A UK company which has developed a novel dry powder coating technology that opens up new possibilities in pharmaceutical manufacturing has completed a £1m funding round led by DSW Ventures.
The investment into Birmingham-based Aston Particle Technologies (APT), a spinout from Aston University, was led by DSW Ventures alongside Aston University and an Aston alumnus.
Aston Particle Technologies has developed a novel technology, iDPC (isothermal dry particle coating), a tuneable blending process which greatly simplifies formulating active pharmaceutical ingredients in the process of producing drugs.
The iDPC process does not use heat or solvents that cause damage to drugs. These characteristics of iDPC allow pharmaceutical companies to develop the undevelopable and manufacture the unmanufacturable.
APT’s lead compound is an anti-fungal, reformulated as an inhalable drug, expected not only to provide patients with a more effective treatment, but also to greatly reduce the side effects of the tablet form.
The technology also enhances the properties of drug formulations and provides a simpler route to develop high-dose dry powder inhalers, oral solid-dose drugs, fixed-dose combination drugs, and biologics.
The funding will be used to scale-up Aston Particle Technologies’ capabilities at current good manufacturing practice (cGMP) standards to accelerate partnerships with pharmaceutical groups and contract development and manufacturing organisations, as well as to expand its product development and commercial teams.
iDPC was developed within Professor Afzal Mohammed’s Pharmaceutical & Clinical Pharmacy Research Group at Aston University. The company spun out in 2016, with the support of APT chairman and co-founder Ian Smith, former head of inhalation and devices product development at Pfizer Inc and former CEO and co-founder of Meridica Ltd, which successfully exited in 2004.
They were joined by David Wyatt as chief executive officer: he was formerly head of the GlaxoSmithKline respiratory new product introduction centre of excellence and is a seasoned pharmaceutical scientist, with over 35 years’ experience in respiratory medicine across development to commercialisation.
“This new partnership will enable us to build with confidence upon the foundation provided by Aston University and Innovate UK to commercialise iDPC at scale and to accelerate the development of innovative medicines,” said Wyatt.
APT becomes the ninth company in the portfolio of DSW Ventures, a regionally focused venture capital business.
Emma Cassidy of DSW commented: “We believe that APT’s technology is truly innovative and will change the way drugs are formulated and developed. The simplicity of the technology and its ability to formulate drugs that previously could not be made in a practical or effective way is truly exciting.
“We look forward to working with such an experienced and dedicated management team, and have high hopes for the future of the business.”