42 TechnologyNewsIP Generation – Sticky Web

IP Generation – Sticky Web

In the course of our normal work for clients 42 Technology often devises new IP that can be in the form of designs, concepts or patents. Our commercial approach to this is straightforward, if it is developed on a client’s project then our client owns the IP.

We retain rights to use it in noncompeting areas. If our client decides not to exploit the technology we request that 42 Technology has access for exploitation in all areas.

An example of how this approach works well for both parties is a solution developed for GSK to devise a new drug delivery system that is suited to high speed, high volume, accurate manufacture. We initially retained the right to exploit the technology in non-pharmaceutical markets. GSK have recently decided that they would like to share the cost of development and has granted 42 Technology worldwide pharmaceutical rights.

Precison dose dispense problem

GSK wanted to precisely meter portions of pure drug doses at high speed for tablet manufacture and Sticky Web started when they asked if we could come up with a novel approach. We started with background research to support our brainstorms which revealed that most current approaches used check weighers or volumetric systems. These can have issues with different powders as some are free-running, like caster sugar, while others tend to clog. Also pure drug needs to be handled carefully, even in a high volume manufacturing process, otherwise some pharmaceutical preparations can be rendered ineffective.

Sticky Web solution

Sticky web solution

Our breakthrough approach came from our structured ideas generation process and is based on our discovery that the quantity of powder adhering to a sticky tape is directly proportional to the surface area of the tape. ‘Sticky Web’ technology can accurately ‘print’ powdered APIs [active pharmaceutical ingredients] onto edible or inert webs coated with adhesive, without damaging the powder and at high speed. The powdered areas can then be die cut, folded, rolled or further processed into a novel dose form. The approach delivers active dose weights of 1 to 50 mg, with accuracies better than 4% and completely eliminates the need for check weighing – the rate limiting step with all of today’s powder dispensing systems. Sticky Web is also perfect for high speed production environments as online inspection systems can be used to validate every powdered area to improve process feedback, increase efficiency and reduce costs.

42 Technology undertook a number of core technology developments. Several commercially available edible/dissolvable webs were investigated. Suitable edible adhesives are not so readily available and to avoid the need for FDA approvals we prepared our own recipes using standard foodstuffs! A high-speed powder dispense drum and production machine concept capable of delivering up to 60,000 doses per hour were also investigated.

The approach works for virtually any powder and can accurately dose onto a variety of webs, such as flat carrier tape and bubbles. As a result, this new technology can significantly shorten pharmaceutical R&D timescales by eliminating or reducing the need for costly, time-consuming formulation and stability studies. A further outcome that will result in improved efficacy is that individual doses of the drug, delivered in the form of a rolled soluble web, were found to have significantly improved solubility in comparison to tablets. The system could also be modified to achieve delayed release or release of different formulations at different times.

Further drug delivery configurations are possible; different doses could be achieved in configurations of the system where the web can be cut to length by the end user; two or more materials can be combined within the same delivery package for point-of-use mixing; and a particular advantage of the process for consumer products is that it allows powders to be printed on the web in the form of a company logo.

42 Technology has the rights to exploit the technology in all markets and we are actively seeking development partners in different industries. Delivery of high-potency drugs and assay development are obvious fits, others may result from the need to meter high value or high intensity powders in small controlled amounts.

It is possible to print gradient doses on increasing areas, which could be used for titration strips, or high volume screening systems where different antibodies could be deposited on the same strip for medical diagnostics. There are also opportunities in fine chemistry, both for adding small amounts of ingredients and also by printing two or more Web is also perfect for high speed production environments as online inspection systems can be used to validate every powdered area to improve process feedback, increase efficiency and reduce costs. chemicals or pharmaceuticals on the same web. This would enable the use of substances which need to be kept separate until required, because they have a short shelf-life in their reacted form.

In summary – we have a technology for dispensing small amounts of powder at high accuracy and speed. In particular we believe that the technology could potentially be the basis of a new drug form which replaces tablets without using a traditional excipient.

Benefits of our system:

  • API dose weights of 1mg to 50mg at accuracies of better than 4%
  • API (or any powder) is applied in a highspeed, web-based, continuous process
  • The system allows continuous, on-line, automatic inspection of the dispensed active
  • Individual doses have high solubility in comparison with tablets
  • The system could be modified to achieve delayed release

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