Medical & Dental

MB Therapeutics uses 3D printing to create personalized medicine for children

Pharmaceutical start-up MB-Therapeutics is using its MED-U Modular 3D printer to offer personalized on-demand treatment to patients.

The company’s collaboration with healthcare institutions, such as the University Hospital Center of Nîmes, aims to create tailored medication production solutions for sick children. The company believes that utilizing 3D printing technology can significantly enhance the quality of life for both children and their families.

“MB-Therapeutics is a startup based in Montpellier that offers a solution for the production of personalized medications through pharmaceutical 3D printing. Eight years of experience and research have allowed the company to develop a patient-centric solution that enables dose customization, form adaptation, and the ability to combine multiple active ingredients within a single medication,” said Stéphane Roulon, Co-founder & CEO of MB-Therapeutics.

3D printing assists the pharmaceutical industry

At present, the pharmaceutical industry falls short in catering to the unique needs of children for specific medical conditions, says the company. To bridge this gap, pharmacists currently prepare medications with customized dosages, a practice adopted by 38% of children. Dr. Ian Soulairol, Co-Founder of the company and a Hospital Pharmacist, highlights the absence of an automated process for crafting personalized solid oral forms. Capsules and tablets are ill-suited for children due to size and active ingredient issues. Liquid suspensions carry an administration error risk, as 40% of parents make dosing mistakes with their children’s medication.

MB-Therapeutics’ solution allows pharmacists to create personalized, easily administered medications, safeguarding against dosing errors. By harnessing the power of 3D printing technology, MB-Therapeutics facilitates the tailored production of oral forms, meeting each patient’s specific needs. Consequently, this addresses supply shortages by enabling hospital and community pharmacies to automate high-quality medication production, while also making a significant contribution to healthcare by drastically reducing the substantial 15,000-ton medication waste in France.

Efforts are being made to make 3D printed medicines more accessible. For instance, Chinese pharmaceutical 3D printing firm Triastek successfully concluded its First-in-Human (FIH) study of T21, a 3D printed drug designed for treating moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. According to the study’s imaging results, T21 tablets exhibit precise delivery and controlled release in the colon, where the drug takes effect. Manufactured using Triastek’s Melt Extrusion Deposition (MED) 3D printing process, these tablets ensure a highly focused and effective drug delivery mechanism.

Researchers from the University of Santiago de Compostela, MERLN Institute, University College London (UCL), and UCL spin-out FabRx found a way to develop 3D printed tablets in a mere seven seconds. Unlike traditional layer-by-layer methods, this volumetric printing approach cures entire resin vats in one go. It has the potential to greatly accelerate custom medication production, which is essential for advancing clinical 3D printing for practical use.

MB-Therapeutics team. Photo via MB-Therapeutics.
MB-Therapeutics team. Photo via MB-Therapeutics.

Technical specifications of MED-U Modular

Printing toolFDA/Pharmaceutical-approved gels and filaments, Multi-filament and multi-gel options available for R&D purposes
Building volumeØ390mm x 600mm
Layer height50 µm to >1mm
X, Y, Z resolution12.5μm, 12.5μm, 12.5μm
Removable toolQuick-release mechanism for mechanical, electronic, and liquid cooling attachments.
Building surfaceRemovable, food/pharmaceutical-grade contact
Thermal environmentHeated build plate: 20°C to 180°C, Heated chamber: 20°C to 80°C, Liquid cooling for the tool
User health and safetyDouble HEPA H14/activated carbon filtration, Machine access locking mechanism
Alimentation230V AC 16A 50-60Hz
SoftwareConform annex 11, 15, 16 and CFR 21 part 11, audit trail included
Dimensions913 × 851 × 1644 mm

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Featured image shows the MB-Therapeutics team. Photo via MB-Therapeutics.