Really? How can that be? After all, isn’t Mount Rush solid as a rock! True, but even rock dissolves when exposed to water. It will dissolve very, very, slowly over a very, very long time! That may be great for tourism and our national monument, but not good if you’re waiting for a medicine to dissolve and bring you relief from an illness, or if you’re seeking a cure for a chronic disease. That’s why solubility is so important.
Solubility refers to the ability of a substance to dissolve in a solvent. In the human body, let’s consider that substance to be a drug and the solvent to be water. The composition of the human body is 57-60% water for the average adult and it’s everywhere – organs, internal tissues, eyes, skin, muscle and even bone.
Now, consider that there are many newly discovered chemicals that have great promise for curing diseases and saving human lives. The problem is that a lot of these are poorly soluble in water, creating a major barrier for absorption and entry into the bloodstream, where the active drug is delivered to cells. Fortunately, there are “enabling technologies” that enhance solubility of these drugs, and one of these is spray drying.
Spray drying has been around for more than 125 years. Historically, one of the most well-known applications are for production of powdered milk. It’s a process that is also used to create dry powder from herbal extracts and fruit juices, producing fine powders for batteries and ceramics, making many dry food products such as flavorings and instant beverage mixes. But thanks to some new innovations in polymer excipients and improved equipment technologies, spray drying can now create drugs compounds that wouldn’t otherwise be possible even as recently as 20 years ago.
Even without understanding of chemistry, thermodynamics and mass transfer, it is easy to see why Freund-Vector elected to pursue pharmaceutical spray drying as a new product in our lineup: it makes good business sense. You see, the overall pharmaceutical industry is experiencing an annual growth rate estimated at just 6-7% and this even includes the rapidly growing markets in biotechnology, gene therapy and even novel new approaches such as 3D printing. By comparison, however, the market for drug substances with poor solubility is growing at a rate of almost 14% per year – about double the overall growth rate of the entire pharma industry. Spray drying is one of only a few equipment technologies adaptable for use in this lucrative high growth market.
The finished powders from spray drying are often processed with roll compactors to improve density and flowability. Subsequent operations may also take place, depending on dosage form, and these include fluid beds, high-and low-shear mixers, blending with excipients and API’s for capsules and tablets which are often coated.
Freund-Vector has worked hard during the past 40+ years to build rapport and credibility as “our customer’s most trusted and valued supplier.” Now, we extend this virtue to our exciting new line of pharmaceutical spray dryers.
Our customers appreciate the value of their partnership with Freund-Vector. They know their investment extends beyond a system of machinery and controls – they benefit from our expertise and competency resulting from decades of experience with GMP caliber equipment for the global pharmaceutical industry. The dividend is assurance that their Freund-Vector processing solution will deliver reliable performance and consistently good finished products for many years.
Ed Novit, Business Development Manager