Roquette, a global leader in plant-based ingredients and a leading provider of pharmaceutical and nutraceutical excipients, today celebrates the grand opening of its new Pharmaceutical Innovation Center, located near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, right in the heart of the United States’ Northeastern pharmaceutical corridor. Staffed with a team of highly skilled research, application and formulation experts, the new $25 million center will be an advanced training and collaboration hub for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical manufacturers around the world. With a focus on optimizing patient experience with next-generation oral dosage forms, the US facility complements the cutting-edge research activities of Roquette’s existing pharma innovation centers in France and Singapore.
Paul Smaltz, Vice President of Pharmaceutical Solutions at Roquette, comments: “Today’s grand opening feels like the start of something special for Roquette. With its strategic location in one of the world’s top pharma-producing regions, the new site will unlock even greater opportunities for closer collaboration with our customers in the US and provide a beacon of best practice training and advice to our teams across the globe.”
Similar to Roquette’s other Innovation Centers, the new US facility is dedicated to furthering the field of pharmaceutical science through cross-industry collaboration, research-led product development and a drive to improve patients’ lives. Expert training, troubleshooting and scale-up advice will be priorities at the facility. Planned topics for the first wave of training workshops include selecting excipients for controlled release dosage forms, enhancing bioavailability, and formulating effective orally dispersible and chewable tablets. In addition to formulation-focused sessions, the Innovation Center will host manufacturing-oriented seminars, such as improving wet/dry granulation processes and strategies for effective continuous manufacturing.
Underpinning these training sessions and the center’s primary research projects is a suite of the latest pharmaceutical processing, testing and manufacturing equipment. Roquette’s customers and partners can harness cutting-edge technologies such as a state-of-the-art R&D continuous manufacturing simulator, compaction simulator, hot-melt extruder, advanced dissolution and particle size testing (laser diffraction), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA) and modulated differential scanning calorimetry (mDSC) to refine and improve formulations. The site is also fully stocked with brand-new granulation, blending and coating equipment, alongside high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis capabilities.
The US Innovation Center opening equally marks the appointment of a new team of research scientists and formulation experts, which will guide the direction of both the US site and Roquette’s global pharmaceutical R&D activities moving forward.
At the helm of this new team is Dr. Vinod Tuliani, the recently appointed Head of Global Pharmaceutical Sciences. Joining Roquette with more than 30 years’ experience in the US pharmaceutical industry, Dr. Tuliani will be responsible for setting Roquette’s long-term scientific strategy and its implementation across the company’s Pharma Sciences team.
“Our team at the new US Innovation Center has one overarching mission: to foster a seamless connection between cutting-edge science and the practicalities of drug development,” comments Dr. Tuliani. “Together with Dr. Peter Freed, our newly appointed Head of Global Pharma Customer Technical Support (CTS), we will push the boundaries of pharmaceutical science through close collaborations with leading universities and research institutes, and bring blue sky concepts back to earth for our customers by harnessing decades of prototyping, testing, sales and marketing experience.”
Dr. Tuliani adds: “I am delighted to be joining the Roquette Pharma Solutions team at such an exciting time of innovation and expansion. Today’s opening of the US Innovation Center is only the beginning – with our unwavering commitment to serving customers, patients and the scientific community, there is truly no limit to what we can achieve. Watch this space!”