Slovakia’s Saneca Gets Grant to Boost R&D

07.12.2016 -

Contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) Saneca Pharma has been awarded a €1.5 million grant over four years from the Slovak Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport, enabling it to strengthen its pharmaceutical development efforts. The funds have allowed Saneca Pharma to establish a new R&D department at its facility in Hlohovec, Slovakia, employing 25 people. Together with organic synthesis specialist, Tau-Chem, the partners are now working on complementary research projects that they said will strengthen Slovakia’s pharmaceutical industry.

Projects include laboratory research for preparing APIs with a particular focus on chiral molecules and an emphasis on sustainable development principles and green chemistry. As part of this, Saneca Pharma will look at energy efficient production methods and the use of renewable raw materials. The CDMO will also explore abuse-resistant techniques for finished dosage forms.

“The funding has enabled us to accelerate our R&D strategy by creating a specialist team and applying our knowhow in bringing new generic molecules and intermediates into our portfolio,” said Jan Batka, Saneca Pharma’s API sales director. He added that the company plans to double its R&D expenditure in this area in 2017, creating broader research opportunities that will give it a competitive advantage in the global market.

Last month, the Slovakian CDMO entered into a five-year supply agreement with Italian pharmaceutical company Menarini Group for controlled release pellets. As a result of the deal, Saneca Pharma will invest in its Hlohovec facility to increase the scale at which it can perform Wurster coating of the pellets; the investment will also allow it to handle significantly larger batch sizes.

Saneca Pharma’s own technology will be used to produce enteric coated pellets aimed at preventing dissolution in the stomach, but allowing dissolution in the small intestine.