Why Scalability Matters In Selecting A Pharmaceutical Homogenizer

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Jen Hug
Jan 21, 2016
min read
Why Scalability Matters In Selecting A Pharmaceutical Homogenizer

The drug development process is one of trial and turmoil. Only about 12.5% of products that enter clinical trials will make it to manufacturing, and an even smaller fraction will successfully move from R&D to clinical trials. It truly is a shame to think that many of the products which consumers will never see held the potential for successful drug therapy. One way to ensure your pharmaceutical product does not meet this fate is by scaling homogenizer equipment, which is frequently used along the drug development process.

Keep reading to improve your understanding of why scalability is important when selecting a homogenizer.

Increased Cost Savings

You may be reading this from one of many perspectives: that of an independent lab researcher, in-house, or contracted by a large corporation. No matter the category you fall under, you are probably all-too-familiar with the fact that conducting research is incredibly expensive, particularly in the drug development industry. Particle size reduction via homogenization is frequently used in the pharmaceutical industry. The ability of this method to be scaled ensures that you can invest in a project with the confidence that it will still work on the larger machinery. Alternatively, if the method could not be scaled, significant monetary funds would be required to order more reagents and begin again at the small-scale level.

Lower Time Requirement

By developing a scalable particle size reduction technique from day 1, significant amounts of time can be saved. Importantly, it is not just the technique itself that needs to be optimized; it is the equipment the technique is being used on that may determine its success. By using a particle size reduction on scalable equipment starting at R&D, the same technique should easily work on a pilot-plant homogenizer in clinical trials. No researcher wants to get stuck with an optimized R&D technique that doesn’t work when their product moves to clinical trials or manufacturing.

Overall Decreased Likelihood of Failure

As mentioned above, scalable equipment should be used from the start of R&D all the way through the manufacturing stage. Failure to do so will cost both time and money, as any technique that didn’t scale will have to be re-optimized on the lab bench. Importantly, if the equipment to which you have access can support a scaled process, your chances of making it to the golden manufacturing stage are higher.

A number of homogenizer manufacturers have different models available for each phase of drug development; for example, Pion is renowned for their BEE brand homogenization equipment and ability to help a customer through the drug development process. They offer laboratory homogenizers for R&D, pilot scale homogenizers for clinical trials, and industrial homogenizers for the manufacturing phase. The scalability of these homogenizers- e.g., a method that was successful with the laboratory homogenizer will also be successful with the industrial homogenizer- is a huge benefit that can save both time and cost.

Although this writing focused centrally on the pharmaceutical industry, homogenizers are frequently used in the chemical, biotechnology, and food & beverage industries as well. Pion delivers an array of key benefits to each industry, such as production of nano/micro emulsions, dispersions, lipids, and suspensions. When selecting a company that offers scalable particle size reduction equipment, begin with Pion; not only do we manufacture the highest quality equipment, but we also offer customization and proprietary software to help optimize processes.

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