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Control issues
August 2012
by Jeffrey Bouley  |  Email the author


BEND, Ore.—Late June saw Bend Research Inc. and Somerset, N.J.-based Catalent Pharma Solutions Inc. enter into an agreement to provide integrated solutions for pharmaceutical companies that are seeking to develop and manufacture specialized multiparticulate oral controlled-release products. The team-up is particularly focused on bringing complex controlled-release products to market faster and more efficiently with optimal therapeutic and release profiles.  
Catalent and Bend Research have entered into "a number of successful collaborations in the past," Ian Muir, president of Catalent Pharma Solutions' Modified Release Technologies business, tells ddn. Dr. Rod Ray, president and CEO of Bend Research, says joint discussions between the companies go back at least to 2009, noting, "We had colleagues in common and attended many of the same professional conferences, which gave us the opportunity to learn more about each other."  
Based on past successes together, Muir says, discussions became more serious in the past few months, resulting in the development and signing of this more formal alliance. The team-up provides several synergies, Muir and Ray note, with Ray pointing out that Bend Research provides world-class expertise in formulation and modeling of controlled-release multiparticulate dosage forms to Catalent's clients, while Catalent provides Bend Research clients with analytical/CMC, optimization and clinical and commercial manufacturing services in a cGMP environment.  
"This is the right time for this collaboration because the number of difficult-to-formulate compounds in most companies' pipelines has never been higher, requiring the combined skill sets of both companies," Ray says. "In addition, because of the intensely competitive nature of the pharmaceutical industry, the need for improved efficiency in bringing products to market has never been greater. This alliance addresses both of those issues."  
"This is the right pairing," he adds, "because our two firms both specialize in controlled-release multiparticulate formulations and offer different, but complementary, services—all of which are needed in advancing formulations from discovery to market. We believe this collaboration will offer substantive benefits to the clients at each firm."  
Philosophically, both companies fit well, Muir says, as they each work toward the same end goal of providing optimal solutions to customers for challenging controlled-release products, with Catalent in particular focused on helping the pharmaceutical industry with compounds that are difficult to formulate and manufacture using modified release technologies.  
"This alliance will provide our customers with industry-leading formulation scientists and innovative manufacturing technologies across both companies to bring more products to market in an efficient approach, from formulation to commercialization through lifecycle management," Muir says.  
Reportedly, Catalent and Bend Research are developing joint operations and technology-transfer protocols to make the customer experience seamless and efficient while leveraging the strengths of both companies to develop better treatments for patients globally.
"Our integrated approach is geared toward complex, multiparticulate controlled- release products, which traditionally have presented a high scale-up risk when they are transferred to commercial manufacturing sites," said Ray in the news release about the alliance. "This partnership with Catalent will provide an efficient pathway for these medicines from early development through commercialization. We believe that Catalent's breadth of services and demonstrated success in bringing controlled-release products to market, as well as supplying them globally, makes them an ideal complement to our development strengths."  
"Bend's added laboratory scale modeling expertise will enhance and increase the efficiencies that Catalent will provide to customers," added Muir in the same announcement. "This should enable optimal and seamless scale-up within Catalent's Controlled Release network, and particularly at our Winchester, Ky., facility, which is widely regarded as the leading commercial facility for multiparticulate products."  
Code: E081227



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