Companies and inventors adept at 3D printing are mobilizing their ingenuity and manufacturing capacity to respond to the COVID19 pandemic by using 3D printer technologies to produce everything from ventilator parts to precision-dosed medicines.
One company leading the charge is Providence-based Vitae Industries, a VC-backed startup that pushed the limits of typical 3D printing to invent a compound pharmacy automation platform that can produce drugs, such as compounded oral Ketamine lozenges for severe depression or individually customized hormones replacement therapies.
Dr. Bruce Becker, Chief Medical Officer of Vitae and an Emergency Medicine Specialist with more that 35 years of clinical experience in the United States and in disaster sites in many countries, noted, “3D printing has matured and been refined: it now is foundational to mainstream product development and serves as a springboard for innovation and imagination. 3D printers will be vital in the pandemic response to COVID-19. The Vitae compounding automation platform can print medications in minutes. The Vitae traditional 3D printers can manufacture medical equipment parts, quickly spurring the production of new and innovative solutions such as connectors that allow each ventilator to serve several patients, as ventilator shortages are one of the most pressing problems that we face in this pandemic.”
Addressing the coronavirus crisis, Dr. Becker continued, “Vitae can help pharmacies in state that are facing critical drug shortages, increasing surge capacity by quickly compounding drugs, including custom formulations with patient specific titrated dosing and weight-based dosing pediatric medicines, or poly-pills for COVID-19 or more standard combinations of antihypertensives or heart medications which patients with underlying chronic medical conditions take on a daily basis) . The Vitae compounder is not labor intensive and requires minimal pharmacy technician supervision to produce medications for dispensing.”
Dr.Becker concluded, “Our device has transformed 3D printer technology into a compounding pharmacy workhorse, providing extremely accurate dispensing solutions while automating the production of a range of dosage forms that eliminates “human” manual errors.”
In addition to enabling drug compounding, Vitae Industries is applying their 3D printing knowhow to the manufacturing of spare parts and innovative solutions to ventilators which are now in short supply. Dr. Becker explained, “We at Vitae are joining the fight against COVID-19. We are already producing parts and expanding our efforts daily, working with a consortium of scientists across our state to quickly address challenges as they arise”. Interested 3D printer professionals and enthusiasts can learn more about participating by contacting Daniel DeCiccio at Daniel@vitaeindustries.com.
About Vitae Industries
Vitae Industries, Inc. (“Vitae”) — a Rhode Island-based, VC-funded startup innovating tabletop robotic equipment for pharmacies to automate compounding of precision-dosed medication production for patient-personalized medicine. Vitae’s groundbreaking technology is live in over a dozen pharmacies in the US where it reduces manual labor and streamlines supply chains and can address drug shortages, ensuring individuals with preexisting conditions and COVID-19 patients are treated promptly and with optimal health outcomes.