TECHNOLOGY SPONSOR: EXCIPIENTS
SPI Pharma, one of That's Nice's Road to 2021 sponsors, discusses how the company is innovating to face the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond to face the future of healthcare.
As a customer and patient-centric– focused organization, continuous innovation is crucial. SPI Pharma creates formulation solutions to serve the ever-changing needs of their end customers. One of the primary ways SPI Pharma delivers value is through its focus on the pharma industry and its ability to provide unique and highly technical insights about the utility of the products in pharmaceutical dosage forms. SPI Pharma has a robust pipeline of new product development projects that are managed through a stage-gate process, enabling the company to accelerate projects that show promise and address specific megatrends and customer opportunities, particularly in areas that will make a difference to patients.
SPI Pharma works systematically in their product development program to pull new ideas from all aspects of the organization and communicate which ideas are progressing into their innovation funnel. Channeling feedback from the commercial, technical, and business development functions allows SPI Pharma to hear customer pain points and challenges, allowing the team to help find innovative solutions.
The recent shift among regulatory agencies toward patient centricity and patient adherence in drug development has influenced the message that SPI Pharma brings to their customers and how they think about the patient — their customers’ customer. Customers are increasingly looking to enhance APIs, whether that be via improving bioavailability, taste masking, or other means. Because of this, SPI Pharma continuously expands its capabilities and flexibility to remain relevant; with the goal of combining products, knowledge, capabilities, and innovation to develop applications and solutions that help customers solve their problems and enhance the patient experience.
The move toward patient-centricity is potentially a game-changer for SPI Pharma. Global regulatory authorities insist on including assessment of medicine characteristics that may influence adherence (e.g., taste, mouthfeel, and convenience). This means innovation that is tailored to improve these attributes will be highly sought by pharma companies, enabling them to deliver enhanced medicines to patients with difficulties adhering to current drug regimens. This is a perfect match for SPI Pharma, as they have offered products focusing on a patient-centric experience for years.
From SPI Pharma’s perspective, optimizing the drug development process to achieve patient-centric goals will require a bit of a paradigm shift, wherein consideration of the dosage form occurs much earlier in the process. The focus remains on clinical outcomes, but the patient experience is a major component of delivering medicine, and if some effort was applied to enhancing the patient experience with respect to dosage form, in addition to clinical outcome, drug development could become more effective.
SPI Pharma recently launched an extension of the Mannogem® Mannitol product line, introducing two products — a spray-dried mannitol and a granular mannitol — with enhanced tabletability and two new powder particle sizes. Powered by SPI Pharma’s proprietary technology, these new products address the formulation challenges commonly faced with mannitol while providing customers with a solution that leverages its patient-centric benefits to enhance performance, speed development, and reduce the total cost.