Lyo controversies

Mar 01, 2010


Fedra Pavlou
Last year, a member of the PTE editorial team attended the 2nd Annual Lyophilisation Conference in London (UK). Upon her return from the event, my colleague commented quite enthusiastically about one particular presentation that provoked quite a reaction amongst delegates. A fascinating and a very knowledgeable gentleman, and the Director of the BioUpdate Foundation, Dr Felix Franks, gave the presentation, which referred to the basic principals of chemistry, physics, materials science, engineering and economics to define rational relationships between product formulation and optimum drying cycles. One statement in particular roused a great deal of interest. According to Dr Franks, "To remove water by freezing it, subliming the ice and then condensing the water vapour is time consuming, wasteful in energy consumption and very expensive in hardware. An easier option is to evaporate (boil) the water". We were fascinated by this statement and Dr Franks' theory, and earlier this year we invited visitors to our website ( http://www.pharmtech.com/polls) to tell us how far they agreed or disagreed with this statement. I have to say, we were thrilled with the response we received to this poll; in fact we received the highest response to a PTE poll to date, with 20% of respondents agreeing and 69% disagreeing with Dr Franks.

This idea, which challenges the principals of lyophilisation, has certainly caused a stir and we would now like to invite those of you who would like to discuss this further to go to our LinkedIn group, where we have now initiated a discussion on this topic. If you have not already done so, please do feel free to join our LinkedIn group ( http://www.pharmtech.com/linkedin) and start discussing the issues that matter to you with likeminded people.

We have been fortunate to work with a number of the experts and presenters from the conference in London to bring you an update on some of the latest innovations and challenges in lyophilisation in this month's special focus on freeze drying. As with last month, this special feature, along with a showcase of the latest technologies in lyophilisation, can be accessed in full in our monthly digital magazine: PTE Digital ( http://www.pharmtech.com/ptedigital0310.

We launched our first issue of PTE Digital last month and, as always, I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on this latest offering from PTE so please do feel free to contact me directly or, why not start up a discussion on our LinkedIn Group? I hope to "meet" you there!

Best wishes,
Fedra Pavlou