Collaboration for 3D printing of tablets announced

Two companies have announced their partnership to work on the 3D printing of tablets for use in clinical trials.

3D printing

A collaboration to improve the manufacturing and formulation of pharmaceutical tablets using three-dimensional (3D) printing has been announced. 

Merck and AMCM (sister company of EOS) will partner to co-operate on tablet production for clinical trials that conforms to good manufacturing practice (GMP). The companies plan to later work on commercial manufacturing services. 

According to the companies, this collaboration will result in a novel, simplified process in the clinical development of tablets and other drugs. The production will be enabled by using powder bed fusion methods, where a laser melts and fuses powder together layer by layer. In addition, 3D printing allows for active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) formulation to be scalable while avoiding costly reformulations throughout the entire pharmaceutical development and commercial production processes. As a result, tablet manufacturing could become faster and cheaper, the companies suggest. 

“Our partnership with AMCM/EOS has the potential to revolutionise the way tablets are produced. It will be a massive move towards digitalisation of the industry,” said Isabel de Paoli, Chief Strategy Officer at Merck. “Our goal is to develop the industrial application of this technology, which we will make available for clinical trials first and then move to full digital solutions at commercial scale.”

Marie Langer, Chief Executive Officer of EOS, added: “We are excited to support Merck on its innovation journey. This co-operation combines Merck’s formulation competences in healthcare as well as its excipient expertise in life science with our long-standing additive manufacturing know-how. Together, we will help make drug development more flexible and faster.”

Another potential advantage of the technique is the capability for flexible and sustainable local tablet production according to specific market requirements as well as adaptation to patient needs.