Aston Particle Technologies (APT) is a Birmingham-based spin-out from Aston University, formed in 2016, that has developed a microencapsulation technology for the pharmaceutical industry that avoids the use of heat or solvents.
APT has developed a dry microencapsulation technology that enables medicine manufacturers to develop their compounds with far less waste and much greater robustness and precision. Drugs that were previously either unmanufacturable, or manufacturable only with extreme difficulty, can now be brought efficiently to the marketplace. This avoids the need for complex technical solutions and significantly reduces manufacturing costs that could otherwise run into the tens of millions.
The patented technology has already trialed with several of the top ten worldwide pharmaceutical companies. One trial has resulted in further work to develop a coating for a new compound. without refrigeration.
Current microencapsulation methodologies use multistep liquid-based processes that are not suitable for materials that are sensitive to heat and moisture. APT’s dry-coating process preserves the inherent characteristics of constituents. The company is initially focused on the pharmaceutical sector seeking to deliver enhanced particle properties for challenging drugs (high/low dose, moisture or heat sensitive). Inhalation drugs have been identified as an early target market.
APT will pursue a licensing business model. Commercial partners will have the option to internalise the process, by transferring it to their own manufacturing facility or be able to purchase finished formulations manufactured by APT’s cGMP contract manufacturing partner.
To date the company has been funded mainly by non-dilutive grants and loans income totalling £1.5m. Commercial trials have generated income of over £100k with a pipeline of £200K in Q1 2020. The company is now seeking to raise £500K seed funding in Q2 2020. Combined with commercial income, this funding will enable APT to recruit new personnel to further develop its powder coating process.
CEO & Founder: Dr Ian Smith. Over 30 years’ experience in the drug delivery industry. Previously, he led the inhalation and device product development groups at both Glaxo and Pfizer.
CTO & Founder: Dr Afzal Mohammed. Over 10 years of extensive experience in medicines development, material characterisation, developing novel pharmaceutical processes and formulations and is the lead inventor for the dry particle coater.
CSO & Founder: Dr Eman Zmily Dahmash. Eman developed the particle coating technology during her PhD at Aston University and has more than 20 years of experience as a qualified pharmacist in various managerial posts in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.