Ben Franklin alum uses 3D printing tech to make drugs, raises $39M


A Bucks County specialty pharmaceutical company that is using three-dimensional technology to make drugs that are easier to swallow has raised $38.75 million through a debt sale, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Aprecia Pharmaceuticals Co. is seeking to raise a total of $52 million, according to the filing.

The Langhorne, Pa., company’s proprietary ZipDose platform leverages three-dimensional printing to create fast-melt dosage forms of drugs. The three-dimensional printing platform produces a porous formulation that rapidly disintegrates with a sip of liquid.

A spokeswoman for the privately held company declined to provide details on how Aprecia plans to use the proceeds gained from the debt financing.

Aprecia’s goal is to make drugs easier to administer and swallow — particularly for patients populations such as children, the elderly and special needs patients who have historically had difficulties with medicines.

Aprecia received Food and Drug Administration approval last month for its first ZipDose product, Spritam, an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of partial onset seizures in adults and children with epilepsy.

The product is not expected to be available in the market until early next year.

“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,” said Don Wetherhold, the company’s CEO, in a statement released by the company following the FDA approval.

Aprecia raised $25.7 million in an equity financing in 2011 and $14.9 million in a debt sale in 2013.