New Tool: ProSource
Checkout our packaging and processing solutions finder, ProSource.
Start Your Search

Dow Sees New Technology Platforms as Essential to Solving Pharmaceutical Industry’s Cost Control, Product Differentiation, Solubility Challenges

Company’s combination of organic and inorganic (silicone) chemistries targets key global trends

Dow Food, Pharma & Medical, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company (NYSE: DOW), has significantly enhanced its ability to assist pharmaceutical customers in addressing key macro trends such as potential drug pricing restrictions, product differentiation and delivery of new therapies through improved active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) solubility. In line with this, the company has greatly expanded its portfolio of pharmaceutical, healthcare technologies and formulation support, stemming largely from Dow’s 2016 acquisition of Dow Corning and its focus on continuous innovation.

“With the addition of Dow Corning’s advanced silicone solutions, along with a steady stream of excipients and APIs, Dow is better positioned than ever to help customers tackle their most pressing challenges,” said Dago Caceres, Global Pharma Marketing Leader, Dow Food, Pharma & Medical. “While cost pressures, solubility issues and competition are not new, they continue to evolve under the effects of tightening regulations, shifts in the global economy and changes in drug delivery preferences. By combining Dow’s organic technologies with Dow Corning’s silicone-based adhesives and ingredients, we can provide fresh approaches to help drive the pharma industry forward.

Top Pharma Trends

Three macro trends are among the major forces affecting the pharmaceutical industry’s business and product development strategies.

Controlling Costs: Strong pressure to control drug prices from governments, payers and patients is prompting pharmaceutical companies to look for new ways to drive down manufacturing costs while keeping quality and consistency high. Adding urgency to the issue is the expanding availability of inexpensive generics, as many branded pharmaceuticals lose patent protection. To help customers address these concerns, Dow’s Food, Pharma & Medical business offers a robust productivity improvement platform featuring polymers for direct compression, high- speed dry powder layering and high-productivity tablet coating, which can reduce manufacturing costs and waste.

For example, METHOCELTM DC2 Cellulose Ethers, a Dow direct compression grade of Hypromellose NF, is a proprietary technology designed to control particle morphology. It can lower manufacturing costs by up to 60 percent compared to standard wet granulation technology, and boost productivity by increasing press operation speed.

  • Enabling New Therapies: An estimated 70 percent of APIs today present solubility issues. This challenge can severely affect a company’s pipeline of drug candidates. Hot-melt extrusion (HME) and spray dried dispersion (SDD) are effective techniques to enhance the solubility and bioavailability of oral solid dosage forms. Dow Food, Pharma & Medical’s solubility enhancement platform offers excipients that facilitate both SDD and HME formulations.

    For instance, thanks to its lower glass transition temperature and a broader processing window, AFFINISOLTM HPMC HME offers new capabilities to formulate amorphous solid dispersions and controlled release profiles via extrusion processing. AFFINISOLTM HPMC HME simplifies formulation requirements, helps improve physical stability and offers versatility in drug release profiles.

  • Achieving a Competitive Advantage: The pharmaceutical industry has become fiercely competitive. Companies are adopting strategies, such as targeting unmet patient needs, through the development of specialty or orphan drugs. They are also adding value to their products with new delivery options such as transdermal and topical, which can extend product lifecycles.

    Silicone pressure-sensitive and soft skin adhesives from Dow Corning facilitate development of transdermal delivery forms, which have become increasingly popular for several reasons: greater comfort for aging patients, avoiding dermatological conditions, fewer side effects and greater suitability for delivering hormone replacement therapies. In fact, delivery via the skin has become the second-largest excipient market after oral solid dosage forms.

    Through customer collaboration, Dow Food, Pharma & Medical is able to provide tunable adhesives with properties like adequate drug loading, sufficient control of the delivery rate and good adhesion profile for the application period.

    In addition to offering targeted platforms for solubility, productivity and customization, Dow Food, Pharma & Medical is investing in a new Pharma Formulation Center of Excellence, located in Collegeville, Penn., which is focused on engaging and educating customers, and assisting them in the development of new formulations.

    Dow is showcasing its portfolio of industry-leading organic and inorganic technology solutions here at

    CPhI North America 2017 in booth #2001.


Discover Our Content Hub
Access Healthcare Packaging's free educational content library!
Unlock Learning Here
Discover Our Content Hub
Test Your Supply Chain Smarts
Take Healthcare Packaging's supply chain quiz to prove your knowledge!
Take Quiz
Test Your Supply Chain Smarts