Research into hot melt extrusion (HME) as a solution to improve solubility continues to expand with a partnership between Encap Drug Delivery, a contract development and manufacturing organization in the UK, and the School of Pharmacy at the Queen’s University Belfast (QUB), announced in a press release this week.
HME, which is a continuous extrusion process used to create a solid dispersion of API in an excipient, has been shown to improve solubility. While melt extrusion is a well-established technology in the plastics and food industries, it is still an emerging technology in pharmaceuticals. Encap’s Jane Fraser said in the press release that the company is “confident that we can establish and grow HME as a mainstream technology for poorly soluble molecules. We believe that this will be a valuable addition to the formulator’s tool box and will fit well with our other enabling technologies.”
Encap’s partnership with QUB is part of the UK’s Knowledge Transfer Partnership program that connects academia and industry for specific projects funded by the company and government grants. QUB researchers have been working on HME for several years. Universities in the US, such as the University of Texas at Austin, Purdue University, and the New Jersey Institute of Technology, are also involved in HME research. Do you know of other university research programs focused on HME? I hope to write about these programs again, and I look forward to seeing how their work translates into commercial application.