CPHI: Dow introduces solvent-free technology for coating barrier membranes

Ethocel HP enables faster tablet coating times, increasing drug production productivity yields

Dow has introduced a new high productivity ethylcellulose polymer for multi-particulate and taste masking applications that will enable pharmaceutical manufacturers to dry coat barrier membranes in shorter coating times, at higher efficiencies and without the need for solvents.

Ethocel High Productivity (HP), which will be available for sampling as of 2016, is designed specifically for rotor coater systems.

In trials conducted by Dow, use of Ethocel HP reduced overall coating times by 60% when compared to aqueous or methacrylate systems and by 40% relative to solvent systems. Such faster coating times could enable companies to increase their productivity yields.

Ethocel HP trials have also shown that it offers a step improvement in barrier membrane coating efficiency, with 98-99% coating efficiency when compared to solvent or aqueous ethylcellulose systems. Improved coating efficiency could provide companies with opportunities for raw material cost-savings and an easier clean-up step.

Beyond its productivity attributes, Dow says Ethocel HP also offers environmental and sustainability benefits because it is designed to operate solvent-free in rotor coater systems. This means formulators can avoid high solvent costs (each kilogram of Ethocel HP avoids use of 11.5 kilograms of solvent), eliminate solvent disposal costs (which can be up to 30% of the original solvent cost), improve sustainability, eliminate capital expenditure for solvent-rated equipment and improve operational safety (removing the toxicity concerns associated with solvent use and fume exposure).

'Ethocel HP is a compelling addition to our family of versatile, organosoluble ethylcellulose polymers, offering differentiated benefits for R&D formulators, procurement departments and manufacturing leaders,' said Christophe Massip, Global Marketing Director, Dow Pharma & Food Solutions. 'It will appeal to R&D formulators as an alternative to traditional coating systems that offers productivity improvements, while procurement and manufacturing leaders will value it as a faster technology compared to traditional aqueous and solvent-based systems, with the added environmental benefit of it being a dry system.'

The company also announced the global commercial availability of Affinisol HPMC HME, its cellulosic polymer for drug solubilisation. The product is designed to enhance solubilisation and inhibit the recrystallisation of active pharmaceutical ingredients in hot melt extrusion (HME) formulations.

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