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Bend Research and Catalent partner to provide integrated solutions for oral controlled-release technologies

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BEND, Ore.—Late June saw Bend Research Inc. and Somerset,N.J.-based Catalent Pharma Solutions Inc. enter into an agreement to provideintegrated solutions for pharmaceutical companies that are seeking to developand manufacture specialized multiparticulate oral controlled-release products.The team-up is particularly focused on bringing complex controlled-releaseproducts to market faster and more efficiently with optimal therapeutic andrelease profiles.
Catalent and Bend Research have entered into "a number ofsuccessful collaborations in the past," Ian Muir, president of Catalent PharmaSolutions' Modified Release Technologies business, tells ddn. Dr. RodRay, president and CEO of Bend Research, says joint discussions between thecompanies go back at least to 2009, noting, "We had colleagues in common andattended many of the same professional conferences, which gave us theopportunity to learn more about each other."
Based on past successes together, Muir says, discussionsbecame more serious in the past few months, resulting in the development andsigning of this more formal alliance. The team-up provides several synergies,Muir and Ray note, with Ray pointing out that Bend Research providesworld-class expertise in formulation and modeling of controlled-releasemultiparticulate dosage forms to Catalent's clients, while Catalent providesBend Research clients with analytical/CMC, optimization and clinical andcommercial manufacturing services in a cGMP environment.
"This is the right time for this collaboration because thenumber of difficult-to-formulate compounds in most companies' pipelines hasnever been higher, requiring the combined skill sets of both companies," Raysays. "In addition, because of the intensely competitive nature of thepharmaceutical industry, the need for improved efficiency in bringing productsto market has never been greater. This alliance addresses both of thoseissues."
"This is the right pairing," he adds, "because our two firmsboth specialize in controlled-release multiparticulate formulations and offerdifferent, but complementary, services—all of which are needed in advancingformulations from discovery to market. We believe this collaboration will offersubstantive benefits to the clients at each firm."
Philosophically, both companies fit well, Muir says, as theyeach work toward the same end goal of providing optimal solutions to customersfor challenging controlled-release products, with Catalent in particularfocused on helping the pharmaceutical industry with compounds that aredifficult to formulate and manufacture using modified release technologies.
"This alliance will provide our customers withindustry-leading formulation scientists and innovative manufacturingtechnologies across both companies to bring more products to market in anefficient approach, from formulation to commercialization through lifecyclemanagement," Muir says.
Reportedly, Catalent and Bend Research are developing jointoperations and technology-transfer protocols to make the customer experienceseamless and efficient while leveraging the strengths of both companies todevelop better treatments for patients globally.
"Our integrated approach is geared toward complex,multiparticulate controlled-release products, which traditionally havepresented a high scale-up risk when they are transferred to commercialmanufacturing sites," said Ray in the news release about the alliance. "Thispartnership with Catalent will provide an efficient pathway for these medicinesfrom early development through commercialization. We believe that Catalent'sbreadth of services and demonstrated success in bringing controlled-releaseproducts to market, as well as supplying them globally, makes them an idealcomplement to our development strengths."
"Bend's added laboratory scale modeling expertise willenhance and increase the efficiencies that Catalent will provide to customers,"added Muir in the same announcement. "This should enable optimal and seamlessscale-up within Catalent's Controlled Release network, and particularly at ourWinchester, Ky., facility, which is widely regarded as the leading commercialfacility for multiparticulate products."

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