"More than 30% of new chemical entities coming from drug discovery efforts exhibit poor solubility characteristics," said Nancy Morris, Dow vice-president, new businesses. "Many of these compounds show promise if they could only be made to dissolve effectively."

Dow says that by altering shape, size or surface area, it can create enhanced particles with an improved ability to dissolve in the body. There are currently four technologies in the BioAqueous portfolio, and Dow is also working with Robert Williams III and Keith Johnston at the University of Texas at Austin, US, to develop new approaches.

Dow says that it has expertise in particle engineering, emulsions, microemulsions, surfactant and dispersant chemistry, encapsulation and controlled release, and that it can also support the cGMP manufacturing of particles at a commercial scale. It is targeting pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical developers that want to work with a partner.