Hovione installs new large-scale spray drying unit

To handle high potency active pharmaceutical ingredients

Hovione, a Portuguese company that develops active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and intermediates, is installing a new large-scale spray drying unit at its plant in Loures, Portugal. The equipment will handle high potency APIs and use a broad range of organic solvent systems. It will be installed in compliance with the most stringent Quality and Safety Standards, and will be fully operational by March next year.

Spray drying is used in a multitude of pharmaceutical applications and is often the first technique used to enable poorly soluble oral drugs, to isolate biopharmaceuticals and for the production of inhalable dry powder formulations.

Hovione's Vice President of Sales & Business Development Dave Hoffman said: 'The new unit has all state-of-the-art technological developments and, more importantly, unique features from an accumulated knowledge of more than 10 years of experience in commercial spray drying.'

This additional commercial unit is the first phase of a broad expansion programme aimed at increasing the scope of Hovione's service offering, address customer needs and expand capacity.

'We installed this new spray dryer in response to growing customer demand for the technology. Hovione’s leading position in spray drying is built on the experience of over 200 development programmes. Thanks to our Development by Design approach we can develop a process and scale it up to a commercial batch size in a matter of weeks using a minimum quantity of API,' said Filipe Gaspar, Vice President of Research & Development at Hovione.

Currently Hovione has spray drying facilities in Portugal, Ireland and the US, which it says cover all of the requirements of the pharmaceutical market in terms of scale, bioburden control and ability to handle highly potent materials.