An innovative mechano-chemical process for tomorrow’s smart drugs

Published on 01/02/2021

In the rise of nanotechnology, the pharmaceutical industry can benefit from the latest development of nanoparticles-based drug delivery systems to improve its drug synthesis and targeted delivery using so-called smart nanocarriers. Acting as a transport module of another substance, they are of high interest for drugs efficiency. Due to high constraints in the current standard manufacturing processes, these promising nanoparticles - such as mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) and nanostructured lipid carriers (NLC) - are nevertheless facing strong challenges when it comes to be used in pharmaceutical products at an industrial scale.

In order to tackle these challenges, LIST and FREWITT LTD. have the ambition to go beyond current technologies’ boundaries by developing an innovative mechano-chemical process paving the way to production scale-up of stable nanocarrier dispersions for pharmaceutical applications. “We expect that smart nanocarriers such as MSNs and NLC, which garner high interest in the drug delivery systems sector, should be able to be produced on an industrial scale, while meeting both, the specifications of the pharmaceutical industry, and reducing the manufacturing costs”, explained Emmanuel Scolan, project manager of the LIST-Frewitt collaboration.

A strong collaboration resulting in cutting-edge technology

“The adventure started when Frewitt’s nano mill, the FlexMill-Lab NW wet mill became commercially available. We, at LIST, were then convinced that the combination of FlexMill-Lab NW performances and nanomaterials expertise in LIST would enable their technology transfer to the market” stated Emmanuel Scolan. Leveraging a proven experience in nanomaterials, LIST has the mission to couple FREWITT LTD.’s high performance wet bead mill with a chemical reactor designed to produce smart nanocarriers, derived from already developed LIST recipes.

What are the outcomes of such partnership? This promising combination of technologies will enable one to produce almost tailor-made size materials in quantities ranging from milligrams, as well as up to kilograms while addressing stability challenges. This represents a strong advance to make smart nanocarriers applicable to the pharmaceutical industry.

A strategic roadmap of the nanomaterial’s technology line valorisation

The effectiveness of the solutions developed throughout this research funded by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR) project will be shared with a panel of pharmaceutical stakeholders active in the development of nanocarriers.  In order to foster future opportunities both for LIST and FREWITT LTD., as well as future industrial partners from various markets, the business implementation potential will be also carried out over this project.

“The partnership with LIST was very beneficial for FREWITT LTD. On one hand, we were able to offer our technology to a research institute, thus contributing to advance the boundaries of innovation. On the other hand, we further developed our equipment to best meet the expectations of our markets in the pharmaceutical sectors and more particularly in nanocarriers. The prospects for the future are very interesting for us, our customers, and patients around the world”, commented Christian Rhême, R&D manager at Frewitt.By establishing this long-term strategy, LIST and FREWITT LTD. will benefit from a clear vision of nanomaterials manufacture, use, and integration value chain, and therefore, will be able to design a roadmap of the nanomaterial’s technology line valorisation.



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 Emmanuel SCOLAN
Emmanuel SCOLAN
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