Pill-maker Capsugel collects Australian uni's tech for greater bioavailability

New Jersey capsule technology specialist Capsugel has picked up a drug delivery platform developed at Australia's Monash University that makes use of lipidlike, counter-ion salts to improve the liquid bioavailability of certain drugs.

Monash is handing over its patent application and study results to Capsugel, an extension of the two entities' partnership in the past. And Capsugel, as part of the deal, will continue funding research positions and drug delivery projects for the university. Neither party disclosed the terms of the agreement.

The technology, called Ionic Liquids Technology, uses its counter-ions to transform drugs in crystalline form to ionic liquids, according to the university, which helps increase the solubility of the drug in lipid-based liquid, semisolid and multiparticulate formulations.

"The Ionic Liquids Technology will allow us to significantly increase drug solubility, reduce absorption variability, decrease excipient levels and reduce pill burden," Capsugel Senior Vice President Keith Hutchison said in a statement. "This represents a valuable addition to our capabilities in designing and developing innovative immediate and modified-release dosage forms. Our continuing work with Monash holds great potential for additional drug-delivery innovations in the future."

Pfizer ($PFE) sold its Capsugel unit back in 2011 for $2.38 billion to the private equity firm KKR. Since that time, Capsugel has been picking up more and more platforms for its pill business, increasing the effectiveness of its dosage forms and expanding its bandwidth in the U.S. and Europe along the way.

- here's the Capsugel release