Fuisz Technologies, Ltd. (Chantilly, Va.) officially opened its new, $15 million pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Chantilly on Feb. 20. The plant provides necessary capacity for scaling up and manufacturing drugs using the company's Ceform and Shearform controlled-release technologies. The investment in plant construction and customized manufacturing equipment represents Fuisz's substantial commitment to controlling manufacture of its products. In addition to adding 200 new technical and support positions, the new plant satisfies requirements of agreements Fuisz signed with pharmaceutical partners for existing and future products.
In the over-the-counter market, Fuisz has collaborations with SmithKline Beecham Corp., Whitehall Robins Healthcare (a division of American Home Products), Boots Company plc, and McNeil Consumer Products Company, a division of Johnson & Johnson. These deals involve FlashDose (an solid oral formulation that does not require liquid) and EZ Chew (chewable, rapidly dissolving) formulations of OTC pharmaceuticals. Fuisz has also recently announced development agreements for an OTC product with Bayer Corp., a prescription product with Astra AB, and a number of veterinary products with Idexx Laboratories. In addition, Fuisz is developing controlled-release, once-daily dosage formulations of five major prescription drugs for Kos Pharmaceuticals Inc. In the food products market, Fuisz has agreements with British Sugar, ConAgra, General Mills, Hershey Foods and Leaf Group B.V.
Fuisz's strategy for growth is counter to the growing pharmaceutical out-sourcing trend. "When Fuisz was founded we were set up to be a licensor of our controlled-release and flavor technologies," said John Redd, Fuisz Director of Investor Relations. "The problem was our partners weren't as eager to make capital investments in our technology as we would have liked them to be. We realized that unless you manufacture products yourself you really don't control your own destiny, so that's what we're doing. We now have the capability to produce products for our partners and for ourselves. We're going to focus on higher-value, higher-margin products, particularly those with high brand name recognition."
Shearform and Ceform Technologies
Fuisz develops, manufactures, and distributes a wide range of drug delivery, nutraceutical, and food ingredient products based on Ceform and Shearform controlled-release microspheres.
Ceform is used to process pharmaceutical compounds into uniform microspheres with a typical median particle size of 150-180 microns. By altering various process parameters, the particle size range can also be extended from around 50 to 600 microns. Ceform has advantages for both controlled release and taste-masking applications, the latter of which is important for pediatric and geriatric oral drugs. The uniformity of size and share of the microspheres created using the Ceform technology simplifies and improves the manufacture of the core active particles and improves control of drug release characteristics. Development work to date indicates that Ceform produces higher drug to excipient ratios than are currently achieved with traditional small particle-forming techniques. One benefit of this is the potential to make smaller pills and tablets.
Shearform is used to generate a polysaccharide-based floss excipient, which is blended with Ceform products in the final formulation.
For more information contact: John Redd, Director of Investor Relations, Fuisz Technologies, Inc., 14555 Avion-at-Lakeside, Chantilly, VA 20151. Tel: 703-803-3260.