There is a rapidly growing ageing population that requires sophisticated medical devices and newer drugs. This is likely to result in an increase in the use of robotics to improve manufacturing efficiency. This article looks at the role of SCARA robots in pharmaceutical plants and laboratories.
Applications of adsorption of small drug particles at the surface of large excipients were introduced, and different factors affecting adsorption process were discussed and summarized. Several examples of adsorbing drugs to excipients to increase dissolution rate were exhibited in this article.
The medical industry was the first to understand the benefits of using disposable devices, such as needles and syringes, to prevent risks of cross contamination. The technology was then extended to blood transfusion activities, and it was only 10–15 years ago that the biopharmaceutical industry started to use disposables. Initially, most of the applications were limited to storage, involving bags, tubing and filter capsules. Since then, significant progress has been made in the polymer and plastics industry; in particular, a number of organic polymers have been developed that are resistant to gamma irradiation, autoclaving and even sterilization-in-place, rendering the technology attractive and usable by the biopharmaceutical industry. Now, the industry is moving beyond storage-focused disposable technologies to more complex processing applications.
The closed vial has been developed to improve aseptic filling quality and to reduce process complexity. A ready-to-fill closed vial consists of a sterile vial provided with the stopper secured in place. The vial is filled by inserting a non-coring needle through the stopper, which is then resealed by laser.
It has been estimated that during the next seven years, 30 biopharmaceuticals will be approved. This estimation was announced at the second Annual bioProcess UK Forum by the UK's Northwest Regional Development Agency. The estimated number of biopharmaceutical approvals was based on the amount of candidates that are currently in clinical trial Phases I–III and preregistration Phase.
Repercussions from the recent courtroom problems relating to the painkiller Vioxx and patent expiration have forced Merck to take cost-cutting action. In an effort to save money, the company has closed five factories and three research institutes, and will cut 7000 jobs.
Recent EU legislation change has opened the door for UK firm Accentus to use its novel predictive crystallization technology to discover and develop generic alternatives to patented drugs. Accentus will also licence its CrystalGEM predictive crystallization technology to generics manufacturers.
Pharmaceutical industry regulation is about to change with a new code of practice. This has been revealed by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI) following recent problems with patient safety and the dissemination of data and information of approved drugs, which exposed loopholes within the code.
Drug delivery systems using biocompatible polymers allow controlled release of therapeutics, addressing many of the challenges of conventional administration. Polymer microspheres are attractive delivery systems, having a wide application in numerous therapeutic indications. This article reviews the current use and trends for polymer microspheres, and compares production methods and polymer characteristics.