Spray Drying

The most versatile formulation technology in the pharmaceutical industry

The Upperton R&D team have been undertaking formulation development for over twenty years. Our breadth of experience gained from pharmaceutical spray drying challenging molecules has enabled us to stay at the front of the field in terms of know-how and understanding of this versatile technology.

Over the years we have spray dried an extensive array of customer molecules. From sensitive biomolecules and elaborate vaccine formulations to poorly soluble small molecule APIs; all of which have been successfully spray dried and formulated into successful dosage forms.

Uniquely we understand that supply of material may be a problem for many of our customers in the early phases of development. As a result, we have developed processes that can provide pharmaceutical spray drying solutions starting with a few milligrams through to eventual kilogram scale, using proven scale up models.

Some examples of the classes of molecules we have spray is shown in the schematic:

Examples of Therapeutics Spray Dried

Types of Therapeutics that can be spray dryed: small molecule APIs both aqueous and non-aqueous; Biologics including large/ complex proteins, peptides, monoclonal antibodies/ fragments; combination particles with two or more APIs; Complex structures such as virosomes, nanoparticles, nanosuspensions and nanoemulsions; and non-replicating vaccines

Spray Drying Benefits

Spray drying is used extensively in the pharmaceutical industry with an ever growing list of applications. It is widely regarded as the most flexible formulation technology for enhancing the delivery of APIs and larger biomolecules. These wide range of applications and benefits include:

  • Improved bioavailability: Spray dried dispersions of poorly soluble APIs
  • Stabilisation of biologicals: proteins, peptides, monoclonal antibodies, enzymes, vaccines
  • Improved therapeutic efficacy, safety, tolerability and/or patient compliance
  • Fast, continuous, cost-effective solution: lowering dosage costs
  • Extending product life cycle
  • Achieve higher drug loading
  • Preparation of directly compressible powder, useful for further processing into multiple dosage forms

Key Features of Spray Drying

Applications of spray drying: modified release including PK and sustained release; particle engineering which is ideal for pulmonary and nasal delivery; improved bioavailability by producing spray dried dispersions; production of solid dosage forms such as capsules and tablets; and stabilisation of biologicals offering a more viable, cost-effective alternative to freeze drying

The rapid growth of pharmaceutical spray drying has been fuelled by its ever-expanding list of applications. However, its flexibility is not its only strength. The simplicity, reproducibility and scalability of the spray drying process, has resulted in it becoming the fastest growing processing technology in the pharmaceutical industry. Key features and advantages include:

  • Creation of an amorphous solid dispersion, improving drug solubility without the need for particle size reduction (such as physical milling)
  • Ability to tailor-make particle properties – with control of particle size, morphology and density to target or enhance delivery of drugs whilst improving powder handling properties
  • Suitable for heat-sensitive products, offering a faster and cheaper alternative to freeze drying (lyophilisation)
  • Processing of APIs dissolved in either aqueous and organic solvent systems to create dry powder formulations for even the most challenging of APIs
  • Predictable scale up models mean seamless transfer from milligrams to kilograms
  • Controlled release: encapsulation of APIs to modify the release profile or to target regions in the GI tract
Pre-formulation Studies

Upperton’s formulation development team will confidently guide you on the best route forward.

Formulation Development

Utilise our expertise and know-how to solve problems unique to your challenging molecule.

Clinical Manufacturing

FIH through to phase II clinical manufacturing. No project is too small or too challenging.

To see how we can help