The first FDA-approved 3D-printed drug dissolves almost instantly in water

fda approves spritam 3d printed drug epilepsy pill spitram
The idea of 3D-printed drugs has been floating around for a few years now, but this week it became more than just an idea. After months of testing, the US Food and Drug Administration has given its seal of approval to a new drug called Spritam (levetiracetam) — a rapid-dissolving 3D-printed tablet designed for the treatment of epileptic seizures.

The groundbreaking new drug, developed by Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Company, makes use of the company’s new ZipDose technology — a proprietary technique that utilizes additive manufacturing techniques (yes, that’s 3D printing) to produce a porous tablet that disintegrates quickly with just a sip of water. Quick-dissolve tablets are nothing new at this point, but Aprecia’s ZipDose tablets take things to a whole new level. Rather than disintegrating in minutes like currently-available drugs, Spritam dissolves in a matter of seconds — allowing it to enter the bloodstream that much faster. Just check out the video; they actually had to slow it down so you can see the process clearly.

“By combining 3DP technology with a highly-prescribed epilepsy treatment, Spritam is designed to fill a need for patients who struggle with their current medication experience,” Aprecia CEO Don Wetherhold said in a release. “This is the first in a line of central nervous system products Aprecia plans to introduce as part of our commitment to transform the way patients experience taking medication.”

The awesome thing about this is that, thanks to this innovative 3D printing technique, Aprecia can actually make tablets with specific dosages that are tailored to each individual patient. ZipDose tablets can be custom-made to deliver anywhere from 10 to 1,000 milligrams of a given drug in a single dose — making them ideal for children and adults who find it difficult to swallow large pills. It basically melts in your mouth.

Spritam isn’t ready for primetime quite yet, but Aprecia — the first (and only) pharmaceutical company to produce 3D-printed medicine on a commercial scale –says that the drug is expected to become available sometime in the first quarter of 2016.

Features

Exclusive: The Surface Hub 2S will revolutionize work. Here’s how it was made

Exclusive interviews with the designers, futurists, and visionaries behind the Surface Hub 2 paint a dramatic picture of how Microsoft thinks collaboration will change your office.
Emerging Tech

Scientists manage to 3D print an actual heart using human cells

Scientists at Tel Aviv University have achieved a world-first by 3D printing a small-scale heart, complete with blood vessels, ventricles, and chambers. Here's why that's so exciting.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Emerging Tech

Drown out noisy neighbors and rest easy with these white noise machines

Some people are more sensitive to sound during sleep than others. Luckily, there are a number of white noise machines on the market to mask the noise. Here are our five of our current favorites.
Emerging Tech

Feast your eyes on the wildest, most elaborate Rube Goldberg machines ever built

Want to see something totally mesmerizing? Check out several of the best Rube Goldberg machines from across the internet, including one that serves cake and others that do ... nothing particularly useful.
Emerging Tech

How emotion-tracking A.I. will change computing as we know it

Affectiva is just one of the startups working to create emotion-tracking A.I. that can work out how you're feeling. Here's why this could change the face of computing as we know it.
Emerging Tech

Watch a pack of SpotMini robot dogs perform a terrifying feat of strength

Boston Dynamics' SpotMini robotic dog is now going around in packs, and the results are somewhat concerning. Check out the video to see what kind of shenanigans 10 of them got up to recently ...
Emerging Tech

Notre Dame fire: How drones and a robot called Colossus helped limit the damage

The fire that devastated the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday shocked many around the world. In a bid to prevent even worse damage to the structure, Paris firefighters opted to deploy drones and a robot called Colossus.
Emerging Tech

New gunfire-detection system alerts police of shooters in seconds, not minutes

The Safe Zone Gunfire Detector is a fast gunfire-detection system that could help avert potential tragedies in public places like schools, malls, or anywhere a mass shooting might occur.
Emerging Tech

NASA chooses a special spot for its next crewed moon landing

Following the U.S. government's announcement last month of a desire to see American astronauts set foot on the moon again in the next five years, NASA has revealed a location on the lunar surface where it would most like to land.
Emerging Tech

Adidas has created a running shoe that’s made to be remade

Adidas has unveiled the Futurecraft Loop running shoe that it claims is the first performance footwear to be 100% recyclable. The shoe is the latest green initiative by the sportswear company and will go on sale in 2021.
Emerging Tech

Yale scientists restore cellular activity in a pig’s brain hours after its death

In what some may view as a porcine version of Frankenstein, Yale University scientists have restored circulation and cellular activity in a pig’s brain four hours after its death. The study is likely to be used to study brain function
Emerging Tech

Russia’s robot news anchor gives human TV presenters hope

Human news anchors anxious about robots taking their jobs will be feeling reassured this week after the appearance on Russian TV of a news-reading android that clearly needs a bit of work.