Evonik invests in 3D printed tablet tech for controlled delivery

Published: 9-Mar-2022

Laxxon Medical’s 3D screen printing technology allows tablets to be constructed in layers of API or inert ingredients

Evonik has invested in Laxxon Medical, a developer of 3D screen printing technology for the manufacture of controlled release tablets. Evonik says its specialised polymers can ensure targeted delivery of the active ingredients in these novel tablets.

The 3D screen printing technology gives the tablets different layers. The inner structure of the pill can, for example, have alternate layers of API and inert layers, which the company says enables several doses of the drug to be released over time. The tech also means multiple drugs can be layered on top of each, potential combining several pills into one. The size, geometry, inner structure, and materials used are designed to control the kinetics (the speed of chemical reactions in the body) for the release of the active ingredients. 

Another benefit of the technology is the speed of printing, which the company claims is significantly faster than established 3D printing processes, enabling mass production. The tech could generate opportunities to extend patents for pharmaceutical companies because of improved drug delivery.

“We expect fewer side effects from a more controlled drug delivery and having fewer pills reduces the risk of forgetting doses during the day,” said Bernhard Mohr, Head of Evonik Venture Capital. “We are pleased to support innovation that brings real benefits to people and their health.”

Evonik’s excipient products will be used in Laxxon’s printing pastes. In addition, the companies have signed a joint development agreement, through which Evonik will manufacture tablets for Laxxon.

The technology is especially relevant to Evonik’s healthcare and additive manufacturing businesses, the company says. “Drug delivery is becoming more high-precision and increasingly targets specific patient groups,” said Thomas Riermeier, head of Evonik’s Heath Care business line. “The collaboration with Laxxon will allow us to accelerate our activities in this important and emerging market.” 

“Evonik is the perfect partner to support the development of tablets with unique release properties,” said Helmut Kerschbaumer, CEO of Laxxon. “We are happy to have one of the world’s leading specialty chemicals companies with which we can further develop our products and at the same time commercially manufacture them.”

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