Custom Chemical Firms Expand Into Formulation

February 12, 2013
C&EN - Chemical & Engineering News

To win at the drug development game, it’s not enough to show up with a great molecule. Many compounds would stall at the discovery stage without effective ways to get them inside patients. But the days of simple, easy-to-make pills are gone and the endgame now is about shaping uncooperative compounds into well-behaved medicines.

More than half of new pharmaceutical compounds moving into development have tricky physical properties that call for some kind of special science and engineering, says Rod Ray, chief executive officer of Bend Research, an Oregon-based drug formulation specialist. Crafted for their therapeutic merits, up to 40% of drug candidates are poorly soluble, overly reactive, not bioavailable, or a confounding combination of such problems.