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Discovery & Development Small Molecules, Analytical Science

The Powder Problem

What happens when the same batch of powder gives different results when tested with different laser diffraction machines? It’s a common problem in pharma development, but Hovione Technology says it has patented an improved method for particle size analysis by laser diffraction.

The method is based on understanding the process of powder particle deagglomeration prior to laser diffraction analysis. Deagglomeration is a precise technique that requires correct sample preparation. According to Hovione, equipment wear decreases the efficacy of deagglomeration techniques. Their new method compensates for wear to deliver an ideal sample for every particle size test. The company explains that this is particularly important for drugs with a particle size less than 10 microns μm or that are prone to agglomeration.

“Drugs known to agglomerate, particularly fine powders used for inhaled pulmonary delivery, were a problem to test. We have implemented the improved method in different machines of different analytical laboratories and everyone is now getting the same test data,” said Hovione Director of Analytical Development, Constança Cacela, in a statement.

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