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The Rise of “Dry Forms”

1960 • 2013

From the 1960s, Gattefossé researchers spent a lot of time working on “sustained release medication”, however, the subject became a major research topic in the 2010s. This meant the business increased its efforts in developing products in the dry form sector (tablets and granules).


During the 1960s, the Suppocire® and Labrafil® ranges expanded thanks to tests carried out by Gattefossé clients and in the company’s applications laboratory.

At the same time, the company’s product catalog continued to grow with other new innovations. Émile Mahler and chemist Lucien Waginaire developed the Lipocire™, Labrafac™, Labrasol®, Tefose® and Emulcire™, while André Lombard and Bernard Guillot alerted the research laboratory to the galenic properties and indirect pharmacological effects of fatty acid esters such as Precirol®, and especially Compritol®, in the manufacture of dry oral forms. A rotary tablet press for the manufacture of pills was installed in the applications laboratory to assist researchers in their work.

Over the next few decades, however, excipients for use in dry forms saw slow sales. Gattefossé would wait until the 2010s to dedicate further resources to the development of these products.

This advertisement published in the 1961-1962 “Bulletin Technique” promotes a range of lipid excipients specifically designed for formulating sustained release tablets and other prolonged release oral dosage forms.


Although Compritol® and Precirol® were developed in the 1960s, for a long while Gattefossé focused its efforts on excipients for delivery via the rectum (suppositories) and dermal administration (ointments, creams, etc). However, in the 2010s onwards, the company chose to look more closely at dry and solid forms intended for oral administration. Gattefossé was particularly interested in matrices, which were tablets containing the percentage of lipids required for a slow-release delivery system. To put this in real terms, this system meant that a patient could reduce the number of doses of a particular medicine that he or she would need to take over the course of a day. In 2013, sales of excipients for oral administration overtook figures for rectally administered excipients for the very first time.

Today, Gattefossé continues its research into excipients that can improve the therapeutic effect of orally administered medication

In fact, it is now known that excipients can play a major role in supporting active molecules for pharmacological purposes in the following ways: by ensuring the physico-chemical protection of molecules, by helping to achieve the required delivery level in the digestive tract, by guaranteeing slow release from the matrix, and by assisting absorption at the membrane level.

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The Rise of “Dry Forms”