Five minutes at DCAT with …
Dago Caceres, Global Marketing Leader – Pharma at Dow Pharma Solutions
Dow Pharma Solutions is a business of Dow Consumer Solutions that offers a single interface to all Dow technologies and expertise applicable to pharmaceutical markets. The company says that it “designs differentiated solutions that enable pharmaceutical delivery and help address some of the most pressing health challenges and medical trends today”.
PH: Who are Dow Pharma Solutions?
Caceres: We are solution providers of specialty excipients and high-quality APIs into the pharmaceutical industry. Our broad, unique, and differentiated portfolio allows our customers to differentiate in the marketplace. Our core participation is in the area of excipients primarily in the controlled release space, which continues to be the preferred way for companies to extend the lives of their products. In this space, we have well-known brands like METHOCEL™, ETHOCEL™, and POLYOX™. However, our excipient participation also extends to Immediate Release, solubility enhancement, and enteric applications. Science-driven innovation, manufacturing excellence, and technical support is how we differentiate in the marketplace.
PH: What are the key focus areas for you?
Caceres: Two key areas of investment for us: First one is in the solubility enhancement space. If you look at the product pipelines of pharma companies, it is estimated that 70-90% of them have solubility issues. Dow has made a very focused effort at providing solutions to customers struggling with poorly soluble APIs. Three years ago, we launched the AFFINISOL™ platform, our cellulosic-based offering, specifically to help customers improve the solubility profile of their drugs. We recently expanded our portfolio to include an extrudable AFFINISOL™ grade for hot melt extrusion applications. As a major excipient supplier, we see that solubility is a problem that can be solved by chemistry and a science-driven approach. The second are of focus for us is related to productivity improvement. The price pressures are very real in the pharma industry as most countries want to expand access to healthcare with a limited budget. As a result, there is significant pressure on the industry to reduce costs in the production of dosage forms. On the other side, companies still have to maintain and improve quality and meet regulatory requirements.
PH: How do you square that circle?
Caceres: The answer cannot just be about decreasing raw materials cost – it has to be by helping the industry save money in the manufacturing process while maintaining product quality. From that perspective, one of our new products is METHOCEL™ DC2. This is the same chemistry well-known by the industry but with an improved morphology, so that it can be used in direct compression, reducing the cost of manufacturing by up to 60% over wet granulation. Another innovation we recently launched is ETHOCEL™ HP, which enables customers to manufacturing multi-particulate systems without the need for solvents – in a dry process – saving time and costs.
PH: Does the acquisition of Corning’s 50% share of Dow Corning change your portfolio?
Caceres: We are excited about the possibilities. For instance, in excipients Dow Corning had a portfolio of specialized silicone products focused mainly on topicals. Our participation was mainly in oral dosage forms, so we see the two portfolios as synergistic and complementary. The potential to combine our existing chemistries with silicones is also very exciting. Our portfolio is becoming more differentiated which will continue to benefit customers.