Merck (a leading science and technology company) and the German company AMCM/EOS have announced a co-operation agreement on the 3-D printing of tablets.
AMCM offers customised additive-manufacturing solutions and is a sister company of global 3-D printing specialist EOS.
The co-operation targets GMP-conform (good manufacturing practice) tablet formulation development and production
for clinical trials as a first step, followed later by commercial manufacturing services.
Isabel de Paoli, chief strategy officer at Merck (www.merckgroup.com
), said: “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.
"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, CEO of EOS, said: “We are excited to support Merck.
“This co-operation combines Merck’s formulation competences in health-care, 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.
“Through this partnership, a novel, simplified process in clinical development of drugs can be enabled by using powder-bed fusion methods, whereby a laser melts and fuses powder together, layer by layer.
"In addition, 3-D printing allows for active pharmaceutical development formulation to be scalable, while avoiding costly reformulations throughout the entire pharmaceutical development and commercial production processes.
"As a result, tablet manufacturing can become faster and cheaper.”
Next-generation tablet manufacturing through 3-D printing is a project in the Innovation Center at Merck headquarters
in Armstadt, Germany.