3D printing

TNO 0271

Despite still being viewed as a niche technology, 3D printing is increasingly making its presence in pharma. We believe that this innovation is opening up a world of new opportunities. As the applications of 3D printing in the pharmaceutical industry are numerous - ranging from clinical trial preparations and orphan drugs to personalized medicine and polypills.

In the past few years, we have seen a shift in the focus on 3D printing – from academic proof of the concept to industrial applications. For example, the 3D printing of clinical trial preparations presents a huge potential benefit. 3D printing offers high flexibility in drug loading and small batch sizes -  required in phase 1 and 2a clinical studies. This results in a costs-savings due to a reduction of the required amount of the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) and a shorter development time.  On-demand printing could further reduce the need for stability-improving measures and enable formulators to easily access features such as excipient inclusion.

DFE Pharma believes there is a need to thoroughly understand the processes involved in order to further use this technology. As a leading excipient supplier, we play a valuable role in advising the right excipients and producing them. We have screened over 20 different lactose grades in order to be able to advise on the optimal lactose for 3D printing applications.

We can provide mechanistic understanding and are able to produce customized lactose for 3D printing applications.This brings added value to the formulation and speeds up the development time, a perfect match for new technology such as 3D-powder bed printing

Korinde van den Heuvel, product developer at DFE Pharma, explains in this article how hydrophilic/hydrophobic APIs can be successfully formulated into 3D printed tablets using lactose binder blends.

Contact us for more information, or download our whitepaper on the huge potential that 3D printing offers in pharmaceutical manufacturing, from enabling personalized medicine to accelerating the drug development pathway.

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