Hovione and GEA will work together on continuous tableting technology, pairing the former’s development and manufacturing expertise with the latter’s engineering capabilities.
In terms of their respective capacities, Hovione is a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) providing services for drug substance and drug product. GEA is a supplier for systems and components for the pharmaceutical industry, as well as the food and beverage industry.
The aim of the partnership is to accelerate the adoption of continuous tableting technology, and also to contribute to the establishment of new standards and market acceptance of the technology, the two companies stated.
In looking to promote continuous processes, the companies outlined that such systems allow for leaner and risk-reduced development paths, streamlined supply chains, increased built-in quality, and that the manufacturing processes themselves have greater flexibility and reduced complexity.
Both companies have been working in the continuous manufacturing space for a number of years. Nearly a decade ago, GEA began working with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to validate continuous manufacturing, with the company stating at the time that the arrangement marked the “start of the end of batch manufacturing.”
For Hovione, the company stated that it has been actively working on developing continuous tableting solutions for the last seven years, and it recently invested in the technology within its own manufacturing network.
In September 2022, Hovione announced that it had opened a new continuous manufacturing line at its Loures site, in Portugal. At the same time as the new line, the company established a multi-disciplinary global team specialized in continuous tableting.
On its latest move in the continuous tableting space, Hovione’s CEO, Jean-Luc Herbeaux, stated, “Hovione has a track record in industrializing and democratizing emerging pharmaceutical technologies, such as amorphous solid dispersions by spray drying, and turn them into dependable and scalable offerings that are available to all…This collaboration with GEA, gives us the opportunity to link up with a leading designer and supplier of continuous tableting equipment solutions and bring continuous tableting to the next levels of reliability, flexibility and adoption.”
In a recent interview with Outsourcing-Pharma, Bikash Chatterjee, CEO of Pharmatech Associates, stated that there is a growing momentum behind the switch to continuous manufacturing, even though this has been spoken of for a number of years.
Chatterjee noted that one aspect that could accelerate this shift is the national policy in the US to increase the manufacturing of certain pharmaceuticals on home soil. As a result, more efficient manufacturing, such as continuous, will be required to make the process commercially viable.