Formulating for Efficacy, the Software

A software program based on the pioneering work of Prof. Dr. Johann W. Wiechers on the relationship between formulation composition and skin delivery of active ingredients and drugs and the ground-breaking estimations of solubility via Hansen Solubility Parameters of Prof. Dr. Steven J. Abbott.

In 2003, Wiechers published a paper at the IFSCC Conference in Seoul, South Korea, for which he was awarded the first-ever IFSCC Conference Award. This paper described two opposing factors that are necessary to obtain sufficient skin delivery:

  1. a high absolute solubility of the active in the formulation, so that sufficient quantities can be present that subsequently can penetrate the skin and reach the site of action;
  2. a low relative solubility of the active in the formulation, so that the drug or active ingredient prefers to leave the formulation and go into the skin.

Obviously, the two effects are opposite and the ideal vehicle needs to be found where the minimal amount of active provides the maximum delivery. That paper described a method on how to find that ideal composition.

Photo of Steven AbbottThis work resulted in a lot of interest from cosmetic companies, both those that manufacture cosmetics as well as those selling active ingredients. All wanted clinical effect, and that is what “Formulating for Efficacy” is optimizing.

For clinical efficacy, you need to meet three criteria. First, you need to have an active that is sufficiently capable of penetrating human skin (the intrinsic deliverability). Second, your molecule must have the right activity profile (the intrinsic activity). Third, you need to include this in the right formulation (the extrinsic deliverability). Only then you will get clinical efficacy (the extrinsic activity).

Ensuring the extrinsic deliverability is exactly what the “Formulating for Efficacy” computer programme does. You enter the structure of your active ingredient via SMILES strings, the programme calculates the necessary parameters, you enter a couple of formulation characteristics and you are ready to create your own delivery-optimized formulation.

Build on decades of skin delivery expertise of Prof. Dr. Johann W. Wiechers and decades of solubility estimation expertise of Prof. Dr. Steven Abbott (who also wrote the renowned Hansen Solubility Parameters in Practice software), the “Formulating for Efficacy” computer programme ensures that the skin delivery of your latest active ingredient will be optimised (within your boundaries). The suggested formulation recipe will provide you with the composition of the aqueous or lipid phase of your formulation (the phase in which your active ingredient is incorporated). The cosmetic or pharmaceutical formulator still needs to finalise the formulation by adding surfactants, preservatives, perfumes, thickeners, etc., where applicable.

When aiming for the top, “Formulating for Efficacy” puts you close in a drop…

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