Dispatches from CPhI Worldwide 2016

Capsugel: enteric polymer comprising tech can speed-up drug development

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Image: iStock/TLFurrer
Image: iStock/TLFurrer

Related tags Pharmacology

Capsugel’s Vcaps Enteric offering can speed up development of delayed release drugs by removing the need for an additional enteric film coat, the firm says.

The capsule maker launches its Vcaps Enteric capsules this week at the CPhI Worldwide show in Barcelona, Spain and we caught up with the firm’s senior vice president of R&D, Keith Hutchison, to find out more.

“Vcaps Enteric capsule technology has been developed so that the capsule structure itself comprises pharmacopoeial enteric polymer. Hence, we have replaced Hypromellose (HPMC) with some HPMC-AS, which is an enteric polymer,”​ he told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.

This can achieve delayed release of a wide range of acid-sensitive drugs or active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) that are irritants in the stomach, he continued.

“The capsules reach the small intestine intact, where the API is released and absorbed into the systemic circulation or dispersed for local action.”

As well as delivering drugs to the small intestine more efficiently, Hutchison said the technology can accelerate speed to market, cutting the costs of developing delayed release drugs requiring enteric protection.

“[Vcaps allow] more rapid screening and clinical assessments than enteric coating, with the potential to cut more than 12 months of development time through Phase III,”​ he said.

“Additionally, since an enteric film coat is no longer required, Vcaps Enteric capsules will more likely reduce the cost of unit operations. Furthermore, these capsules will help speed up the time taken to start clinical trials because a reliable enteric film is already pre-formed in the form of a capsule.”

Capsugel will initially make the Vcap Enteric tech from its Colmar, France facility but is looking at offering it from other locations in the future.

“Vcaps Enteric capsules are already in the hands of multiple companies who are evaluating them for new products and the feedback is very encouraging,”​ said Hutchison.

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