Vectura has platform formulation technologies that overcome the technical challenges associated with formulating a wide rage of inhalation drug product types


Dry powder formulation technologies

Vectura has a long history and successful track record in the development of novel formulations. Vectura’s formulation technologies seek to achieve state-of-the-art inhaled delivery of dry powders for both small molecules and biologic drugs.

These novel formulation approaches, together with extensive know-how, have been applied to a broad range of DPI products, including both generic and branded/innovative products.

Vectura’s expertise enables us to achieve performance aligned with product delivery. For a generic product this will mean developing a formulation/device combination with performance to match the reference branded product both in laboratory testing and in the clinic. For a branded/innovative product the goal is to maximise performance as befits the target airways disease and mechanism of action of the drug. Vectura not only has extensive experience in the development of lactose blend formulations for small molecule drugs but also in the development of dry powder formulations of biologics.

Dry powder formulation technologies for small molecule DPIs

Vectura has a range of industry-leading formulation technologies to facilitate the development of successful DPI products:


is a family of processes that primarily uses Force Control Agents (FCA) to improve the performance of inhaled formulations. PowderHale® enables:

  • high lung penetration of aerosolised drug particles;
  • improved delivered dose uniformity; and
  • enhanced product stability.

creates high performance dry powder formulations by advancing PowderHale® FCA technology to optimise its placement on the formulation constituents.


Addition of magnesium stearate to DPI formulations. Offers:

  • Improved dose uniformity and stability, especially with respect to moisture 

Dry powder formulation technologies for inhaled biologics


spray drying particle engineering technology was developed to deliver dry powder biologics and can produce uniform mixtures of drugs and excipients and can be used to co-formulate multiple APIs in the same particle at a fixed ratio.


  • reproducible and robust process with good yields;
  • “gentle” process for labile molecules;
  • design and control of particle characteristics (density, surface characteristics, etc.), e.g. using force control agents to improve blister emptying and fine particle mass;
  • improved product stability (especially for biomolecules), via sugar glass technology; and
  • scalable process for commercial production.

A wide range of biologic and small molecules have been successfully formulated including:

  • antibodies;
  • immunomodulatory proteins; and,
  • cytokines.

Metered dose inhaler formulations


Addition of sodium cromoglycate to MDI formulations. Offers:

  • Improved stability especially with moisture sensitive compounds

Addition of magnesium stearate to MDI formulations. Offers:

  • Improved physical stability, dose uniformity and extension of storage shelf-life

Addition of CO2 or N2O to MDI formulations. Offers:

  • Finer MDI aerosols, enabling a significant increase in respirable dose

Production of sub-micron particles stabilised in HFA propellant for pMDI delivery. Offers:

  • Targeted delivery of drug to the small airways (e.g. for systemic delivery) or enhanced efficacy
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