Purdue Research Park company makes melt-in-your-mouth meds

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Purdue Research Park startup company is ready to market a new drug-delivery technology that will make it easier for people to take medicines in pill form.

Researchers at Akina Inc. are developing Purdue University-licensed technologies that improve the ways in which prescription drugs, over-the-counter medicines and even vitamins are administered orally. The venture's latest technology, called Frosta(tm), involves tablet formulations that can melt in a patient's mouth as quickly as 10 seconds - much faster than existing commercial products made by tablet press machines. The fast-melting nature of the tablets resembles the melting of frost, hence the name Frosta(tm).

"This kind of fast-melting tablet is good for those patients who have trouble taking pills without gagging, especially the elderly and children," said Kinam Park, Akina's chief executive officer and a Purdue professor of pharmaceutics and biomedical engineering. "Our technology also enables patients to take pills without water, and that's important for people who are on the go."

Fast-melting tablets (also called fast-dissolving tablets, fast-disintegrating tablets and fast-dispersing tablets) now on the market are made using one of two methods: by freeze-drying a liquid dosage into a solid dosage form (similar to freeze-dried ice cream) or by making tablets using conventional tablet press machines.

"The freeze-drying method produces tablets that are fast-melting, but crumble easily, and this presents a number of difficulties in manufacturing and usage," Park said. "On the other hand, fast-melting tablets produced on press machines are relatively strong, but often fail to melt quickly.

"Our technology enables pharmaceutical companies to manufacture fast-melting tablets on conventional tablet press machines, and that gives drug makers a low production cost advantage. This is an important component in our industry as health care costs continu

Contact: Jeanine S. Phipps
Purdue University

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