Pharmaceutical company Merck and German custom additive manufacturing specialist AMCM (sister company of EOS) have announced a collaboration through which they will develop 3D printed tablet formulations. The partnership aims to create a tablet 3D printing process that conforms to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards for clinical trials and, eventually, for commercial manufacturing services.
3D printed pills are gaining traction in healthcare, as medical and drug companies realize the potential of additive manufacturing to personalize medicine and dosages. In this case, Merck is hoping to leverage 3D printing to achieve greater scalability for API (active pharmaceutical development) formulations by minimizing reliance on costly reformulations across the whole pharmaceutical development and production process. The pharma giant sees an opportunity to use 3D printing to create tablets in a more cost and time efficient manner.
“Our partnership with AMCM/EOS has the potential to revolutionize the way tablets are produced. It will be a massive move towards digitalization of the industry,” commented Isabel de Paoli, Chief Strategy Officer at Merck. “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.”
Through the partnership, AMCM will supply a customized powder bed fusion process that will reportedly simplify the clinical development of drugs. The 3D printing technology is expected to pave the way to more flexible and sustainable tablet production, by enabling localized manufacturing that can address specific market requirements and by being adaptable to patient needs.
Marie Langer, CEO of EOS, said of the collaboration: “We are excited to support Merck on its innovation journey. This cooperation combines Merck’s formulation competences in Healthcare 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.”
The 3D printed tablet project will be spearheaded by the Innovation Center at Merck’s headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.