Merck, a leading science and technology company and AMCM, Starnberg, Germany, announced a cooperation agreement on the 3D printing of tablets. AMCM offers customized additive manufacturing solutions and is a sister company of 3D printing worldmarket leader EOS. The cooperation targets GMP-conform (Good Manufacturing Practice) tablet formulation development and production for clinical trials in a first step and later also commercial manufacturing services.
“Our partnership with AMCM / EOS has the potential to revolutionize the way tablets are produced. It will be a massive move towards digitalization of the industry,” said Isabel de Paoli, Chief Strategy Officer at Merck. “Our goal is to develop the industrial application of this technology, which we will make available for clinical trials first, and then move to full digital solutions at commercial scale.”
Marie Langer, CEO of EOS, added, “We are excited to support Merck on its innovation journey. This cooperation combines Merck’s formulation competences in Healthcare as well as its excipient expertise in Life Science with our long-standing additive manufacturing know-how. Together, we will help make drug development more flexible and faster.”
Through this partnership, a novel, simplified process in clinical development of drugs can be enabled by using powder bed fusion methods, whereby a laser melts and fuses powder together layer by layer. In addition, 3D printing allows for API (active pharmaceutical development) formulation to be scalable while avoiding costly reformulations throughout the entire pharmaceutical development and commercial production processes. As a result tablet manufacturing can become faster and cheaper.
Beyond the aforementioned objectives, the vision is to allow flexible and sustainable local tablet production according to specific market requirements as well as adaptation to patient needs.
Next-generation tablet manufacturing through 3D printing is a project in the Innovation Center at Merck headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany. Here, project teams work on developing and upscaling ideas to create new businesses between and beyond the three Merck business sectors of Healthcare, Life Science and Performance Materials.