New spray-dryer to handle 20kg batches, as Juniper responds to solubility demand

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Juniper Pharma Services will up its solubility enhancement capabilities through the addition of a new spray-dryer at its site in Nottingham, UK.

The contract development and manufacturing organisation has ordered a PSD-1 spray dryer from vendor GEA Niro as part of a series of continued investments at its clinical materials GMP-compliant manufacturing facility.

“It is generally understood that over 80% new chemical entities are poorly water soluble which means there are challenges in developing a viable formulation,” Juniper SVP Claire Madden-Smith told in-Pharmatechnologist.com.

“Spray drying is one of the technologies that can be used to help overcome this challenge and hence we are experiencing demand.”

Once installed later this year, the spray dryer will be able to handle batches of up to 20kg, allowing Juniper to provide customers with particle engineering options to address issues of solubility and bioavailability among clinical candidates.

The added dryer builds on Juniper’s bench-top scale spray drying equipment, but despite the scale-up Juniper will continue to focus on clinical materials and small-scale commercial production, Madden-Smith said.

“We are focused on providing pharmaceutical development services to navigate early development, where scale and capabilities align we will work with clients on their commercial manufacturing goals.”

The investment forms part of a wider investment programme at Juniper, she continued, hinting that there will be a significant step-up in the CDMO’s capabilities over the next year. The firm will also look to increase staff numbers at the site, she added.

“Juniper Pharma Services has and continues to increase its head count regularly, and whilst the PSD-1 will actually lead to operational efficiency we still anticipate our headcount increasing throughout the year.”

The investment comes weeks after fellow Nottingham-based CDMO Quotient Clinical announced it was expanding its spray-drying capacity. Meanwhile a number of other third-party manufacturers have invested in such technology, including Aesica, Pharmatek and Hovione.

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