01 AVIZ Laboratories
02 Adare Pharma Solutions
03 Aizant Drug Research Solutions Pvt. Ltd.
04 Aragen Life Sciences
05 Athena Pharmaceutiques
07 Aurigene Pharmaceutical Services
08 Avaca Pharma
10 Axxelent Pharma Science
11 Biolink LifeSciences
12 Bioplus Life Sciences
13 Bora Pharmaceuticals
14 Cambrex Corporation
15 Catalent Pharma Solutions
16 Chanelle Medical
18 Custom Pharma Services
19 Cyndea Pharma S.L
20 Eurofins CDMO
21 Evonik Industries
23 GALENIX INNOVATIONS
24 GRAM Laboratory Inc
25 Globela Pharma
26 JAMP PHARMA
27 JGL d.d
28 JSC Olainfarm
29 Labiana Life Sciences S.A
30 Lamda Laboratories
31 M2M Pharmaceuticals Ltd
32 Madras Pharmaceuticals
34 Mission Pharmacal
35 Novick Biosciences
36 ORIT LABS LLC
37 PCI Pharma Services
38 PENMIX LTD.
39 PSR Pharma Science and Research
40 Pfizer CentreOne
41 PharmaVize NV
42 Pierre Fabre
43 Piramal Pharma Solutions
44 Progenerics Pharma Pvt Ltd
45 Quotient Sciences
46 Recipharm AB
47 Ropack Inc
48 STABICON LIFE SCIENCE PVT LTD
49 Sai Life Sciences Limited
52 Siegfried AG
53 Societal CDMO
55 Softigel Procaps
56 Sushen Medicamentos Pvt. Ltd
57 Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited
58 UPM Pharmaceuticals
59 Unither Pharmaceuticals
60 Vici Health Sciences
61 Zenvision Pharma LLP
16 New Zealand
18 South Africa
19 South Korea
30 United Kingdom
31 United Kingdom
32 United Kingdom
Overview of the pharmaceutical formulation development & manufacturing of oral solid dose (OSD) dosage forms, specifically tablets & mini tablets.
Pharmaceutical tablets are solid, unit dosage forms prepared by compressing a drug (API) with or without diluents. Furthermore, tablets offer flexibility as oral formulations in their use and are available as film coated tablets, enteric coated tablets, buccal tablets, lozenges, extended release tablets, complex modified release tablets, etc. each having their own benefits.
- Complex-modified release tablets: The development of complex modified-release tablets is achieved via controlled drug delivery, involving both delayed and extended release systems of oral administration. These delivery mechanisms, employed in oral formulations like complex modified release tablets, alter the timing or rate of release of active ingredients to successfully modify the expulsion of poorly water-soluble drugs in the body.
Typical drug delivery methods include liquids, creams, sprays, injectables, suppositories, etc. However, the preferred dosage form by a large margin, remains to be oral solid dose (OSD) dosage forms. Solid dosage manufacturing trends show that oral solid dose (OSD) dosage forms continue to play a major role in the contract manufacturing and CDMO industry, representing about 70% of the market.
Oral solid dosage outsourcing trends further reveal that despite the increasing types of biologics, oral solid forms such as tablets & capsules- remain dominant in the market. The ease of administration, identification, and relatively better taste assert oral solid forms as the leading mode of drug administration. Besides tablet formulations and capsules, there are other types of oral solid dose (OSD) dosage forms, namely:
Amongst these pharmaceutical products, tableted oral solid forms are the preferred formulations for drug delivery. Tablets have the greatest dose precision, lowest content variability, lowest cost, and various other favorable qualities that make them a desired choice amongst pharma CMOs and CDMOs offering formulation development services (contract development services).
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) and excipients such as binders, lubricants, and fillers are the diverse ingredients present in tablets. In order to create a homogenous mixture, the process of blending is employed during tablet manufacturing to mix the excipients and APIs together. Ultimately, tablets function as unit doses that deliver the desired quantity of active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) to the end consumer with unparalleled accuracy.
Pharma CDMOs that offer tablet drug product development services with access to well-equipped development, pilot scale and commercial facilities can work with tablet batches from a few hundred grams to full commercial production scale.
Tablet formulation development is a stylized process. Each Pharma CMO and CDMO uses their own pharmaceutical formulation development and manufacturing methodology. Some use the systematic Design of Experiments (DOE) approach, some test one variable at a time, and many use a combination of the two. However, all formulators need a methodology that gives them reliable and useful information to identify problems before the formulation development of tablets begin.
The pharmaceutical formulation development of tablets is completed in the following steps:
1. Preformulation Studies: Preformulation is the stage of development in the pharmaceutical industry, during which the physicochemical properties of drug substances are characterized and established. This could provide important information for formulation design or anticipate the needs for molecular modification. Every drug has intrinsic chemical and physical properties which need to be considered before the formulation development of pharmaceutical products.
2. Dispensing: The first step in tablet development and formulation, after preformulation studies have been conducted and appropriate oral formulations have been chosen, is called dispensing. Dispensing involves weighing all the ingredients in tablets accurately to ensure desired API & excipient amounts in the tablet formulations.
3. Sizing: The second step in tablet formulation development is known as sizing. During sizing the active ingredients and pharmaceutical excipients used in tablet formulations are broken down to finely divided forms, in order to augment flow properties and enable easier mixing of the ingredients in oral formulations.
4. Powder Blending: Powder blending uses cutting edge technologies to mix powders and achieve homogeneous mixtures. This step of tablet development and formulation gives blend uniformity and distributes lubricants evenly in the resulting powdered mixture.
5. Granulation: Most fine pharmaceutical compounds require the formulation development process known as granulation, offered by pharmaceutical CDMOs, to improve their flow properties and processing properties prior to tableting. Granulation can be divided into two types: dry granulation and wet granulation.
In the pharmaceutical development industry, granulation may be defined as a pharmaceutical development service wherein small particles of drugs and excipients adhere together by forming bonds which result in the formation of large aggregates called granules. Contract development & manufacturing organizations (CDMO) and pharma CMOs offer such pharmaceutical contract manufacturing services.
6. Drying & Dry Screening: If the wet granulation route of tablet formulation development is used in the previous step, then it is followed by drying and dry screening. This step in tablet development and formulation refers to drying wet granules after they have been screened. Dry screening in tablet development refers to passing the dried granules through a mesh screen to achieve the oral formulation ready to undergo compression.
7. Tablet Compression: The term “direct compression” is defined as the drug product formulation development process by which tablets are compressed directly from powdered mixtures of API and suitable excipients. Direct compression (DC) is by far the simplest means of tablet formulation development and manufacturing, as it only requires the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to be properly blended with appropriate excipients before compression.
8. Coating: Tablets are coated to achieve taste masking of bitter tastes and unpleasant odors of the pharmaceutical oral formulations. During the formulation development of tablets, coatings can change the release profiles of the oral solid dose (OSD) dosage forms. Complex modified release tablets can be formulated using coatings. Therefore, coating is considered as a major tablet drug product development service to modify the release profile of drug products.
Mini-tablets represent a new trend in solid dosage formulation development and manufacturing, with the main goal of overcoming some therapeutic obstacles. Pharmaceutical mini tablets are solid oral dosage forms with a diameter less than or equal to 3 mm, separated into subunits of conventional tablets. Mini-tablet formulation development is similar to standard tablets, but the only difference is the use of multiple punches. Pharma CMOs and CDMOs offer mini tablets drug product development services.
Numerous CDMOs offer mini tablets drug product development services for pediatric and geriatric dosage forms since they are easier to swallow than conventional tablets and capsules. In addition, they can be used to meet a full range of dissolution profiles, including delayed-release, controlled-release, and combination-release.
Mini tablets are multiple unit dosage forms and are better than granules and pellets as mini tablet manufacturing is easy to undertake, and they are more stable. Mini-tablets offer finished dosage form flexibility in that they can be delivered as capsules, sachets or compressed into larger tablets.
These mini tablet drug delivery systems are ideal for delivering fixed dose combination pharmaceutical oral solid forms. In mini tablets drug product development services, one type of pharmaceutical mini-tablet can be mixed with another or with pellets, granules or powders and then filled into finished dosage forms in order to avoid incompatibilities in combination products.
Mini tablet drug product development services offer various benefits, including but not limited to:
- Increase in productivity
- Acceleration in time to market
- Less risk of dose dumping
- Ease of minitablet manufacturing
- Mini tablet drug delivery systems are ideal for coating
- Mini tablet formulation development can produce formulations with various release profiles
- High drug loading
In principle, mini-tablets development and formulation is similar to the larger, conventional tablet development and formulation. However, successful development of mini tablet drug delivery systems require specialist expertise as many drug product development issues are enhanced due to their small size. Mini tablet drug product development services are enabled by several tablet technologies developed for mini tablet development and formulation. Mini tablet pharmaceutical development services and the mini tablet formulation technologies that enable them, are explored below:
Dispensing is performed with the help of weighing and measuring apparatuses and aims to accurately weigh out API, excipients & other ingredients that make a tablet.
Sizing drug product development services are carried out to reduce and obtain the desired particle sizes before later stages of development of mini tablet formulations. Sizing is carried out with the help of fluid energy mills, colloidal mills, ball mills, etc.
Blending or mixing is very important for the drug product development of oral solid dosage forms. Blending mini tablet drug product development services create homogenized mixtures for granulation followed by compression. Blending is carried out by using tumbling blenders, oblicone blenders, agitated powder blender and other mini tablet formulation technologies.
Granulation creates aggregates of adhered pharmaceutical oral solid forms that are ready for compression. This mini tablet drug product development service is achieved with the help of fluidized bed granulators, roto granulators, high shear granulation mini tablet formulation technologies, etc.
Compression in mini tablet development and formulation is the stage at which fine powders and APIs are directly compressed for the development of mini tablet formulations. Compression mini tablet drug product development services are carried out with the help of rotary tablet press, multiple tip punch machines, etc.
During the development of mini tablet formulations, coatings are used to mask bitter taste and unpleasant odor of mini tablet pharmaceutical oral solid form to make them more suitable for consumption. This drug product formulation development service can be performed on fluidized bed coaters, perforated coating pans, standard pans, etc.
Evaluation of the physical and analytical properties of the mini tablets produced can help define the optimum drug formulation development route, composition, and processing window, and can be leveraged to assess manufacturing risks and risks associated with the corresponding mini tablets drug product development services. Many of the tests applied to larger-sized tablets can also be applied to mini tablets, although some modifications may be needed.
Traditional drug formulation development of tablets can be expensive, time consuming, inefficient and creates a lot of waste. Recent trends in the drug product formulation development and manufacturing of tablets reduce the need for manual input and process validation drug product support services, and further enhance product quality and process reliability.
Industrial pharmaceutical product development of tablets and mini tablet development and formulation has progressed to complete automation. With trends towards global marketing and regulatory requirements, the specifications for the facility, and the product too are becoming more stringent in recent times. Tablet CDMOs offering formulation development services use several tableting technology to meet the requirements of the growing market.
Various tablet CDMO offering formulation development services with recent advancements in tableting, partake in the production of immediate release tablets such as orally dispersible mini tablets, mouth dissolving/fast dissolving tablets, conventional effervescent, uncoated and film coated tablets etc. modified release tablet formulations including layered tablets such as inlay tablets, tablet in tablet, bilayer tablet, medicated chewing gum, tablet tarts, pastilles, lollipop, tablet inserts, clinicaps, caplets and child ecstasy tablets. The latest advances in tablet and mini tablet development and formulation are listed below.
- Advancements in raw materials:
Ready to use co-pressed blends, which are ready for direct compression, cut out multiple steps in drug formulation development of tablets and are gaining traction amongst drug product support service providers. These oral formulations accelerate time to market for finished dosage forms.
- Advancement in granulation technology:
Granulation is one of the most important drug product support services in the pharmaceutical product development of tablets. Pharmaceutical contract manufacturing units are shifting towards using steam granulation, melt granulation, moisture activated dry granulation, etc. over traditional granulation as it creates superior products, decreases time to market, and cuts steps from the standard processes set in place.
- Advancements in compression technology offered by tablet CDMO:
Recent advances in compression are due to innovations in compression technologies. Pharmaceutical contract manufacturing units are moving towards double punch technologies, exchangeable compression modules, die-disc technologies, etc. in order to provide superior drug product support services for tablets.
- Advances in tablet coating techniques:
The pharmaceutical product development of tablets is augmented by novel coating techniques like fluid bed or air suspension coating, compression coating, electrostatic coating, etc. The drug product development of oral dosage forms can make drug products undesirable to consumers. Therefore advances in coating techniques and technologies can create augmented drug product support services for coating tablets.
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Mikart is a CDMO which provides formulation development and manufacturing of various tablets including orodispersible & chewable tablets, mini-tablets, extended release tablets, sustained release tablets, modified release tablets, etc.
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Recipharm has experience in tableting, coating & pharmaceutical packaging required for successful mini-tablet formulation development. Their CDMO provides drug product development for mini-tablets & performs technical transfers & commercial manufacturing.
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Quotient Sciences offers formulation development services for solid oral dosage forms, including immediate, sustained and modified release tablets, mini-tablets and orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs), etc.
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Athena offers formulation development and manufacturing of various dosage forms, such as tablets and capsules in bulk and finished packs, pellets for filling in capsules, granules for direct compression, etc.
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Minitabs™ MMTS™ (Multi Mini Tablet System) provides the flexibility of multiparticulate dosage forms with functional membranes applied to 1.0 - 2.0 mm cylindrical tablets in order to control release rates.
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Mission’s development activities with strategic partnerships enable them to deliver novel healthcare solutions. It develops solid oral dosage forms such as tablets, immediate & controlled release tablets, topical semi-solids and oral liquids.
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