Rajesh Davé, distinguished professor of chemical, biological and pharmaceutical engineering at the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), and two of his former graduate students, Maxx Capece and Daniel To, receive a Thomas Alva Edison Patent Award from the Research & Development Council of New Jersey for developing a manufacturing process that masks the bitter tastes of medications while delivering them effectively to their targets in the body. The team of chemical engineers was honored for their "enabling technology" at the organization's 37th Edison Patent Awards Ceremony on November 3. They were among 12 winners in 2016.
Their patent, "Solventless Mixing Process for Coating Pharmaceutical Ingredients" (U.S. 9,107,851), is for a process that combines water insoluble and soluble polymers to form a highly structured particle coating layer - spread as a composite film in a single, high-intensity vibratory process - to mask the bitter taste of a drug while not impeding its delivery. The process allows them to coat fine particles less than the diameter of a human hair in width without using water, organic solvents or heat, according to NJIT.
"By using this coating technology, we are able to achieve four important goals: making medications more palatable to consumers, eliminating chemicals we don't want in the body, decreasing the environmental footprint of the manufacturing process and lowering its cost," notes Davé.
Capece is a senior scientist at Chicago-based AbbVie, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company, and To is a senior product development scientist at Colorcon, Inc., a global pharmaceutical product development company. Both worked with Davé at the New Jersey Center for Engineered Particulates while they were Ph.D. students at NJIT. The Council's awards this year went to innovative patent work spanning 11 categories, including agriculture, biotechnology, defense, drug delivery technology, enabling technology, energy, industrial process, industrial product, medical device, medical technology and telecommunications. Among the other recipients are AdvanSix (Honeywell), ExxonMobil, Immunomedics, Lockheed Martin, Merck, NJIT, Nokia Bell Labs, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Rutgers University, Siemens and TE Connectivity.
For more information, visit: www.njit.edu