Chemlink Specialities’ first ever Pharma seminar, which took place last week in Chester, was a great success. The seminar brought together experts from the fields of academia, research, equipment and ingredients to teach our delegates more about this exciting emerging technology for pharmaceutical applications.

Over the course of two days, delegates were invited to participate in presentations, get hands-on with the latest equipment and sample industry-leading ingredients. If you missed the seminar, but would like further information, please feel free to contact our team – and don’t forget to download your free Protocol for the Preparation of Solid Dispersion by Hot Melt Extrusion booklet on the link at the bottom of this blog…

Talk 1: Introduction to Solubility Enhancement

Shilpa Mistry, Head of Pharma UK & Ireland, gave the first presentation of the day, introducing delegates to the challenges of solid dispersion, the various methodologies currently used, and information about the latest industry-leading excipients. The presentation also included stability data, process parameters and QbD approach.

During her talk she presented new data from Mitsubishi Chemical on PVA and how to use these grades to get a super saturation results without dose dumping.

Here she discusses the appropriate HPMCAS grades for efficient hot melt extrusion.

Shilpa has an impressive knowledge about solubility enhancement and hot melt extrusion and is renowned as a UK expert who has been invited to speak at events across Europe. Her experience working as a technical professional, as well as an ingredient specialist, make her an invaluable resource on this topic. Shilpa both organised and hosted this year’s event, bringing together the best speakers for our delegates.

Talk 2: Pre-Screening Study for HME

Dr Daniel Treffer, owner and mastermind behind MeltPrep based in Austria, gave the second presentation of the day to introduce his revolutionary piece of VCM equipment. VCM (Vacuum Compression Molding) is a process that transforms thermoplastic materials in homogeneous specimens without altering the source materials’ characteristics due to degradation. This allows for accurate samples to be made from very small amounts of ingredients, helping you test your excipients without using a significant amount of product.

Here Dr Teffer discusses the applications for his VCM equipment.

Talk 3: Extrusion and Downstream Process of Hypromellose Acetate Succinate (HPMCAS)

Mr Shogo Warashina of Shin-Etsu, Japanese based ingredient manufacturer, presented an in-depth look at Hypromellose Acetate Succinate (HPMCAS) for hot melt extrusion. This excipient has distinct and demonstrable advantages over competitor products, and is the excipient of choice to be used in the demonstrations during this seminar.

Mr Shogo Warashina discusses downstream methods

If you would like more information about HPMCAS please contact Shilpa Mistry who will be pleased to send you more information and arrange a sample for you.

Demonstration 1: Pre-screening and Rheology

Dr Daniel Treffer of MeltPrep demonstrates his VCM equipment to delegates. During the demonstration, PVA from Mitsubishi Chemicals was used with PEG 400 to make the discs.

Demonstration 2: HME and Downstreaming

Technicians from ThermoFisher demonstrate their twin screw hot melt extrusion equipment using Shin-Etsu ingredients, which feed into a pelletiser made by Maag Automatic. During the demonstration we used HPMCAS from Shin-Etsu and PEG 6,000 from Clariant. For more information on formulation then please contact Shilpa.

Shlipa Mistry demonstrated to delegates the internal workings on the twin screw hot melt extruder. The guide Shilpa is using here is available now to download for free via the link at the bottom of this blog.

Talk 4: Personalized Medicines, 3D Printing

Dr Shen Qi from the University of East Anglia leads the afternoon’s presentation on personalisation of and 3D printing of medicines. In this talk our delegates learned about the latest research into 3D printing of oral and implanted drugs as well as how we can make personalised medicines possible in the future.

Talk 5: Science-based HME Process Development, Transfer and Scale-up

Josip Matic, of RCPE, presents the day’s final talk providing a thorough run through of hot melt extrusion, the equipment, the ingredients, the challenges and the possibilities this opens up within the industry.

Josip Matic explains types of screws used in hot melt extrusion


Our delegates were lucky enough to be able to experience a cocktail making masterclass and dinner at The Alchemist in Chester on the evening before their seminar day. We chose this venue because of the unique offering The Alchemist could provide to us. Our pharma delegates were invited to don a lab coat, grab a conical flask or two, and make their own show-stopper cocktails using a range of ingredients you wouldn’t usually find in a bar!

Chemlink's seminar cocktail menu at The Alchemist

We were pleased to discover that our delegates were able to figure out what ingredients labelled ‘Magic’ and ‘Fairy Liquid’ really were – and of course there was a lot of solid Co2 and a few bunsen burners thrown in for good measure!

We would like to extend our deep gratitude to our industry colleagues who made this seminar possible. Thanks to Thermo Fisher Scientific, Maag Automatic, and MeltPrep for shipping their equipment to our location to perform demonstrations. Thank you to Shin-Etsu and Clariant for providing ingredients for use in the demonstrations. Thanks to our wonderful speakers from MeltPrep, Shin-Etsu, the University of East Anglia, and RCPE.

Finally thank you to our delegates who battled Storm Ciara and travelled from all over Europe to attend this seminar. We hope it was an enjoyable and educational experience for all of you.

If you couldn’t attend this seminar but would like more information about hot melt extrusion, solubility enhancement or pharmaceutical excipients please complete this contact form and we’ll be in touch to arrange a meeting with you.

HME free download

Free Download

Download Your Free Protocol for the Preparation of Solid Dispersion by Hot Melt Extrusion booklet on this link.

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