Hovione and Laxxon partner on 3D printed pharmaceuticals

By Ben Hargreaves

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images
© Getty Images

Related tags Tablet Pharmaceutical formulation Manufacturing 3d printing Supply chain Logistics

The two companies enter into a long-term partnership to advance 3D screen printing technologies for applications within the pharma industry.

According to the partners, the collaboration allows Hovione to use Laxxon Medical’s technology to develop and manufacture clinical materials and manage industrial scale production using 3D screen printing.

Hovione, a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO), will use Laxxon’s SPID (screen printed innovative drug)-Technology, which the latter company states allows for the mass-production of tablets, films, implants, and transdermal patches. Laxxon also suggests that screen printing is ‘significantly faster’ than other 3D printing processes.

The technology also has the ability to layer pills with different dissolving speeds, and the layers themselves can be created as fine as 10 microns.

Under the terms of the agreement between the two companies, Hovione will establish Laxxon 3D screen printing technology at its current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) production sites in Portugal to begin with, before expanding to its sites in the US.

The partnership allows for Hovione to provide the 3D printing technology from the early development phases through to routine commercial manufacture.

“We find the Laxxon Medical 3D printing technology to be very innovative and enabling. It not only allows for the customization and production of drug products with complex shapes and structures as well as unique API release characteristics but it also has the potential to reduce the time and cost of drug development,” says Jean-Luc Herbeaux, Hovione´s CEO.

In return for gaining access to 3D printing technology, Herbeaux added that Hovione would support Laxxon in industrializing its technology, and make it more accessible to a greater number of pharma and medical device companies.

In terms of the advantages offered by the 3D printing approach, the companies stated that it allows for the production of unique or customized dosage forms, with characteristics that differ from conventional dosage forms.

This includes the ability to create tablets of any shape and size; the potential to adjust the number of active substances and individual components in the composition of the tablet; and, the possibility to set the dosage individually for each patient to allow for personalized medicines.

Laxxon also outlined that it is able to directly integrate QR codes into the surface of tablets. The code could then be read by an appropriate mobile digital device, potentially providing product and safety information, and acting as a means to combat counterfeit medicine.

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