Catalent invests in new fast-dissolve technology for oral solids

Pharmaceutical Commerce, Pharmaceutical Commerce - January/February 2011,

Lyopan freeze-drying process offers cost-efficient formulation for pediatric, geriatric, CNS and OTC applications

“Fast dissolve” technology means that a hard-to-swallow pill disintegrates in seconds when received by the patient, which can be advantageous for populations, such as infants, who have a hard time dealing with conventional oral solids. Fast-dissolve also offers potential benefits in the OTC market, where convenience, or the addition of taste-masking components, are important customer-acceptance factors. Catalent Pharma Solutions (Somerset, NJ), which has a family of fast-dissolve technologies including its branded Zydis technique, has now added another method: the Lyopan technology, developed originally by Pantec AG (Basel, Switzerland). Catalent has purchased exclusive worldwide development rights, and the plan is to move Lyopan development to Catalent’s technology center in Swansea, UK, and have a pilot line running in the near future, according to Ian Muir, president of Catalent’s Modified Release Technologies unit.

The Lyopan technology involves actually finishing the pill in the blister in which it would be packaged. Ingredients are mixed, a relatively small amount of water is added to bind them, and the paste is dispensed in the blister. Then, a freeze-drying step releases the bound-in water, leaving a network-like structure that can break up quickly when the pill is consumed.

“Lyopan is best suited to high-solids formulations, or those where taste-masking or controlled-release coatings are part of the formulation,” says Muir. “This will extend the capabilities we’ve already demonstrated with fast-dissolve technologies like Zydis.”