3D printing has been hailed as a revolutionary technology, and now a medical breakthrough has indicated that the technology might deliver on its promise in the medical arena.
On August 3, 2015, Aprecia Phramaceuticals, announced in a press release that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved its drug for the treatment of epilepsy, named SPRITAM.
The drug is used in the treatment of seizures brought on by epileptic attacks in patients 6 years and older.The company uses 3D printing technology initially developed at MIT, and combines it with its own manufacturing processes.
More specifically, Aprecia manufactures the drug on its own equipment, based on its so-called ZipDose Technology, which uses 3D printing to print layers of medication more tightly, allowing for up to 1,000 mg in a single dose to give a dissolvable final product.
The drug is a pill taken orally, which dissolves rapidly in contact with water. It is assembles by printing layers of powdered drug and then blowing off excess powder.
A video of Aprecia’s ZipDose technology is included below.
While the first, this is likely not the last drug to be generated using 3D printing technology, as Aprecia themselves claimed they are working on bringing more drugs with this technology to the market in the future.