The pharmaceutical industry aims to reduce dependence on international technology. The company is one of the few in the world that has mastered large-scale pellet development technology. Photo: Francielly Hirata.
The health and economic crisis caused by Covid-19 pandemic affected all sectors. However, the pharmaceutical industry maintains better numbers, as evidenced by the latest Monthly Industrial Survey (PIM) of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), which points to a 13.1% production growth in the pharmaceutical segment in June. Nevertheless, the new reality highlighted a problem in the sector: the dependence on technology and imported inputs.
Solving this difficulty is one of the strategies of Prati-Donaduzzi pharmaceutical industry even before the pandemic. An example is that the company, which is 100% Brazilian, developed a new production process and implemented the manufacturing of national pellets. The industry has developed a rare technology in the world by achieving independence from this production process, reducing production costs and logistics bottlenecks. Consequently, it stands out in the national market.
Pellets are microspheres with millimeter size that contain the active ingredient of the drug, presenting appropriate biopharmaceutical advantages and differentiated drug delivery systems, which are provided by the application of different layers of coating.
Similarly, it is as if each microsphere is composed of several layers, where each layer can have a different function, allowing, for example, the association of incompatible drugs, development of delayed or controlled release products, flavor masking and stability enhancement.
Currently, the company uses technology to manufacture one of the main drugs in the Central Nervous System (CNS) line, indicated for the treatment of Alzheimer. For this product, technology has allowed two types of active ingredient release in the same capsule, a fast release (up to 1 hour) and a slow release (staying in the body for 24 hours), improving treatment and providing dose comfort, as the patient will ingest the capsule only once a day.
According to Leticia Rechia, Research, Development & Innovation Director, one of the advantages of national manufacturing is to facilitate the accessibility of the medicine with this technology to the population, as it allows products to have quality, safety and efficacy and to be sold at a lower cost, meeting all the requirements of Brazilian law.
“Most of the pelletized products that enter Brazil are produced in India. Companies import and fill, that is, they simply place the pellets inside the capsule. They do not manufacture. The great advantage is that at Prati-Donaduzzi, we have mastered technology in large-scale manufacturing. The entire pelletizing process is made in Brazil. Thus, we have lower costs and we are able to pass the products on to the consumer with lower prices and assured quality, as well”, says Letícia.
In addition, according to Liberato Brum Júnior, Manager of Innovation and Clinical Research at Prati-Donaduzzi, there is a scientific and technological independence gain for the country, as the platform favors the development of new products with incremental innovation in Brazil. Thus, it is possible to develop medicines differentiated in order to meet medical needs and facilitate pharmacological therapy for the population, providing adequate treatment for various pathologies.
Currently, Prati-Donaduzzi has three specific fluidized beds for the production of pellets, one with a capacity of up to 600 kg. However, reaching this structure was a long way, little traveled by the national industry. The technology has demanded a lot of investment from Prati-Donaduzzi since 2010. “In the Southern Hemisphere, we are one of the only companies that dominate the technology”, concludes the Manager of Innovation and Clinical Research.
*IQVIA MAT JULHO/2020 PMB + NRC Doses Terapêuticas