FabRx Ltd., a biotech spin-out from University College London (UCL) in the UK, has announced the availability of its M3DIMAKER system, the first pharmaceutical 3D printer developed for the production of customized medicine. The system was first unveiled in Switzerland in September 2019 at the ILMAC Exhibition and now, after extensive testing, it is ready for the market.
The newly launched pharmaceutical 3D printer is designed to produce personalized 3D printed tablets called Printlets. The hardware can print pills with a precise dose of medication as well as print “polypills” with several medications integrated into a single tablet. The ability to combine drugs into a single pill could make it easier for patients with complicated medication regimens to manage their prescriptions.
The M3DIMAKER 3D printer is controlled by a specialized software platform that enables users to select the dose prescribed by the pharmacist and clinician. The software also integrates fingerprint access control and a data matrix reader which ensure reliability and security. In other words, only qualified personnel have access to many of the technology’s features. The pharmaceutical 3D printer is also equipped with advanced in-line quality control procedures, including camera monitoring for defect detection.
The system is also adaptable: customers can choose between three different print nozzles depending on their specific applications, whether they are printing small batches of pills for pre-clinical and clinical studies, or printing personalized tablets for clinical practice. According to FabRx, the M3DIMAKER can produce one-month’s worth of medication (28 Printlets) in roughly eight minutes, depending on the type of drug being printed.
“We are delighted to be launching our state-of-the-art 3D printing system in light of the recommendations from the regulatory organisations into the pharmaceutical market,” commented Dr. Alvaro Goyanes, Director of Development at FabRx. “I truly believe that we are one step closer to personalised medicine thanks to the M3DIMAKER.”
Personalized medicine is a new frontier in the healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors. Today, most drugs are created using mass manufacturing methods, which create standardized dosage forms. In some cases, this can lead to inappropriate dosing. In pediatrics, for instance, it is not uncommon for medication to be split or crushed to achieve the right dosage, which is imprecise and can lead to dosing errors. Tablets with personalized dosage could offer a safe alternative to these more do-it-yourself approaches.