Continuous processing in pharma
Dr Rui Loureiro, Director of R&D - process chemistry development at Hovione, updates us on the advantages and challenges of implementing continuous processes in drug substance as well as drug product manufacture.
The pharmaceutical industry is increasingly using continuous processes in drug product manufacturing. The advantages it brings of safety, selectivity and scalability are compelling, despite the availability of existing multipurpose batch assets. Many different units need to be developed in parallel for a fully integrated process. Continuous tableting is the most advanced technology platform in drug development and manufacturing, where continuous processes are becoming established processes. Hovione embraced this change with the installation of a continuous tableting unit in its New Jersey facility.
However, there are other technology platforms that are continuous and increasingly relevant in the pharma industry.
An example of this is spray drying, a continuous isolation and drying process which allows a high degree of control over the particles formed. This is a technology of choice for the production of solid dispersions and composite particles for inhalation.