Americas Region Formulation Center Meets Call for Fast-to-Market Delivery of Quality Liquid Supplements

Complete services, scientific protocols, experienced formulators offer competitive advantage

Greenwood, SC - In the $21-billion dietary supplement industry in North and South America, today's savvy consumers desire effective, superior products, with a growing preference for fast-absorbent liquid supplements. Suppliers aim to be the first to meet this demand with new and better liquid dosages.

Capsugel's Liquid Formulation Center for the Americas Region in Greenwood, SC, steps up to the plate to meet market demand for liquid supplements in both North and South America.

It creates and customizes dietary supplement formulas specifically for the Licaps® brand, a proprietary liquid-fill capsule technology. And it does so quickly - from concept to finished product formula ready for full-scale manufacturing at the plant on Capsugel's campus headquarters.

"Our formulators use our state-of-the-art, world-class laboratory to actively create products backed by science. The laboratory's full range of grade-A services and scientific processes shortens the time needed to develop new formulations, which in turn allows Capsugel customers to rapidly launch new products into a fast-paced competitive market," said Mark Vieceli, manager of business development for dietary supplements at Capsugel, a global leader in capsule manufacturing.

"We can be your formulation center headquarters."

Specifically, Capsugel and its Liquid Formulation Center for the Americas Region offer:

Full range of existing Licaps® products
Breadth of inventive formulation services
Pharmaceutical-based scientific development protocols using cutting-edge equipment
World-class formulation talent and experience
Ongoing innovative thinking fed by access to premier regional biotech institutions
Dedicated manufacturing facility for fast-to-market delivery

Wide Range of Existing Licaps® Products

Customers can buy and market under their brands dozens of Capsugel's existing liquid-fill Licaps® products. Many raw materials have been screened and selected with formulations previously optimized for prompt availability. Licaps products serve various health platforms, among them heart health, women's health, and weight management. The Licaps® line includes specialty oils, herbal suspensions, and combination products. (See Licaps® Line insert for complete list.)

Array of Inventive Formulation Services

The capabilities of the Liquid Formulation Center for the Americas Region make possible other options:

Take a customer's formula and create a liquid-fill product
Improve upon a customer's formula, such as making it more bioavailable to speed up effectiveness or making it more stable for a longer shelf life
Create and customize entirely new formulas, such as combination products or patentable products

A major goal: "proactive" development. "We want to develop new products that we can bring to our customers," said J. Croft Hollingsworth, manager of new product development for Liquids, Americas and manager of the Greenwood Formulation Center.

Development time, from the concept to manufacturability, can vary depending on a host of factors. "It can be as fast as two days to two weeks for creating liquid-fills from a customer's formula, based on the nature and availability of the raw materials. Or it could take longer if we are modifying a customer's formula or creating an entirely new formula," Hollingsworth said.

Development Processes: Scientific Protocols Using Cutting-Edge Equipment

The Liquid Formulation Center for the Americas Region draws upon the protocols used at Capsugel's successful development center in Colmar, France, which formulates and evaluates dietary supplement products and pharmaceutical products.

The processes check for ingredient quality, formulation feasibility, and manufacturing ease, as follows:

The laboratory tests incoming raw ingredients for potency and identity. Does the ingredient exist as labeled - or is it an entirely different substance? Is it a high or inferior grade? Does it have the right viscosity? Do particles need further milling or micronizing before being suitable for production?
Formulators analyze proposed formulations by consulting complete information databases of "bibliographic combinations." Are the materials compatible or incompatible?
The laboratory combines raw materials and then analyzes the blends to better understand their characteristics. This allows formulators to see how the formulas are interacting with other ingredients and the excipient system used, an important process as the market moves toward combinational dietary supplements. Regarding density, is the material packed evenly? How are particle sizes of liquids and suspension in a liquid format distributed? What are the rates of sedimentation for particles, which affect shelf life? Is the water content low enough?
Last, the materials are tested to ensure they can be manufactured with the current equipment used. Is the material moving smoothly through the capsule filling machine?

The use of sophisticated, analytical equipment utilized in pharmaceutical laboratories enhances the power of these protocols.

"We can analyze the chemical and physical properties of a material on the spot," said Jeff Taylor, product development/senior formulation scientist at Americas Region Formulation Center. "This helps to shorten formulation time and allows for manufacturing quickly in quality form so customers can get their unique formulation to the market fast."

Key cutting-edge equipment:

Coulter® LS 13 320 Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analyzer - The most versatile and sophisticated analyzer that allows for accurate testing of particle sizes of liquids and suspension in a liquid format
CFS 1000™ (Rheometer) - Invented by Capsugel, a high-precision, cGMP- compliant, development-scale bench-top machine that automatically fills and seals two-piece capsules with liquid formulations used to test formulations for manufacturability, in particular, difficult-to-produce liquids

Innovative Thinking: World-Class Formulation Talent and Biotech Associations

Formulators draw upon several decades of combined experience in dietary supplement development to offer creative solutions to challenging formulations.

Based on their tenures at Capsugel's Colmar formulation center, where they worked on drug development as well as dietary supplement formulation, Capsugel formulators are skilled in the field of microemulsions. This ability to solubilize some compounds that aren't easily solubilized is critical to creating lipid-based formulations in which fats and amino acids are broken down, or emulsified, into minute particles for improved bioavailability.

The chemical process is common in pharmaceutical development but uncommon in dietary supplement development. "We are borrowing science from the pharmaceutical drug environment to 'bioadvance' nutraceuticals - essentially enhance the chemical constituents in plant substances and nutraceuticals," said Taylor.

Because the laboratory is housed in Greenwood's SC Bio, a biotech incubator for development and entrepreneurial ventures viable in the marketplace, "We will have an opportunity to exchange ideas with forward-thinking colleagues as a matter of course - as we lunch or walk down the hallways together," Hollingsworth said.

In the same building - nestled in a 50-acre, pine tree-filled medical community campus - is the Greenwood Genetic Center, founded and currently directed by Dr. Roger E. Stevenson, who discovered the importance of folic acid in preventing birth defects, in particular, spina bifida. Other key nearby resources include the Institute for Nutraceutical Research and the Biosystems Research Complex at Clemson University in South Carolina.

Competitive Advantage: Fast-to-Market Development & Dedicated Manufacturing of Superior Product

What are the bottom line advantages of the Americas Region Formulation Center's services - in particular, the scientific protocols that test for substance accuracy and viability?

"Shorten time to market, drive overall unit costs down, and increase quality," Hollingsworth said. "There is increased productivity in the manufacturing cycle. There is no trial and error in manufacturing. Without laboratory testing, development is being done in manufacturing facilities. Development in real time is not efficient and places raw materials at risk for waste. When we manufacture, we have already tested the product viability so our yields are improved."

The icing on the cake for complete, fast-to-market delivery: convenient manufacturing at the laboratory's adjacent Licaps® plant, newly expanded on the Greenwood campus of Capsugel's Americas Region headquarters.

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