Platform Technology

Cipla has made strategic investments in common platform technologies such as sustained release and combination products, and in key platforms to enhance drug delivery system capabilities. These technologies enhance the drug’s safety and its efficacy by a targeted therapy approach. In some instances, the convenience of patients is an important factor.

The strategic aim is to formulate differentiated products that overcome the key challenges of conventional drug delivery systems and add value to current products.

We have adopted and developed a range of platform technologies such as:

Nanotechnology

At Cipla, Nanotechnology has been adapted to develop targeted therapies for diseases like cancer. It involves employing nanosize particles to deliver drugs to specific types of cells such as cancer cells. The particles are engineered so that they are attracted to diseased cells which allow direct treatment of those cells. We have been successful in developing and manufacturing a number of nanotech-based products such as paclitaxel, fenofibrate and sirolimus, amongst others. The aim is to prevent unwanted toxicity due to wide distribution, improve patient compliance and thus provide favourable clinical outcomes.

We also use nanotechnology to address the challenges of undesirable physiochemical properties of certain drugs which lead to poor pharmacokinetics. Nanoparticulate drug delivery systems show a promising approach to obtain desirable drug-like properties by altering the biopharmaceutics and pharmacokinetics properties of the molecule.

Microsphere

Microsphere technology is used to develop differentiated formulations for targeted delivery. We aim to use this technology for a site-specific action, to eliminate inconvenience of repeated injections and to decrease toxic side-effects.

We have the capability to develop microsphere drugs and up-scale the process for commercial manufacturing. We have developed, amongst others, microsphere injection formulations for Leuprolide and Triptorelin.

Liposomal

Liposomal technology is another method used by us to improve the delivery of drugs. Liposomes offer excellent opportunity to selectively target drugs; which is expected to optimize the pharmacokinetical parameters, the pharmacological effect and to reduce the toxicity of the drugs.

Using this in-house capability, we have successfully developed liposomal and Amphotericin B, to name a few.

Hot Melt Extrusion

We have adapted hot melt extrusion capabilities to produce solid molecular dispersions with considerable advantages over solvent-based processes such as spray drying and co-precipitation. We use this technology to provide sustained, modified and targeted drug delivery. We apply this technology for tablets, implants and topical delivery systems such as topical liposomal formulations and transdermal patches.

Sustained Release Formulations Technology

We have taken a step forward in the use of novel technology to develop sustained release tablet formulations. Osmotic-controlled Release Oral Delivery System (OROS) technology is used to deliver once-daily tablets. This advanced technology uses osmotic pressure to deliver the drug in several therapeutic areas. It can lead to improved safety profile, stable drug concentrations, uniform drug effects and reduced dosing frequency. OROS technology enables the use of an effective starting dose and eliminates the need for dose titration. This allows symptom control much earlier than immediate-release tablets. We aim to improve patient convenience and compliance by applying this technology to various therapies.

Another technology adapted to develop sustained release tablets is the Mutiple-Unit Pellet System (MUPS) technology. The tablet is made of multiple particulates that disintegrate into individual pellets, thus providing sustained drug release.

Orally Disintegrating Formulations Technology

We have the capability to develop and manufacture orally disintegrating tablets which disintegrate rapidly when placed upon the tongue and ensure faster onset of action. We adapt this technology to several molecules to provide for line extensions to aid patient convenience and compliance.

Inhalation Technology

For over 30 years, we have built unmatched technology for inhalation products for chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma,

COPD and allergic rhinitis. With the landmark introduction of Salbutamol in 1976, we introduced a wide therapeutic spectrum of drugs, delivery systems and devices over the years. This commitment enabled us to become a world leader in respiratory care with our respiratory products now available in over 100 countries.

We have developed the technology to produce a variety of inhalers:

  • Metered-dose Inhalers – Press-and-breathe inhaler and the breath-actuated Autohaler. Our MDIs are designed to deliver accurate dosing by employing the right formulation technology and by using the most sophisticated metered dose valves, canisters and actuators.
  • Dry Powder Inhalers – Unit dose (Rotahaler1and Revolizer) and Multi-dose (Multi-haler). Our DPIs are patient-friendly and deliver high and consistent dose delivery and performance.
  • Autohaler2 – We have recently launched the breath-actuated Autohaler in India which contains an inhaled steroid and long acting beta agonist. This is the first of its kind in the world.
  • Nasal Sprays – We have a range of nasal sprays for the treatment of allergic rhinitis. These are aqueous-based products with high quality pumps and valves to ensure drug deposition in the nose and are easy on the nasal passages.

We have used inhalation technology to develop a wide range of 30 products for chronic respiratory diseases.

Sprinkles

We have developed innovative oral granule formulation called 'Sprinkles' especially for paediatric patients. They can be sprinkled over a child’s food making the drug palatable. This formulation addresses the issue of compliance, a key challenge in paediatric therapy. We have used this technology to develop anti-HIV therapy for children.

Stempeutics

We have ventured into the area of stem cells through a strategic alliance with Stempeutics - a leading stem cell company developing stem cell based medicinal products, with facilities in Bengaluru and Manipal (India) as well as in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia).

We are in the process of bringing the first stem cell therapy product to the Indian market. Stempeutics has done pioneering work in the isolation, up-scaling and large scale production of adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells for allogenic therapeutic applications. It is the first stem cell company in India to have received the government’s approval to conduct Phase-I / Phase-II clinical trials for stem cell based drugs.

Our alliance with Stempeutics is in line with our corporate philosophy to bring out innovative and affordable products to meet the medical needs of humanity. While we have the knowledge and experience of drug development and market access, Stempeutics has capabilities in stem cell based therapeutic products. It brings in the technical and research expertise of isolation, characterization and up-scaling of adult Mesenchymal Stem Cells from bone marrow for therapeutic applications.

The company also conducts research on stem cells derived from Wharton’s jelly and adipose tissue to explore therapeutic potential.

For more information, please visit www.stempeutics.com

Biosimilars

Cipla is geared to embark upon the global opportunity for Biosimilars, particularly the monoclonal antibodies. We have acquired 40% stake in MabPharm, an Indian biotech company and 25% stake in BioMab, a biotech company in Hong Kong.

A state-of-the art facility in Goa, India is dedicated to manufacture monoclonal antibodies. We aim to provide these biologics-based medicines at affordable prices and thus improve access to medicine.

1 - Rotahaler is a trademark used in India only. Outside India it is known as DPhaler.

2 - Imported from 3M Pharmaceuticals, UK