Kai Koch, Engineering Manager, Romaco Innojet, in this case study highlights how Romaco Innojet machines, with its air flow bed technology, have enhanced production at Acino Pharma’s Liesberg facility
Acino, the Swiss pharmaceutical producer, has trusted in Romaco Innojet technologies to make its MUPS tablets ever since 2004. Five processing machines in the VENTILUS series are currently used to coat micropellets at Acino’s Liesberg facility. There is a steadily growing demand worldwide for innovative oral release forms.
The backdrop is breathtaking, about 20 miles south of Basel, surrounded by the mountains of the Swiss Jura, is the site of Acino Pharma’s Liesberg production facility. The Acino Group, headquartered in Aesch, is specialised in the development and production of complex galenic formulations. The manufacture of pharmaceutical solids with delayed API release is one of the Liesberg plant’s core competencies. Around 1.5 billion tablets and capsules currently leave the factory every year.
“In spite of this, our capacities here are not yet exhausted and our international target markets are growing at exponential rates. That’s why we’re planning to double our volumes in the medium term,” explains Christophe Dohr, Pharmaceutical Production Head Liesberg, Acino Pharma.
Acino Pharma presently employs some 110 staff in Liesberg, with production in three shifts, five days a week. The majority of the output is destined for licensees both in Switzerland and worldwide. Acino’s portfolio at the Liesberg site comprises oral drugs for treating cardiovascular disorders and Parkinson’s disease as well as various narcotic substances. So-called MUPS tablets form the mainstay of its business.
MUPS and their many advantages
Multiple unit pellet systems, or MUPS for short, are a dosage form consisting of coated API pellets, which are mixed with microcrystalline cellulose and pressed into tablets. Their main characteristic is the controlled release of the active ingredient, which is achieved by applying a functional coating to the pellets. The medication is absorbed in the intestine once the tablets have dissolved in the stomach. Since the tiny pellets pass through the digestive cavity rapidly and unhindered