Aston University secures KTP project to assist Catalent in developing orally disintegrating tablets

Aston University researchers based in the College of Health and Life Sciences have been awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project by Innovate UK, to bring its academic and scientific expertise to assist Catalent in the development of its Zydis® technology, the leading orally disintegrating tablet (ODT).

The Zydis ODT fast-dissolve formulation is a unique, freeze-dried oral solid dosage form that disperses almost instantly in the mouth with no water required. It helps delivering treatments to patients and consumers who have difficulty swallowing conventional pills, or where rapid onset of action is desirable.

The aim of the KTP partnership is to develop and prove an accurate predictive decision-making tool to pre-determine accurate levels of absorption enhancer for each Zydis product, potentially facilitating faster pharmaceutical development, improving efficiency, and reducing time to market.

A Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) is a three-way collaboration between a business, an academic partner and a KTP Associate. The UK-wide programme helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills. Aston University is the leading KTP provider within the Midlands.

Academic lead on the project is Professor Afzal Mohammed, who is also chair in Pharmacy in the College of Health & Life Sciences (HLS) and a member of the Aston Pharmaceutics Group (APG) at Aston University.

This is a great opportunity for us to share and translate our academic experience in cell based models, excipient and formulation characterisation to develop an evidence based predictive tool that has the potential to expedite product development at Catalent.”

Professor Afzal Mohammed

Ralph Gosden, head of Zydis product development at Catalan, added:

"We are excited to be working with Aston University on this project. Their expertise in drug transportation, cell biology, data analysis and model cell line design, coupled with its world-class facilities means that together, we will be able to achieve significant improvements in efficiency, and accelerate new product development.”

Professor Mohammed will be supported by other colleagues from the Aston Pharmaceutics Group, including, Dr Dan Kirby, who has experience in drug delivery and improving patient acceptability of dosage forms gained through original research; Dr Affiong Iyire who has research expertise in the formulation of drugs for pre-gastric absorption and innovative cell models; and Dr Raj Badhan, who is a pharmacokinetics expert with vast knowledge of in silico methods.

The outcomes of the project will be integrated into Aston University’s curriculum through teaching case studies, thereby developing well equipped graduates.

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