The best of both worlds

Crystal Pharmatech, Particle Sciences to combine drug development expertise

Kelsey Kaustinen
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PRINCETON, N.J.—Contract research organization (CRO) CrystalPharmatech and Particle Sciences, a leading contract drug development companybased in Bethlehem, Pa., have announced the formation of a new partnership thatwill allow both organizations to offer their clients a more complete solutionfor the development of low-solubility compounds.
In recent years, roughly 65 percent of pharmaceuticalcompounds in development have been somewhat soluble to practically insoluble inwater, highlighting the need for innovation in drug formulation and techniquesto enhance solubility. This partnership will seek to provide a more completesolution to clients facing solubility problems with their compounds.
Crystal Pharmatech is experienced with solid-statecharacterization and determining the ideal solid phase for a variety ofcompounds, in addition to providing fundamental material property evaluation.Particle Sciences, for its part, has more than two decades of experienceworking with various formulations of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)as well as multiple delivery and formulation formats. Both companies will beable to use each other's core competencies to recommend each other to clients,thereby offering the best programs for their clients' compounds and projects.
"Our sweet spot is a fundamental understanding of the activepharmaceutical ingredient and how it impacts every stage of pharmaceuticaldevelopment. Particle Sciences specializes in advanced drug deliverytechnologies, the drug product. You truly cannot separate these two disciplinesif you want a successful, trouble-free development," says Dr. Robert Wenslow,Crystal Pharmatech's vice president of business development in the UnitedStates and Europe. "Many CROs will say that they address both API and drugproduct development/understanding, but our two companies are specialty shopsfor these two disciplines. It truly makes a difference to a successful drugdevelopment program. This partnership will combine the best of both worlds andtruly offer our clients the best means of getting their drugs to market."
This is the first time the two companies have workedtogether, says Wenslow, who notes that Particle Science's "attention tofundamental science was very attractive to us from a partnering standpoint.There's a gap in the CRO market for vendors focused on science; that's what weare both striving to provide." Both companies, he stresses, are "completelyfocused on cutting-edge science and personal attention to clients."
Robert Lee, Ph.D., vice president of pharmaceutical development atParticle Sciences, says this arrangement—both companies having vetted eachother's capabilities—"reduces the due diligence that our clients might have todo, so it offers a one-stop shop." Particle Sciences' core competence is indrug delivery and formulation development, says Lee, and that is the area inwhich the company wants to continue growing, rather than diluting theirefforts. It makes sense, he notes, to "identify the vendors out there that havevery big capabilities in the spaces that we don't intend to grow in."
"We have the expertise in-house, but it just didn't makesense for us to add solid-state characterization as a distraction, and we wouldneed equipment, so we made a strategic decision to evaluate contractorganizations that offer solid-state characterizations, including CrystalPharmatech and three others. We came to the conclusion that for our clients andfor the types of services that we wanted to offer for our clients, that CrystalPharmatech was the best fit," says Lee.
Partnerships such as these, with or between CROs, aresomething he expects to see continue in the industry.
"I think you can see that more and more, where you havecenters of expertise or excellence that link together and as a whole provideexcellent development services. I think that is a more viable strategy goingforward than trying to get everything under one roof," Lee concludes.

Kelsey Kaustinen

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