In drug formulation, the line between success and missed opportunities is often as narrow as the precision of the tools employed. Within this landscape, the SOLCALC software stands out, guiding researchers through the complex world of amorphous formulations.
SOLCALC: More Than Just a Tool
SOLCALC, a Microsoft Excel-based plugin, offers users a pathway through the maze of amorphous formulations and amorphous solid dispersions in an accessible, user-friendly manner. Its core power stems from the powerful thermodynamic model PC-SAFT (Perturbed-Chain Statistical Associating Fluid Theory).
This tool’s foundation is grounded in statistical thermodynamics. It is remarkably successful in describing and predicting intermolecular interactions, especially of complex Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) and polymers. SOLCALC doesn’t just represent a normal thermodynamic tool but is tailored to the needs of formulators in the pharmaceutical industry. Unique extensions of the thermodynamic interactions with molecular mobility models, glass transition, and nucleation & crystal growth models enable also the most complex predictions on formulation stability/crystallization onset times. amofor developed and continuously adds new model parameters for commonly utilized excipients, surfactants and ASD polymers. Whether you face challenges in solubilities, miscibilities, or the vapor sorption behavior of innovative formulations, SOLCALC offers valuable insights. Its capabilities range from calculating simple binary formulations, and predicting release and dissolution mechanisms to handling complex multi-component mixtures. Further, it can adapt to large-scale formulation projects, such as those involving spray drying manufacturing.
One noteworthy feature is the shelf-life prediction for solid dispersions. Stability concerns are still one of the major regulatory concerns when comparing the ASD option to other formulation alternatives. By synergizing thermodynamics with kinetics – thereby assessing both the actions and speed of molecular movements within formulations – SOLCALC can predict the crystallization onset time of metastable amorphous solid dispersions and thus substantially de-risks the development of ASD. This is unmatched in terms of speed and prediction accuracy compared to any other technique – crystallization phenomena leading to product failure after years of storage are understood within a few days.
“SOLCALC is our vision for smarter drug formulation”
– Christian Lübbert, co-founder of amofor
The inception of SOLCALC is rooted in the R&D efforts of Dr. Christian Lübbert and Prof. Gabriele Sadowski at TU Dortmund University. While the foundational thermodynamic model is publicly available, SOLCALC’s edge comes from customized in-house developments, especially for shelf-life prediction, among other features. These advancements, a result of decades of dedicated research effort by both amofor co-founders, reflect its current performance.
SOLCALC in Action: Seamless Integration & Tangible Impact
Other approaches rely on molecular dynamics simulations (being resource-intensive in terms of computational power and often failing due to inaccurate force fields or unpredictable intramolecular interactions) or machine learning approaches (requiring tremendous data sets that are not available at the early stages of formulation development). SOLCALC – based on the thermodynamic model PC-SAFT – ensures its robustness, especially for large molecules like these challenging modern drug candidates. These molecules are still a challenge for other in-silico modeling technologies. Its integration with Microsoft Excel provides both user-friendly and powerful functionality. However, software power is only one side of the coin; mastering its subtleties is equally important. That’s where amofor researchers step in, offering comprehensive training directly from the source, bridging the software’s capabilities with user proficiency.
amofor often encounters a recurring story: customers massively struggle in formulating poorly soluble drugs and in identifying the ideal solvents for their manufacturing processes or polymers for their amorphous solid dispersions. Classically, these formulations were approached somewhat blindly, relying heavily on the design of experiments, experience from former projects, trials, and continuous testing of formulation prototypes. Questions like, “Can we amplify the drug load?”, “Do we need additional excipients?”, “Can we ensure the formulation stability or will obstacles be coming up in the next months and years?”, or “How will the ASD formulation change under specific storage conditions?” are now guided by SOLCALC’s capabilities. A combination of practical experimentation from the lab with computational data in their workflow has led to substantially improved results. This synergy between theory and practice is what SOLCALC’s users deeply value: True training data from the lab is the input for the computations, creating a constantly communicating digital formulation and interaction twin for fast and guided formulation development.
An Invitation to Collaborate
Opting for SOLCALC is a step into a synergistic and fruitful partnership with amofor. Whether you represent a research-heavy big pharma or a mid-size company that occasionally tackles formulation questions, the doors to collaboration are open, be it continual engagement or project-centric.
We invite you to experience its capabilities firsthand and bring your formulation development to the next level.