Orion Corporation and The Solubility Company enter into collaboration to determine solubility of drug candidates using the innovative SPA method

A novel screening method enables faster and more accurate measurement.

Development of new innovative medical treatments requires both time and money - in general 12 to 16 years and one to two billion dollars. Solubility properties for drug candidates are critical parameters when evaluating developability of a compound, as well as designing the composition and manufacturing processes for the drug product. The Solubility Company from Helsinki, Finland has developed a new, image-based, rapid and accurate solubility screening method called the SPA (Single Particle Analysis) to measure solubility. Orion is among the first pharmaceutical companies initiating a collaboration with the company. 

Traditional solubility screening methods measure the amount of drug substance transferred from solid state into a liquid medium. The SPA method works reversely. Through the innovative combination of machine vision and intelligent algorithms, the SPA method determines dynamic solubility and related physicochemical parameters by measuring the reduction of the solid drug substance particles’ size. The measurement can be done from 1000 times smaller amount of substance, thus significantly minimizing material consumption. Measuring faster without compromising accuracy enables solubility measurement at an earlier stage of the drug development process. The Solubility Company’s proprietary SPA technology is based on six years of research at the University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy.

Innovations from start-up scene

”During recent years Orion has actively approached the start-up scene in the field of pharmaceutical applications. The now initiated collaboration is a good example of how we as a research based pharma company are able to both support the novel innovation and at the same time evaluate it in our research processes. This innovation, coming from the field of material sciences, has an opportunity to influence the drug research process concerning assessment of solubility of new compounds. We want to understand the potential of the SPA technology, as it is of vital importance to be able to make correct conclusions along the drug research and development process”, says Juha Kiesvaara, VP Global Pharmaceutical Research at Orion Corporation.

”During our first year, we have started our commercial activities with international pharmaceutical companies and we have been positively surprised by the strong interest shown toward our technology. Pharmaceutical companies are interested in utilising the machine vision and intelligent algorithms -based SPA method to support their decision-making. Already today, our service laboratory in Helsinki measures drug samples from around the globe.” says Sami Svanbäck, founder of The Solubility Company.


2 July, 2019