Capsugel Opens Laboratory in America to Create Liquid-fill Formulas for Dietary Supplements

December 01, 2005

Scientific protocols used to develop effective, safe, marketable products

(Greenwood, SC) - Capsugel, a global leader in capsule manufacturing, announced today the opening of its Americas Region Formulation Center, a laboratory with state-of-the art, world-class capabilities that will service the $21-billion dietary supplement markets in North and South America.* It will distinctively use pharmaceutical-based scientific development protocols to formulate dietary supplement ingredients into a liquid dosage form.

Using proprietary software "expert" systems and cutting-edge equipment, skilled formulators will test ingredients (for purity, density, and combination compatibility) and analyze formulas (for density, particle size, and viscosity) to ensure fast-to-market delivery of high-quality final formulations, including those customized for optimum bioavailability. They will work in a laboratory housed at SC Bio, a biotech incubator for development and entrepreneurial ventures in the heart of Greenwood in upstate South Carolina, a fast-growing nutraceutical hub.

"We have made a significant investment in a new Formulation Center because we have tremendous faith in our knowledge, resources, and development processes and great confidence in our liquid Licaps® dosage form to meet the demands of the growing encapsulated liquids market," said Deborah L. Morrison, director of Liquids, Americas.

"We also are committed to helping to advance dietary supplements as a part of a credible, science-based industry," Morrison added. "With our quality development, we can create products that consumers want, meet and exceed regulatory requirements, and our customers can sell to address current and future health platform needs."

The scientific protocols are technologies transferred from Capsugel's successful formulation center in Colmar, France, which has been operating since June 2002 and develops both pharmaceutical and dietary supplement products. Colmar formulators developed a specially formulated CoQ10 that, in one study, delivers 30% higher bioavailability than other tested dosage forms of the ingredient.

The scientific development protocols will shorten formulation time and facilitate quality manufacturing quickly, for a rapid market launch for customers vying in a fast-paced competitive industry. They also will help to produce fast-acting, potent formulations with increased bioavailability, key advantages of encapsulated liquid products that are in ever-growing demand by savvy consumers who are increasingly accepting more responsibility for their own health and wellness.

Consumer research reveals a growing preference for liquid-filled capsules and Capsugel's Licaps® brand can help meet that consumer preference. "Licaps® liquids are a new technology that can satisfy consumer desire for a dosage form that is convenient to take, easy to swallow and has no unpleasant taste or smell," said Mark Vieceli, manager of Business Development.

The Americas Region Formulation Center will be at the "beck and call" of customers for customized products using Licaps® technologies, said J. Croft Hollingsworth, manager of new product development for Liquids, Americas. "We are like an extension of their R & D departments - or in some cases, we can be their primary R & D or formulation resource."

To aid in its ongoing search for expert knowledge and viable solutions, Capsugel can draw upon its associations with the biotech region's other distinguished industrial, technological, scientific, and academic resources, including SC Bio, Greenwood Genetic Center, Clemson University's Institute for Nutraceutical Research and the Biosystems Research Complex, and the SC Nutrition Research Consortium.

The capabilities of Americas Region Formulation Center complement Capsugel's menu of services available for customers to facilitate rapid launches.

After development and testing of a formula is completed, the liquid-fills can be encapsulated quickly and cost-effectively, in small and large lots, at the newly expanded Licaps® manufacturing factory on Capsugel's campus, the world's largest capsule manufacturing plant. The Greenwood facility features machinery that embodies Capsugel proprietary technology to precisely seal two-piece hard gelatin and vegetable-based capsules. Marketing support also is available in areas such as trade advertising, web site links, market research, product positioning, graphics packaging, and retailer education.

"We offer multiple products and services and a ready-made network of capabilities," Morrison said. "Everything is together in Greenwood."

*Source: Nutrition Business Journal, May/June 2005 and Nicholas Hall & Company, Yearbook 2004.