Dramatic Reduction Of Solvent Usage In Pharmaceutical Spray Drying

Source: Lonza

Spray drying is a commonly used process for producing amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) of drugs that are poorly water soluble. This requires the use of large volumes of organic solvents to dissolve the drug and polymer prior to processing. Drug molecules have become increasingly insoluble in organic solvents resulting in the use of more aggressive solvents.

Solvents such as dichloromethane can often solubilize the drug molecule, but the trade-off is a process with higher environmental and safety impacts from the solvent choice. Given the large reliance on organic solvents, sustainability of the spray drying process must be considered for this technology to continue advancing critical medicines.

One approach that this talk focuses on is using volatile processing aids to increase drug solubility in preferred and more environmentally friendly solvents like methanol. This reduces the amount of solvent required to manufacture ASDs and uses solvents that do not have the negative environmental impacts.

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