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Pharmaceutical companies often use lyophilisation (or freeze-drying) to increase the shelf life of the products, such as live virus vaccines, biologics and other injectables. By removing the water from the material and sealing the material in a glass vial, the material can be easily stored, shipped, and later reconstituted to its original form for injection. Another example from the pharmaceutical industry is in tablet or wafer production, the advantage of which is less excipient as well as a rapidly absorbed and easily administered dosage form.

Lyophilisation is also used in manufacturing of raw materials for pharmaceutical products. Active Pharmaceutical Product Ingredients (APIs) are lyophilised to achieve chemical stability under room temperature storage. Bulk freeze-drying of APIs is typically conducted using trays instead of glass vials.

Dry powders of probiotics are often produced by bulk lyophilisation of live microorganisms such as Lactic acid bacteria and Bifidobacteria.

Quality control of freeze-dried oral formulations; challenges when developing novel approaches for the delivery of poorly-soluble drugs

22 August 2017 | By ,

A common obstacle encountered in the early stages of drug development is the formulation of poorly water-soluble drugs (PWSDs). One effective approach to improve the dissolution of PWSDs is to render such drugs into their amorphous or disordered form. However, amorphous materials are both physically and chemically unstable, and tend…

The importance of being small: miniaturisation of freeze drying equipment

18 August 2017 | By ,

Developmental activities for freeze-dried products are dictated by the limited availability and high cost of newly developed active compounds, and by Quality-by-Design requirements. Laboratory-scale freeze dryers used for formulation and process development show an excessive variety of designs and instrumentation concepts, making scale-up activities a challenge. The development of miniaturised…

PAT Series: Recent achievements in NIR-based on-line monitoring of lyophilisation processes

30 June 2016 | By Adrian Funke - Bayer Pharma AG / Reinhard Gross, Stephan Tosch and Albert Tulke - Bayer Technology GmbH

Process analytical technology (PAT), namely near-infrared (NIR) and Raman spectroscopy, has already been shown to be a useful tool for monitoring, analysing and optimising the complex process of lyophilisation. The latter process is especially challenging in the case of biopharmaceutical formulations due to the instability of active ingredients, leading to…

Preserving blood – why we need to look at new options

22 February 2016 | By

Blood transfusions have been used successfully since the early 1900s, and blood banks have been in use since 1914. After donation, whole blood is separated into several components for processing and storage under different conditions, and one of these components is the red blood cell fraction.

Techniques to preserve product quality in pharmaceutical freeze drying

3 July 2014 | By , ,

In a pharmaceutical freeze drying process, it is mandatory to preserve product quality. This means that for a given formulation that has to be freeze dried, the temperature has to remain below a limit value corresponding to the eutectic temperature for a product that crystallises after freezing, with the goal…

Controlled nucleation in freeze-drying

22 October 2012 | By Henning Gieseler, Associate Professor at the Division of Pharmaceutics, University of Erlangen & CEO, GILYOS GmbH and Peter Stärtzel, Pharmaceutical Scientist, GILYOS GmbH

The stochastic nature of nucleation during the freezing step of the freeze-drying process has been regarded as a demerit in a process which is considered under rigorous control. The freezing performance of a product can impact its subsequent drying behaviour and the final product quality attributes. Hence, the idea to…

Breaking old habits: Moving away from commonly used buffers in pharmaceuticals

10 July 2012 | By David Sek, Research Scientist, Pfizer

One of the key factors in stabilising proteins is determining the optimal pH and buffer system to provide adequate solubility and stability. Currently, three buffers, citrate, phosphate and acetate, make up the majority of buffers used in parenteral pharmaceuticals approved by the FDA, but less precedented excipients are certainly available…

Spray drying pharmaceuticals

13 December 2011 | By Mingshi Yang, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Copenhagen

Spray drying is a widely used technical method to produce fine particles, coarse powders, agglomerates or granulates in various industries. The characteristics of the particles produced by this method can be controlled and the particle properties can be maintained as constant throughout a continuous operation. The product from this process…