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December 16, 2021updated 11 Jan 2022 2:51pm

Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Intermediates

By Nat Schaefer

Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are the active components in a pharmaceutical drug that produce the required effect on the body to treat a condition. APIs are produced by processing chemical compounds. In a biologic drug, the active ingredient is known as a bulk process intermediate (BPI).

Despite high manufacturing expenses, strict regulatory policies, and policies in controlling drug prices in many countries, attractive opportunities have emerged in the API market due to growing cases of chronic diseases, including diabetes, asthma and cancer.

The information provided in the download document is drafted for pharmaceutical executives, research and development (R&D) executives, quality control and quality assurance executives, as well as API manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, sales managers, process engineers, technicians, research associates and production chemists, and any other individuals involved in the operations of the API and active pharmaceutical intermediates industry.

The download contains detailed information on API manufacturers to aid in purchasing decisions, including product ranges and contact details

Types of active pharmaceutical ingredients

APIs are broadly categorised into two types – synthetic and natural. Synthetic APIs are further classified into innovative and generic synthetic APIs, based on the type of synthesis used.

Synthetic chemical APIs, also known as small molecules, constitute a large part of the pharmaceutical market, with many small molecule drugs commercially available in the market.

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Natural APIs are used in making biologics, which are increasingly becoming the top-selling drugs in the market. Despite the growing demand, biologics are currently significantly fewer in number compared to small molecule drugs.

Based on the solubility, APIs are categorised into insoluble and soluble drugs.

Top active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates suppliers

Pharmaceutical Technology has listed the leading suppliers of active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates based on its intel, insights and decades-long experience in the sector. The list includes companies that can develop and supply high-quality pharmaceutical materials, including, but not limited to:

  • Fine chemicals and intermediates, such as high-docosahexaenoic acid oil for API production
  • APIs for central nervous system therapies
  • Natural cannabinoid (CBD) ingredients, CBD isolates and cannabis distillates
  • Excipients
  • Insulin for cell culture media
  • Ammonium compounds
  • Mineral salts

The list also includes suppliers of mixing and drying technologies, polymer coatings for drug delivery, extraction technologies for high-purity APIs, and dispersion and wet milling technology. Providers of automatic capsule filling machines, dry powder and liquid-based material handling systems, analytic services for biological assays, pharma tablet manufacturing machines, and custom synthesis services are detailed in the document as well.

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