Boehringer taps Nanoform to boost solubility and bioavailability

A Boehringer Ingelheim facility (Boehringer Ingelheim)

Boehringer Ingelheim has struck a deal to apply Nanoform's nanoparticle technology to its preclinical pipeline prospects. The master services agreement positions the partners to work to improve the solubility and bioavailability of drug candidates in development at Boehringer. 

Poor solubility and bioavailability are major impediments to the development of oral dosage forms, with analyses of phase 1 failures finding the attributes are among the top causes of setbacks early in clinical development. Nanoform has developed a way to reduce the particle size of drugs, increasing their surface area and thereby improving the rate of dissolution.

Boehringer sees promise in the technology. Through the agreement, Boehringer has gained a chance to evaluate the value Nanoform's CESS brings to its active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

“Wider uptake of the latest technological innovations is essential to address the low success rates for new drug candidates in pharma. This is the first step toward what we hope will be a long and fruitful partnership between our companies," Christian Jones, chief commercial officer at Nanoform, said in a statement.

CESS, an abbreviation of controlled expansion of supercritical solutions, is far from the first method of reducing the particle size of APIs to improve dissolution. However, Nanoform claims the platform can create nanoparticles as small as 10 nm and control their shape, giving it potential advantages over older approaches to particle size reduction.

Nanoform is aiming to apply the technology to at least 70 new APIs a year by 2025. The company released interim clinical data on the application of the technology to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug piroxicam early this year, revealing that its formulation was absorbed faster than the reference tablet from Pfizer.