Discovering a potent and highly selective drug is of course only part of the story of creating a new medicine. Careful consideration of the appropriate dosage form for the patient is essential for effective treatment. Of course, different dosage forms present a wide range of technical challenges with product solubility and long term stability paramount to the ultimate success of the therapeutic treatment. Specific pharmaceutical formulation challenges include investigating the dissolution process, particle size, drug and excipient phase behaviour, along with the effects of polymorphism, solubility and oxidation among others.
Osteoporosis is a bone disease that affects 200 million people worldwide and contributes to 8.9 million fractures annually. The condition causes a loss of bone mass and structure which in turn leads to bones becoming weak and breaking, usually during a trip or fall. The disease is prevalent in people over 55, and in particular women, due to the loss of oestrogen hormone during the menopause. Osteoporosis is becoming increasingly prevalent in men who receive cancer therapies which supress testosterone levels. Bisphosphonates are a family of medicines which are commonly prescribed to treat osteoporosis. The most common types are alendronate and zoledronate which aim to strengthen osteoporotic bones by slowing down the activity of bone cells.Read more...
Malaria is one of the most prevalent parasitic diseases of humans and affects 216 million people worldwide. Many years of research have been dedicated to finding the most effective and affordable drugs to prevent infection, which have to date been very successful. Most recently the challenge has been the growth in resistance to existing treatments, which has driven further research into a new generation of anti-malarial drugs.Read more...
Medicinal products extracted from biological sources, called biopharmaceuticals or biologics, must be carefully produced to ensure that only high purity active material is generated. Biopharmaceutical manufacturing processes can have an impact on the amount of product-related variants in the final clinical material. Understanding and controlling amounts of these product-related variants is a major challenge in the development of biopharmaceutical products.Read more...
Drug products are manufactured to an extremely high standard to maintain product safety when taken by patients. Specifications used throughout the manufacturing process cover not only the drug itself, but also the level of potential impurities (chemical, solvent, or polymorph), which are set to limits that are monitored by regulatory bodies to uphold safety and product quality requirements. X-ray powder diffraction is a key analytical technique in the pharmaceutical industry for characterising drug compounds. This is used for throughout the development process to fingerprint compounds and quantify impurities.Read more...
Along with many pharmaceutical materials, sodium diclofenac, a commonly used painkiller, can crystallise in many different forms depending on the manufacturing and formulation conditions. Each crystalline form may have very different biological and physical properties including bioavailability, drug delivery mechanism and shelf-life. Full characterisation and optimisation of solid forms of an API is therefore critical.Read more...
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