Foster Expands its Capabilities in Drug Delivery Polymers Through Partnership with University of Rhode Island

Putnam, CT, USA – (November 6, 2009) – Foster Corporation, a PolyMedex Discovery Group company and a specialist in melt extrusion blending and forming of highly regulated materials including active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), recently announced a partnership with the University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy to expand the company’s formulation and analytical testing capabilities.

“This synergistic partnership with the University of Rhode Island (URI) greatly enhances our capabilities,” said Tony Listro, Managing Director of Foster’s drug delivery business unit. “It reduces the time to market of new products by overcoming product development challenges. This partnership is a natural extension of Foster’s development capabilities and services.”

From URI’s perspective, the collaborative relationship combines the best of academia and industry. According to Dave Worthen, Ph.D., J.D. Visiting Assistant Professor of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, “It has led to important developments in basic and applied science, educational opportunities and student internships in a hands-on, real-world setting, and breakthroughs in product development and global health issues.”

Foster works with URI’s team of pharmaceutical scientists to develop the polymer/drug formulation for melt extrusion and to determine the feasibility of the biologically active polymer combinations for in-vivo delivery. Research is performed in URI’s core lab facility, which, in recent years, has elevated the depth of its science research through a variety of different programs to promote biomedical research. The modern laboratory facility is equipped with proven technologies and scientists with years of expertise in their fields. It is the only facility of its kind in the state and has significantly enhanced the competitiveness of biomedical researchers at Rhode Island’s academic institutions.

Once Foster and URI determine a drug’s route of delivery and the compatibility of the thermal and chemical properties of the drug with the polymers and other excipients, URI performs analytical, dissolution and stability testing, as well as formulation optimization. “The tests determine whether the active is present and stable in the formulation,” said Listro. “They also determine the dissolution and release properties of the drug, whether or not any degradants are formed, the stability of the drug and the morphology of the formulation.”

Based on these data, analysis and recommendations from URI, Foster blends and extrudes the matrix of formulation in batches under GMP conditions for human clinical trials or galenic studies. “URI develops analytical and formulation evaluation techniques,” explained Listro.

These methods are them transferred to a cGMP facility or to a client for scale-up and eventually, clinical manufacture. URI and Foster work together to ensure the smooth transfer of methods and technology to the client or to a third party contractor.

For more information, please call 860-928-4102 or visit the Foster website at

Foster Corporation, a PolyMedex Discovery Group company, supplies custom biomedical polymers for the medical device industry, including custom compounds for minimally invasive devices, polymers blends for implants, and drug/polymer blends for combination products. For more information, please visit