Crystallising knowledge

Researchers in our Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science have created a new method of creating co-crystals, using a technique based on twin screw extrusion, a process which is well established in the plastics industry. In a three year project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council they are now seeking to understand the science behind the process.

Co-crystallisation provides an alternative to traditional methods of creating targeted soluble drug compounds and has enormous potential to assist industry in creating new drugs with increased stability, faster and more efficiently. By creating co-crystals which include the active ingredient and other accepted materials such as a vitamin or sugar, the solubility of the active ingredient is improved.

Anant Paradkar, Professor of Pharmaceutical Engineering Science explains: “The technique we’ve been using lends itself well to industrial scale manufacturing as it’s scalable, continuous and solvent free. Better understanding of how the crystals are forming will help us to optimise the process.”