Quotient, Capsugel partner to deliver insoluble drugs

The most powerful drug molecule imaginable is only useful as a treatment if it's bioavailable, and drugmakers are often thwarted by the problem of delivering poorly soluble treatments. With that in mind, Quotient Clinical and former Pfizer ($PFE) unit Capsugel are teaming up to develop lipid-based formulations of tough-to-absorb drugs.

Neither company disclosed the financial terms of the deal, but the plan is to use Capsugel's expertise in lipid-based delivery and manufacturing capacity to develop formulations, and then vet them with Quotient's real-time testing service, RapidFACT.

Quotient estimates that about 70% of pipeline drugs around the world face solubility issues, and if the duo can provide quick and effective lipid formulations, drug developers will take notice. Combining the two companies' services will allow the pair to offer fast-track development and clinical evaluation, ideally minimizing the time between development milestones, Quotient managing director Mark Egerton said in a statement.

Capsugel Senior Vice President Keith Hutchison told Outsourcing-Pharma that the partnership comes at just the right time. More and more developers are looking to lipid-based delivery, he said, and, while the platform still has a way to go, its increased visibility will help Quotient and Capsugel find clients.

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