Huber looks to expand in excipients

Huber Engineered Materials is taking steps to expand its position in the pharmaceutical excipients market.

Huber Engineered Materials is taking steps to expand its position in the pharmaceutical excipients market.

Since the early 1990s the Atlanta-based company has been providing one of its specialty excipients to Pfizer for the manufacture of its HIV treatment Viracept. Hubersorb 250NF calcium silicate is a surface and particle modified calcium silicate that carries the active ingredient, nelfinavir mesylate, during the process of making the oral dosage tablet.

It is this type of speciality application that is leading the company's drive into the market and will set the tone for future acquisitions and strategic partnerships, according to Dr Robert Wedinger, Huber's vp and general manager of consumer products.

Last October Huber launched a new fast-melt excipient, RxCIPIENTS FM1000. When used in oral dosage tablets it speeds up the breakdown of primary particles so patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets will experience faster therapeutic action, thus boosting compliance in taking medication.

The following month Huber acquired a California-based granulation company that offers speciality calcium carbonate and integrated its products and services into an existing brand of calcium carbonate products. In 2002, the company invested in a tableting laboratory so that its researchers could partner with the manufacturers of actives and test the function of its excipients in forward-looking applications. The company is currently recruiting sales specialists and technical staff to support application development.

'If we continue to focus on quality, all of this activity will open new doors for us,' said Michael Carpenter, business segment leader, pharmaceutical excipients and food ingredients & nutritional businesses, who joined Huber Engineered Materials in 2003 from the pharmaceutical industry.

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