Device advice: Intertek study shows its key to consider devices in formulation development

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Inhalation formulation testing expert John Baxter at Intertek
Inhalation formulation testing expert John Baxter at Intertek

Related tags Pharmaceutical formulation

Pharma firms developing inhalable drugs often fail to test that their formulations are compatible with their intended delivery devices early enough according to the Intertek team behind research stressing the benefits of early assessment.

The study – published in the International Journal of Pharmaceutics​ – compared various formulations of the drug ingredient salmeterol xinafoate in three inhalers and found they were able to improve aerosol performance by tailoring the formulation to the device.

The research was conducted by scientists at King’s College London and Intertek whose spokesman told us the findings underline the importance of considering the device as early as possible.

“Development approaches do vary across the industry, and in some cases rigorous device selection may not be considered until after the first Proof of Concept (PoC) and clinical stages are completed.”

He added that: “I think one of the key findings here is that device selection and development needs to be integral to the development programme at the outset, and getting this right at the start means less development optimisation later in the programme, saving time and money.

Business driver

Knowing how to improve aerosol performance is likely to be positive for Intertek according to the spokesman, who told us it will be deployed to “support our global formulation and product development services for clients worldwide​.”

Combined drug and device testing has become an increasingly important part of UK-based Intertek’s business since the acquisition of Melbourn Scientific in 2013​.   

Further evidence for this came in March​ when the firm opened dedicated drug stability and device testing services facility in Royston near Cambridge and stressed its capabilities in the analysis of inhaled drug formations would be a core focus for the site.

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