Claire Madden-Smith, SVP at Juniper Pharma Services

Claire Madden-Smith, SVP at Juniper Pharma Services

Juniper Pharma Services, a subsidiary of Juniper Pharmaceuticals, Inc., has reinforced its enabling technologies platform by making a substantial investment into its spray drying capabilities.

The contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) has placed an order for a PSD-1 spray dryer, which is manufactured by GEA, and widely regarded as the industry benchmark equipment at this scale.

To date, the company has provided benchtop scale spray drying to support clients’ early phase proof-of-concept trials. This investment will allow Juniper Pharma Services to scale-up the process to support later clinical phases and niche commercial scale.

Designed for both aqueous and solvent-based formulations, spray drying forms a key part of the company’s broad enabling technologies screening platform. It extends the CDMO’s current spray drying capabilities by around 10 times, and will mimic the processing performance and controls of full-scale production equipment.

Claire Madden-Smith, SVP at Juniper Pharma Services, said: “This order forms part of a wider investment programme in our business that will see a significant step-up in our development and manufacturing capabilities during the next year. The decision to purchase this spray dryer is simply about scale and expanding the support we can deliver to help further our clients’ development programmes. It also demonstrates our commitment to helping drug developers with both simple and complex formulation challenges.”

“We have provided detailed understanding of drug in polymer development to our clients for more than 15 years, so this increase in manufacturing capability is a natural expansion. All going well, we expect our new equipment will be operational by Q4 2016,” she added.

The PSD-1 will allow Juniper Pharma Services to provide drug developers with particle engineering options and making amorphous materials to help with solubility and bioavailability challenges.

Juniper Pharma Services’ clinical trials screening platform has gone from strength to strength since launching in 2014. Run by a dedicated in-house technical groupits offering brought together several advanced processing capabilities including hot melt extrusion (HME), nano milling, self-emulsifying and self-microemulsifying drug delivery systems (SEDDS/SMEDDS), and spray drying, which has enabled the CDMO to investigate, evaluate and recommend a development pathway to its clients.

Its enabling technologies screening initiative was devised to streamline the development of effective and bioavailable drugs and support companies with the rapid processing of products.

Dr Madden-Smith added: “Our screening platform has helped clients to make critical decisions at an early stage in the drug development process based on robust data. Spray drying is one of several routes that clients end up adopting so it’s essential we have the capabilities and scale in place to help them choose a development pathway that will be the most time, cost and volume efficient.”

Operating from a GMP-compliant facility in Nottingham, Juniper Pharma Services primarily assists pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the development and production of oral and topical drug products. The CDMO focuses heavily on optimizing formulation performance through its science-led approach to projects and helping clients develop a robust and scalable process and focusing on viable commercial solutions.