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Frequently Asked Questions

Q:Why did you seek to create a 3D printed drug?

Aprecia is committed to enhancing patients’ experience with medication. By combining the precision of 3D printing with formulation science, Aprecia’s ZipDose® Technology produces rapidly disintegrating formulations of highly prescribed medications.

Q:What were some of the challenges involved in making tablets in this manner?

The key to unlocking the potential of 3D printing (3DP) manufacturing as a platform for pharmaceutical use was designing and building our proprietary equipment while leveraging our exclusive worldwide license to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) patent estate. Aprecia has achieved commercial scale production using our 3DP manufacturing system and processes, which is a FIRST in the highly regulated pharmaceutical industry.

Q:Will Aprecia be using 3D printers to help with other drugs?

Yes. Aprecia is actively engaged in partnership discussions with other pharmaceutical companies to bring ZipDose® enabled products to the market.

While the initial focus at Aprecia is the commercialization of products created through our ZipDose® Technology platform, we envision further innovation and new platforms that will produce different formulations using 3D printing.

Q:Do you expect 3D printers to be more commonplace in the manufacture of drugs over the next decade?

Yes. It’s not an “easy” technology to learn, but there is a high level of interest. Various forms of 3D printing (3DP) appear in technical publications on a regular basis. At Aprecia, we receive inquiries regarding both ZipDose® Technology and other pharmaceutical applications of 3DP.

Q:Are 3D printers for pharmaceutical products available to the general public?

Our 3D printing technology is proprietary and not available to the general public. Therefore, no one will be permitted or able to use this technology to print drugs at home, in hospitals, or in pharmacies.

Q:Can your machines make any drug from scratch?

No. Our machines do not actually make active or inactive ingredients. They combine the ingredients to make the final dosage form. As with machines that produce tablets and capsules, ingredients must be separately supplied and formulated in order to make a final dosage form.

Q:Could your machines lead to abuse at home with people making their own drugs?

No. Our machines are not available to the general public and do not actually make active ingredients. Our products are made in an FDA-inspected facility and are part of the same regulated supply chain as other FDA-approved medicines.

Q:Is this the beginning of personalized medicine?

While personalized medicine may be on the horizon in some applications, our current focus is making medication that is easier to take by way of our unique formulation platform.

Q:Are there other fast-melt formulations on the market? How is yours different?

The global market for fast-melt tablets grew to $11.5 billion in 2014; however, 94% of the dosage strengths in the US are below 50 mg of drug load. We estimate that roughly 50% of the solid oral dosage strengths approved in the US are above 50 mg of drug load, a zone where ZipDose® Technology has a unique capability.

Q:What is your business development plan? What does the future hold for Aprecia Pharmaceuticals?

We are currently using our ZipDose® Platform to develop a distinct set of products for the treatment of various conditions related to the central nervous system. Beyond ZipDose® Technology, Aprecia envisions the use of 3D printing (3DP) to create new formulation platforms that leverage the precision of the additive manufacturing process to create extended-release or multiphasic-release products. We foresee many product opportunities for our formulation platforms across multiple therapeutic categories and indications.

We continuously seek partnerships to access markets outside the US for our own product line and to enable or enhance the products of other pharmaceutical companies for a share the economics. We will also seek to enter new lines of business, such as veterinary, over-the-counter, or nutritional products.