Tor 7 dec / År 41 / Nr 5 2023

Providing solid-state expertise in drug development and manufacturing

Based in Medicon Village, Lund, Adroit Science AB puts a solid-state spin on the development and characterization of drugs and formulations. Adroit Science was founded in 2011 by former AstraZeneca employees with 60 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. The company is currently managed by Thomas Larsson and Lars-Erik Briggner and provides technical and GMP services to small and large pharma companies across Europe, North America and Asia.

Finding a compound that is safe and effective isn’t the end of the journey for drug developers. The product needs to be formulated in the right way so that it remains stable, does not lose its efficacy, and can be delivered to the right part of the body. Adroit Science’s focus is on solid material analysis to help with solids for oral administration as well as lyophilised and dry powder inhalation formulations.
“Our experience in the solid drug sector of the pharmaceutical industry means that we know what companies want and need, and we apply that competence to our work as a contract research organisation,” said Lars-Erik Briggner, CEO and project manager.

Solid-state support and services
Adroit Science’s laboratory and consultancy services run from lead identification and optimisation to the market and include helping companies to understand the materials and their characteristics, select the right form, and create the most effective formulation. Once this is completed, Adroit can also offer regulatory and IP know-how.
“The majority of our work is in the middle of the process, when the companies start to work on formulations, for example for clinical trials,” said Briggner. “Our experience helps us to know what the client really needs, and to put it in the right context.”

Working in collaboration
Adroit Science is part of the Medicon Valley Inhalation Consortium (MVIC), a group of 26 companies including a number of AstraZeneca spinouts.
“As experts in solid state physics, we can supply only a small part of a company’s solution. However, our membership of MVIC means that we can work with companies with a variety of competencies in the inhaled drugs field, creating a complete solution.
Partnerships with academia also provide Adroit Science with access to other areas of skills The company has links with a number of institutions, including the University of Copenhagen, the University of Lund and the University of Durham (UK). Adroit was also the first industrial user of the recently inaugurated synchrotron facility, MAX IV. Based in Lund, MAX IV provides scientists with the most brilliant X rays for research.

Case study – dry powder for inhalation
Preparing a formulation for dry powder inhalation (DPI) can be challenging, as even small differences in the behaviour of the powder can lead to big differences in how it forms an aerosol and is delivered to the lung, thereby resulting in altered bioavailability.
An Adroit Science client found that different batches of its formulated active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) acted very differently in the mixing processing step.
“We carried out analyses of basic properties like crystal form, particle size distribution and morphology, but these did not show any differences between the batches. We decided to take it a step further – we investigated the responses of the batches to solvent-mediated provocation and was able to find small but detectable differences in their crystal packing properties, i.e. there were minute amount of surface amorphicity present,” said Briggner.
This finding allowed the client to separate out the good and bad batches, using solid state analysis, and refine its manufacturing process to eliminate the problem.

The Adroit Science difference
According to Briggner, Adroit Science is a trusted collaborative partner: “There are companies that can capture solid state data but can’t analyse and interpret it in the way we can. We have the knowledge, skills and experience to be able to provide a comprehensive and pertinent understanding and then guide our clients and help them to set up or change their production process.”