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University Licenses Taste-Masking Technology to Pharma

Rajesh Dave (Kai Chan/New Jersey Institute of Technology)

Rajesh Dave (Kai Chan/New Jersey Institute of Technology)

New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark agreed to license its discoveries that can mask the taste of drug particles to Catalent Pharma Solutions, a drug manufacturer in Somerset, New Jersey. Catalent funded the research by NJIT engineering professor Rajesh Dave (pictured left) that led to the development of this technology.

Dave’s research at NJIT covers several aspects of particle engineering and processing. He developed processes for dry particle coating and the manufacturing of engineered particles, including the use of dry methods for ultrafine particle mixing. Dave also conducts research into granulation processes with minimal use of liquids, as well as particle transport and handling, such as the flow and delivery of particles from hoppers.

The license allows Catalent to transfer the technology from NJIT’s labs to its manufacturing facilities, where the company plans use the NJIT methods in its Zydis process for making fast-dissolving drug dosages. The Zydis process produces drug dosages in solid, freeze-dried form that disperses quickly in the mouth with no water needed. Catalent says its Zydis process is useful for drugs needing pre-gastric absorption, and can help improve patient compliance with drug regimens.

The NJIT technology should complement this process since it will help mask the most unpleasant and bitter tasting pharmaceutical active ingredients. The taste-masking technology is expected to be used in the development of formulations such as granules, sachets, sprinkles, chewables, effervescent, and oral dispersible tablets.

“Taste-masking of fine drug particles has remained an unmet technical challenge for formulators,” says Dave. “Through funding from Catalent we have been able to leverage our expertise to innovate technology and processes that allow for these materials to be cost effectively coated and taste-masked.” Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

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