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Continuous-Flow Production of Pharmaceuticals Feasible

Continuous-flow synthesis of active drugs demonstrated in compact reconfigurable platform

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Drug-synthesizing machine. Photo: MIT

FRIDAY, April 1, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- On-demand, continuous-flow synthesis and formulation of active pharmaceutical ingredients has been demonstrated in a compact reconfigurable system, according to a research article published in the April 1 issue of Science.

Andrea Adamo, Ph.D., from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, and colleagues present an alternative approach to batch processing at multiple locations for pharmaceutical manufacturing.

The authors demonstrate continuous-flow synthesis and formulation of active pharmaceutical ingredients in a compact, reconfigurable manufacturing platform. Continuous end-to-end synthesis can be performed in a refrigerator-sized system, which is able to produce sufficient quantities to supply hundreds to thousands of oral or topical liquid diphenhydramine hydrochloride, lidocaine hydrochloride, diazepam, and fluoxetine hydrochloride doses per day; these pharmaceuticals meet U.S. Pharmacopeia standards.

"Continuous manufacturing systems benefit from integrated processing and control, which can translate to increased safety (no manual handling) and shorter processing times," the authors write. "Realization and demonstration of good manufacturing practices and ultimately U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval will be critical to future applications of this technology, including production units for hospitals, health care organizations, pharmaceutical development, and humanitarian aid."

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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