IMA Life inks Atonarp’s freeze-drying tech

By Flora Southey

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Mass spectrometry Food preservation

IMA Life is boosting its freeze-drying (lyophilisation) and aseptic processing services with Atonarp’s miniaturised mass spectrometry technology.

Under the agreement, Japan-headquartered Atonarp will supply advanced mass spectrometry (AMS) technology to IMA Life’s production pharmaceutical lyophilisation products.

In return, US-based IMA Life will exclusively use and deploy Atonarp's mass spectrometer technology in their production freeze-drying (lyophilisation) solutions as a process analytical tool (PAT) to monitor potential silicon oil contamination, primary and secondary drying endpoints and perform in-line vacuum leak detection.

The agreement will help IMA Life accurately identify the secondary drying endpoint and reduce the lyophilisation processing time, said the Japanese firm.


IMA Life said Atonarp’s AMS can be retrofitted into already installed freeze-dryers, and as a result will serve existing IMA Life customers.

Atonarp said its “out-of-the-box set-up takes only minutes and built in software, which is configurable and highly intuitive – allows users to access the mass spectrometer through a simple browser interface anywhere in the world.”

Using mass spectrometry has several advantages over current lyophilisation methods which employ a pirani gauge, said Atonarp’s Martin Mason.

Atonarp’s technology has a ‘more accurate second end-point detection’, which he said reduces drying time and ensures moisture remove levels have been achieved.

Mason did not disclose the cost of the technology, but said “the return on investment comes from a combination on shorter optimized lyophilisation cycle times, higher-yield from better understanding of the process and less spoilage from under-drying or silicone contamination.” 

“End pricing of our mass spectrometry technology integrated into the lyophilisation chamber will be set by IMA Life for their products,” ​he added. 

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