A trio of companies—excipients provider DFE Pharma, equipment supplier Harro Höfliger, and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer Sterling—have forged a partnership intended to advance dry-powder inhalation (DPI) solutions. Named Inhalation Together (INTO), the collaboration will strive to formulate respiratory treatments.
According to the members, the initiative will provide R&D services to pharmaceutical companies in the respiratory field, with the goal of making formulation development simpler, faster, and easier to manage. The INTO project offers a coordinated and aligned suite of services, reportedly leveraging the expertise and complementary skill sets of its three partners.
Martti Hedman, DFE Pharma CEO, told Outsourcing-Pharma that the three entities have a history of working together to address respiratory formulation challenges for pharmaceutical companies.
“Together, we have successfully contributed to the development of innovative and generic inhalation products; we are also collaborating with ongoing research work,” he explained. “These collaborations lead to the launch of INTO in March 2022.”
Hedman added that the INTO initiative will help address the growth in the respiratory market, as well as an increasing need for DIP knowledge and R&D services.
“Many new companies are entering this area and require further support with their inhalation formulations – including in equipment, technology platforms, or know-how,” Hedman remarked. “Companies exploring inhaled treatments for new indications or generic medicines could benefit by working with INTO, as the partners have full knowledge of the key challenges in DPI development."
Developing a DPI formulation can be highly complex, with strong interdependency between process, powder, device, and patient. In order to address specific customer needs, INTO services will range from initial consultancy and problem statement development to a stepwise formulation development program.
In addition, individual services include solid-state characterization and sono-crystallization of APIs and studies to optimize formulation, blending, and filling. The three INTO partners also will offer consultancy services.
Hedman commented that the launch of INTO likely will only be the beginning of INTO’s offerings.
“We are very proud of partnering with Harro Höfliger and Sterling, which together with DFE Pharma, are leaders in inhaled products formulation and development; the launch of INTO is the first step of our journey together,” he said. “We are planning for further collaboration in this field, joining our forces to better support pharmaceutical companies focused in the respiratory area and benefit patients by increasing their access to these therapies.”