DFE, Harro Höfliger and Sterling forge respiratory partnership


A trio of companies – excipient supplier DFE Pharma, equipment supplier Harro Höfliger and active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) manufacturer Sterling – have forged a partnership to advance dry powder inhalation solutions (DPI). Dubbed Inhalation Together (INTO), the collaboration will focus on formulating respiratory treatments.

According to the members, the initiative will provide R&D services to pharmaceutical companies in the respiratory field, with the aim of making formulation development simpler, faster and more manageable. The INTO project offers a suite of coordinated and aligned services, leveraging the complementary expertise and skills of its three partners.

Martti Hedman, CEO of DFE Pharma, told Outsourcing-Pharma that the three entities are used to working together to address respiratory formulation challenges for pharmaceutical companies.

Martti Hedman, CEO, DFE Pharma

Together, we have successfully contributed to the development of innovative and generic inhalation products; we also collaborate with ongoing research“, he explained. “These collaborations lead to the launch of INTO in March 2022​.”

Hedman added that the INTO initiative will help address the growing respiratory market, as well as the growing need for DIP knowledge and R&D services.

Many new companies are entering this field and need additional support for their inhalant formulations – including in equipment, technology platforms or know-howHedman remarked. “Companies exploring inhaled treatments for new indications or generic drugs could benefit from collaborating with INTO, as the partners have comprehensive knowledge of key challenges in PGD development. »

The development of a DPI formulation can be very complex, with a strong interdependence between the process, the powder, the device and the patient. In order to meet specific customer needs, INTO’s services will range from initial consultancy and problem statement development to a step-by-step formulation development program.

In addition, individual services include solid state characterization and sonocrystallization of APIs and studies to optimize formulation, mixing and filling. The three INTO partners will also offer consultancy services.

Hedman said INTO’s launch would likely just be the start of INTO’s offerings.

We are very proud to partner with Harro Höfliger and Sterling, who together with DFE Pharma are leaders in the formulation and development of inhaled products; the launch of INTO is the first step in our journey together“, did he declare. “We plan to continue our collaboration in this area, joining forces to better support respiratory-focused pharmaceutical companies and benefit patients by improving their access to these therapies.​.”


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