Ashland Inc. announces Benecel hypromellose controlled-release excipients for matrix tablets

WILMINGTON, Del. – Ashland Specialty Ingredients, a commercial unit of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH), today announced three Benecel™ hypromellose (HPMC) excipients are now available for the formulation of matrix tablets. These commercial grades of intermediate-molecular-weight polymers deliver more predictable controlled-release profiles than may be possible with blending legacy grades of hypromellose. Benecel HPMC K250 PH PRM, HPMC K750 PH PRM and HPMC K1500 PH PRM were developed to address predictability and consistency issues stemming from blending practices and to provide formulators additional choices to more easily achieve their desired release profile. Hypromellose is the most widely used polymer in hydrophilic matrix systems, but before Ashland's recent introduction, the number of commercially available grades was limited. "Molecular weight plays a key role in dictating drug release, so formulators choose specific molecular weight grades based on drug solubility and desired release profile," said Divya Tewari, group leader, Pharmaceutical R&D, Ashland Specialty Ingredients. "Our customers previously often needed to blend two or more molecular weight grades to achieve the desired target release profile for controlled-release tablets as actives and drugs have become more complex. Blending can be problematic and costly. Predicting release profiles from blending two different grades is not straightforward and contributes greatly to batch-to-batch variability." Tewari explained that the new grades eliminate the need for blending and offer predictable and reproducible drug release profiles even under challenging conditions such as in a full stomach, where hydrodynamic stresses are greater and fat, bile, salt content and ionic strength vary significantly. "Our recent research shows that under these dissolution conditions, controlled-release tablets comprising blends of hypromellose have greater variability and, in some cases, fail to control drug release as compared to formulated grades." Delivering pharmaceutical and nutraceutical performance since the 1950s, Ashland creates value for its customers through applications knowledge, regulatory support and a powerful excipient portfolio: • Advantia™ and Aquarius™ coating systems • Aqualon™ ethylcellulose • Aqualon™ and Blanose™ sodium carboxymethylcellulose • Benecel™ methylcellulose and hypromellose • Klucel™ hydroxypropylcellulose • Natrosol™ hydroxyethylcellulose • Plasdone™ copovidone • Plasdone™ povidone • Polyplasdone™ crospovidone Ashland Specialty Ingredients offers industry-leading products, technologies and resources for solving formulation and product performance challenges in key markets including personal care, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, coatings and energy. Using natural, synthetic and semi-synthetic polymers derived from plant and seed extract, cellulose ethers and vinyl pyrrolidones, Ashland Specialty Ingredients offers comprehensive and innovative solutions for today's demanding consumer and industrial applications. In more than 100 countries, the people of Ashland Inc. (NYSE: ASH) provide the specialty chemicals, technologies and insights to help customers create new and improved products for today and sustainable solutions for tomorrow. Our chemistry is at work every day in a wide variety of markets and applications, including architectural coatings, automotive, construction, energy, food and beverage, personal care, pharmaceutical, tissue and towel, and water treatment. Visit to see the innovations we offer through our four commercial units – Ashland Specialty Ingredients, Ashland Water Technologies, Ashland Performance Materials and Ashland Consumer Markets (Valvoline).