharm have all entered this area of drug delivery in recent months and the subject was discussed by industry experts in the Bioavailabilty Challenge 2013 webinar hosted by in-Pharmatechnologist.com last month.
Presently Mayne uses the technologies in a number of its proprietary products with modified release profiles. These include the delayed-release antibiotic drugs, Doryx and Eryc, as well as Kadian – a therapy to modulate chronic pain using a sustained release formulation of morphine sulphate.
Metrics plans to license the technology in a number of formats and though there is interest from Big Pharma, Bashem said Metrics is “still very early in the process of presenting these capabilities” to its clients.