Excipient and coating maker Colorcon has sugar sphere manufacturing sites in the US and France which have both seen expansions over the past few years, but the addition of Paulaur’s pharmaceutical sphere business will bolster the firm further, spokesperson Deborah Taylor said.
“This acquisition complements Colorcon’s existing spheres and film coatings business,” she told in-Pharmatechnologist.com. “There is strong demand in the industry for a supplier who offers high quality product, application and formulation support with a multi-facility business continuity plan.”
Paulaur chose to exit the pharma side to concentrate on its food and confectionary business, she added, and Colorcon intends to harness its own “range of immediate, delayed and extended release coatings and previous investment in the multiparticulate business” to serve Paulaur’s pharmaceutical and nutraceutical spheres customers.
Multiparticulate dosage forms
Financial details of the deal were not revealed, but the decision to incorporate Paulaur’s business was led in part by growing demand in multiparticulate dosage forms, of which sugar spheres are used as inert starting substrates to provide a platform for drug loading.
“The drug is coated onto the spheres, then the spheres are further coated with functional and/or aesthetic coating,” Taylor said.
One such example is the use of such dosage form with proton pump inhibitors (PPI) drugs, such as the intestinal ulcer treatment lansoprazole.
“The family of PPIs inhibit gastric acid secretion; the pharmaceutical dosage form is generally formulated as delayed release multiparticulates using drug loaded and coated sugar spheres, either filled in capsules or compressed into disintegrating tablets.”
She added multiparticulate drug delivery systems are also an excellent option for paediatric medicines, and “continue to gain popularity and offer formulation and dosing flexibility due to their potential for complex release profiles and fixed dose combinations.”