life sciences sustainable products


The pharmaceutical business launched products in 2019 to drive future growth and serve the needs of pharmaceutical customers. Two products, Viatel™ bioresorbable polymers and our Aquarius™ genesis film coating system, provide our customers opportunities for: energy savings, reduction of exposure to hazardous solvents, and/or waste reduction.

viatel™ bioresorbable polymer

Ashland has a significant history in pharmaceutical specialties with one of the largest ranges of products for oral solid dosage forms. In 2019, we introduced Viatel™ bioresorbable polymers, enabling us to enter the injectable drug delivery market.

Starting from monomers derived from renewable resources, Ashland’s scientists have developed a unique manufacturing process designed to eliminate residual solvents from the final product. Thus, there is no need for our customers to remove them from the finished product thereby avoiding their employees from exposure to hazardous solvents and eliminating the need for their disposal and the time and energy required to divert and collect such waste.

The primary benefit of bioresorbable polymers is they break down via hydrolytic degradation into the monomer components lactic and glycolic acid– both of which are resorbed by the body.

Additionally, all Ashland Viatel™ bioresorbable polymers meet typical drug and device regulatory thresholds for tin catalyst levels established by health authorities. In fact, the Ashland process allows us to supply many of our Viatel™ bioresorbable polymers with significantly lower tin levels than regulatory requirements.

Bioresorbable polymers are also the key ingredients in degradable medical devices, providing structural strength for load-bearing products such as sutures, stents, screws and plates.

aquarius™ genesis film coating system

Ashland has a new, high-solids film-coating system for immediate-release applications. The Aquarius™ Genesis film coating is designed for application at up to 35% solids while producing films with outstanding strength, adhesion and smoothness.

The pharmaceutical industry is moving from traditional batch manufacturing to continuous manufacturing, which can save time and money by reducing waste, eliminating loss from failed batches and cutting inventory overhead costs. Aquarius™ Genesis film coating can significantly increase the throughput of continuous coaters, thus resulting in energy savings associated with reducing processing time for our customers.

This new film coating is also scalable across traditional batch coating equipment, providing shorter application times and therefore higher throughput and less energy requirements. When purchase of a new coating line or expansion of an existing one is being considered, the use of our Aquarius™ Genesis film coating system can substantially reduce the needed capital investment.

health, wellness & nutraceuticals

Plant-protein foods has emerged as one of the biggest eating trends over the past year. Propelled by a variety of consumer concerns, including concerns for animals, health and the environment, plant-based eating goes beyond the traditional veggie burger. Many types of food and beverages are including proteins that are sourced from plants. Plant-focused foods can also describe non-dairy beverages, protein shakes or even non-dairy desserts, like whipped topping.

The growing popularity of plant-based foods has spurred innovation in end applications, ingredients and textures. Although products are usually suitable for vegetarian or vegans, they may also appeal to a wider audience.

Ashland innovations like Benecel™ methylcellulose, Blanose™ carboxymethylcellulose and Aerowhip™ hydroxypropyl cellulose solve these industry challenges. Offering improved texture/bite and mouthfeel, these additives help customers overcome textural and functional challenges in their products.

New this year, Benecel™ MX modified cellulose is a low temperature gelling methyl cellulose product. This product was specifically created to provide a firm texture to products that are eaten warm, like vegetable burgers or meat reduced sausages. Its unique thermal reversible gelling capability also ensures a juicy eating experience. Because of the increase in demand for plant-based protein products, Benecel™ MX methyl cellulose has become one of Ashland’s fastest growing products.

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