Quest Pharm Limited (Quest)

Aston University joins with Quest Pharm Limited to support the formulation development process for medicinal and cosmeceutical products.

The Company

Quest Pharm Limited (Quest) is a UK-based pharmaceutical company with the vision to improve people's lives by bringing to market innovative products to meet individuals’ needs. Its mission is to reformulate, manufacture and distribute to NHS and pharmacists, medicines in niche therapy areas for children and older patients, where no suitable approved medicines with an existing formulation meet their medical needs.

Quest's activities to date have focused on developing unlicensed medicines, which is a term used to describe a medicine that has been licensed, but under a physician's instruction is taken as an unlicensed formulation. This is usually as a specially prepared oral liquid for patients that have difficulty swallowing in the licensed form (tablets or capsules). 

The Problem

Quest is looking to develop a robust formulation development methodology that will be used in two new product families: a controlled drug delivery platform suitable for paediatric patients and modified release cosmeceuticals. 

For targeted, controlled release, nano-sized delivery systems will be used that have emerged from the rapid development of nanotechnology. However, Quest requires further knowledge from academia on how to use nano systems to develop formulations for achieving targeted delivery and to control the release rate of the drug.

The Solution

The team at Aston will provide expert input and knowledge transfer in experimental design, process scale-up and stability evaluation of these novel delivery systems. Aston’s expertise in design of experiments, development of novel delivery systems and, most importantly, their experience of working on industry-funded projects will ensure that the new platform technologies can be easily integrated within the existing manufacturing set up.

Team Aston

Academic lead on this project is Professor Afzal Mohammed who is Chair in Pharmacy in the College of Health and Life Sciences (HLS) and a member of the Aston Pharmaceutics Group (APG) at Aston University.

“This KTP project is a great opportunity to develop a platform technology for controlled delivery of sensitive drugs and builds on our expertise in quality by design, scale up and technology integration.” Professor Afzal Mohammed.

Professor Mohammed will have academic support from Dr Dan Kirby, who is also an APG member. Dr Kirby is a Pharmacy Lecturer with experience in drug delivery gained through original research.

The academic team has a track record of developing patient centric formulations and a systematic, and mechanistic understanding of controlled drug release.

Next steps

The KTP is expected to complete in late 2022 – look out for more updates by following us on Twitter and checking our webpage

For more information about Knowledge Transfer Partnerships or an informal chat, email or call 0121 204 4242.