Acquisitions, Mergers & PartnershipsMedical AM

Aprecia and Battelle partner to develop AM in pharma

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Aprecia and Battelle have concluded a long-term partnership that will expand Aprecia’s capacity to manufacture pharmaceutical products using 3D-printing. The collaboration focuses on integrating additive manufacturing equipment through Aprecia’s entire supply chain, from clinical supply through to commercial sale. The standard merits of AM are also in view: the pharmaceutical business aims to increase manufacturing throughput and efficiency across the board.

Aprecia is one of the few pharmaceutical companies that has received Food and Drug Administration approval for a 3D-printed pharmaceutical product. Following on this product approval in 2015, the company bulked out its AM capacity for commercial-scale manufacturing. It now uses proprietary AM technology, which includes a binder-jetting system that permits open-bed and in-cavity printing. The company also boasts advanced formulation and rapid prototyping platforms. This tech is focused in the company’s ZipDose platform: a platform that creates rapidly disintegrating oral doses. Apart from making its own pharmaceutical products, Aprecia also licenses its platform so that other companies may benefit from AM.

Battelle focuses on translating advanced science and technology into innovative applications with societal and economic impacts. It operates as an institute founded by Gordon Battelle, a steel industrialist who died in 1923. The organization may be known to readers for its partnership with scientists from the University of Tennessee (UT-Battelle), which manages the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Department of Energy selected Battelle to manage its Savannah River National Laboratory in concert with other service providers. Aprecia’s collaboration with the company bridges its operations into academic and government streams.

Details of the partnership have not yet been released.

“Aprecia’s internal equipment design team and its current technology partners have established its global leadership in 3DP commercial scale manufacturing. The Aprecia leadership team is highly optimistic about combining its years of 3DP experience with the innovation and engineering talents of Battelle,” said Aprecia CEO, Chris Gilmore. “We believe this partnership will have long-term impact on Aprecia’s ability to solve medication design challenges that will offer significant benefits to patients across multiple therapeutic categories.”

“Additive manufacturing (3DP) is expanding rapidly and across many industries. Aprecia has invested the time and resources necessary to become the leader in 3DP pharmaceutical manufacturing,” said Sanj Pai, Vice President and General Manager of Battelle’s Health business.  “We envision great opportunities in leveraging Aprecia equipment platforms and intellectual property to best serve the pharmaceutical industry.”

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