AMS Spring 2023

Aprecia Leases Old Forest Labs Facility for 3D Printing of ZipDose Pharmaceutical Products

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aprecia_logoIn the infinite cycle which makes checks and balances of the corporate world go ‘round, jobs are lost—but often more jobs are created thanks to progress and new technology like 3D design and 3D printing—on numerous scales of production. Warehouses and factories are vacated due to a myriad of reasons—and then often taken over again and filled with new life—and new products.

As the future of 3D printing and all the concepts that are possible due to its innovation lead a spirited and fascinating, ongoing conversation in the news, a definite standout has been the hope for safe and secure 3D printing of medications—offering the strong potential to create big change in another industry.

With the advent of 3D printing and medicine merging in a multitude of ways—this time, pharmaceutical—manufacturing may be undergoing transformation and be in the midst of a true revolution—but that doesn’t mean the new norm will be rendering current, skilled employees homeless. A great example of this would be the latest announcement that Aprecia, surely standing right on the very cutting edge of one of the most exciting breakthroughs in 3D printing, has leased the former Forest Labs facility in Blue Ash, Ohio. Production ended there upon the takeover last year by Actavis, another progressive pharmaceutical company.

imagesActavis scratched all ideas of using the facility and moved productions to another Actavis-owned location, selling the Blue Ash building to Cincinnati United Contractors. As Forest Labs and Actavis merged together and moved on and out to create a new business model in pharmaceuticals, they made way for a divergent new process to come into play as Aprecia makes plans to use their facility for producing ‘fast dissolving’ drugs through 3D printing.

Aprecia has some work to do as they move in, and have announced plans to devote $25 million to revamping the facility for their own uses.

“The facility has ample space to accommodate our proprietary manufacturing machines and equipment assemblies in the capacity necessary to achieve our projected commercial production volumes in the future,” said CEO Don Wetherhold, according to in-PharmaTechnologist.com.

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The Blue Ash, OH facility

They will be creating 150 new jobs there in the 3D printing of their ZipDose product, which was ‘accepted’ for use with 3D printing by the FDA last year. ZipDose dissolves rapidly in the mouth with water or liquid, and it is hoped it will help patients manage medications better as they become so much quicker and easier to ingest.

The ZipDose products allow for higher dosages than are otherwise available and also allow for better accuracy in dosage. As Aprecia points out, 3D printing is the catalyst for this product, and it is only one as they plan to roll out several different lines of medication as well.

Aprecia’s goal is to change the way patients take their medicine, and they plan to use 3D printing to do that. Currently, their focus is in the CNC therapeutic area. They have inked a deal with InVentiv Health to work as the sales force for the product which will be 3D printed at the Blue Ash facility.

“InVentiv Health will serve as the sales force for ZipDose products for a contracted period of time, Aprecia will maintain title of the products, said Jennifer Zieverink, senior director of alliance management at Aprecia, according to in-PharmaTechnologist.com. “Aprecia will supply sales representatives with live samples and ZipDose demonstrators (made at the new facility) as part of the field force deployment initiative.”

As the potential for medications as well as drug-delivery devices grows, this could be an enormous area of industry to experience change. Do you think 3D printing of drugs is beneficial overall? Do you think it has the potential to be a game changer in pharmaceuticals and the health industry? Tell us your thoughts in the Aprecia 3D Printing forum over at 3DPB.com.

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