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Having the patient in mind, our r&d activities focus on making medicines easier to take.

Research & development

HERMES PHARMA is the leading expert in developing user-friendly oral dosage forms. Pharmaceuticals and supplements manufactured by HERMES PHARMA are easy to take and pleasant to ingest – even if they contain large quantities of one or more active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) or if the API tastes particularly bad. The latter is especially important as user-friendly dosage forms spend longer in the mouth than conventional tablets and so are tasted more thoroughly. Our expertise helps people who have difficulty swallowing tablets or who suffer from chronic conditions requiring long-term medication. Our R&D activities focus on making medicines easier to take while also optimizing formulation development and manufacturing processes.

They encompass:

  • Taste masking, flavoring and coating to provide a pleasant experience
  • Granulation technologies
  • Developing immediate and extended-release user-friendly products
  • Selecting APIs, sweeteners and excipients with the right properties and combining them
  • Selecting the most suitable packaging format and material
  • Sourcing high-quality active ingredients and excipients
  • Developing effective analytical and stability testing methods to ensure long shelf life, even in hot and humid climate zones
  • Cost-efficient, fast and smooth up-scaling into commercial manufacturing
  • Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-compliant development processes

Our development and production processes are fully integrated, which means efficient product development, from the first laboratory formulation through to full-scale production. We involve our Regulatory Services team during the research and development phase to ensure that regulatory aspects are considered from the outset, and registration runs smoothly.

 

HERMES PHARMA places great emphasis on innovation and continually invests in research & development. We collaborate closely with equipment and packaging suppliers, as well as universities and renowned institutes, ensuring that our customers benefit from the latest scientific developments, innovations and technologies.

  • Product design

    Our interdisciplinary teams work closely with clients to develop and design new products that extend existing product lines, revitalize ageing brands and deliver additional value to patients and consumers.

     

    There are a number of ways how you can leverage our expertise in creating user-friendly, high-quality products:

    • We can recommend the most suitable dosage form considering the properties of the API, indication area/patient group and required dosage

    • We can recommend combinations and dosages of nutrients to meet various health and nutrition requirements

    • During development, we will even consider challenging climate zones to ensure high stability and long shelf life wherever products will be used

    • We rapidly develop a concept for the formulation and analytical methods to speed up development

    • We can verify the formulation concept by conducting feasibility studies

    • We consider packaging options with the product characteristics and the retailer/distribution channel in mind

    • Our integrated approach to using Quality by Design (QbD) and Process Analytical Technology (PAT) brings quality to the fore from the very beginning of the product development and manufacturing process, improving efficiency as a result

       

  • Formulation development

    For dosage forms to be truly user-friendly, they must be easy to take and pleasant to taste. This means selecting the most appropriate dosage form for a given active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) or nutrient, and also considering the needs and preferences of the intended target (patient) group. It also means drawing on specialist knowledge and technologies to create a formulation that ensures a positive user experience. These are areas where we are truly global experts.

     

    Taste and mouthfeel

    Both taste and mouthfeel are important factors when developing user-friendly oral dosage forms. For example, as many APIs are bitter, sour, sulfuric, astringent or salty, taste masking is often required to make the final product palatable. This is particularly important for user-friendly dosage forms, as they tend to spend more time in the mouth and are tasted more thoroughly than conventional tablets and capsules.

     

    Our experts know how to best mask the unpleasant taste of your API or nutrient. Based on many years of experience, we know which flavors work well together and to which indications they are best suited. For example, lemon flavorings work well for cold and flu remedies, while chocolate flavorings have proven popular among patients suffering from sleep disorders. We also have access to unique flavors, providing you with another avenue to differentiate your products in the marketplace.

     

    Hot melt coating – A unique coating technology

    Hot melt coating (HMC) is an advanced, alternative coating method that is ideal for the production of orally disintegrating granules (ODGs), for example.

     

    HMC is faster than conventional fluid-bed coating and eliminates the need for potentially toxic, flammable and expensive solvents. As HMC allows us to alter the release profile, we also use it for immediate and extended-release formulations.

     

    TOPO granulation – Our patented granulation technology

    TOPO granulation is a unique, patented granulation technology that is ideal for improving the stability of effervescent products. Chemically-sensitive APIs and ingredients can be formulated into effervescent products with a long shelf life in this way.

     

    TOPO granulation passivates the surfaces of the effervescent components, reducing their sensitivity to moisture and reactivity under normal, dry conditions (during storage, for example). Furthermore, the process is ideal for downstream blending and compression. For large-volume products, we have further developed TOPO technology into our Continuous Flow (CF) granulation technology.

     

    From formulation to scale-up & beyond

    Working in cooperation with our manufacturing teams, our formulation experts ensure that products can be scaled up and that the manufacturing process is quickly optimized and validated.

     

    Our teams work quickly. We are usually able to create the first formulation samples in a few weeks and the stability of the formulations can be demonstrated by early stress tests. We can handle minute amounts of API and still ensure content uniformity. For example, a cough and cold remedy recently developed for one of our customers contained 5 mg of phenylephrine in a 3,200 mg effervescent tablet – a ratio of 1:640. To ensure equal distribution of the API molecules under such conditions requires specific blending steps and ongoing process monitoring.

     

  • Analytical services

    Part of our quality-first approach is the testing and analysis of our products to ensure their quality. We have developed a huge range of analytical methods and considerable know-how for various APIs, herbal extracts, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients either as single preparations or combination products.

     

    Our dedicated analytical development and stability testing team supports the delivery of new products by:

    • Literature research

    • Developing and validating state-of-the-art analytical methods

    • Stress and compatibility studies

    • Transferring these methods into our quality control laboratories

    • Performing special analytical studies (such as dissolution studies to assess and compare bioavailability in vitro, or studies to assess taste-masking efficacy)

       

    To verify the stability of our products we can perform stability programs for the following purposes:

    • Development – evaluation of laboratory batches

    • Registration – according to the International Council for Harmonization of Technical Requirements for Registration of Pharmaceuticals for Human Use (at all climatic zones) and specific requirements for food/dietary supplements

    • Ongoing – during commercial production as part of the quality assurance and lifecycle management program

    • Transport – verification that shipment has no effect on product quality

    • In-use – verification that the repeated opening of multi-dose containers has no effect on product quality

       

Our team at work