Innovation award

Oxford, UK-based Prosonix and the University of Bath have won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2006 Team Innovation Award.

Oxford, UK-based Prosonix and the University of Bath have won the Royal Society of Chemistry’s 2006 Team Innovation Award for their novel particle engineering technology Solution, Atomisation and Crystallization by Sonication (SAX).

The award follows a successful two year collaboration and co-operation period which resulted in Prosonix licensing the SAX technology from the University of Bath on an exclusive worldwide basis.

Prosonix is now leading the commercialisation of the technology into the global pharmaceutical industry and has already generated significant interest from several leading pharmaceutical companies.

Limitations of conventional crystallization techniques in the manufacture of active pharmaceutical ingredients for a number of dosage forms typically requires the need for micronisation. These low-tech destructive based techniques whilst exerting a degree of size control, are expensive, unnecessary and can adversely affect a range of highly important physicochemical properties.

With crystallisation being fundamental to each and every pharmaceutical manufacturing process, there is an unmet and pressing need to engineer crystalline particles with an even greater control of the surface characteristics and surface geometry of micron and sub-micron sized particles while maintaining high throughput, low cost and industrial scalability. This concept is being increasingly recognised by industry and driven under a new directive by the FDA entitled “Quality by Design” (QbD).

Discovered by Dr Robert Price from the University’s Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, SAX is a unique single step, solution-to-particle-technology, incorporating solution atomisation and sonocrystallization, that has shown significant potential benefits in the production of particles, particularly for inhaled therapeutics, but also has potential in production of nanosuspensions and improved particles for other formulations.

The technology allows the production in a well-defined particle size range as well as controlling the macroscopic morphology, including polymorphism, and mesoscopic surface topography. Indeed these properties are invaluable in defining aerodynamic properties of particles, shelf life, stability, bioavailability and efficacy.