Applied DNA Sciences has launched its SigNature brand DNA markers in pharmaceutical-grade and packaging inks.
The launch of the inks - which are suitable for printing onto both medicinal packaging and individual dosage forms such as tablets and capsules - took place at the Medical Japan Expo last week. APDN launched the new products in partnership with Nissha Printing and industrial inkjet printing specialist Kishu Giken Kogyo.
"These inks allow for seamless marking at the point-of-manufacture, ensuring that original raw materials or ingredients used to produce pharmaceuticals are fully protected and traceable to point-of-sale," said APDN in a statement.
The company has made no secret of its ambitions to break into the pharmaceutical supply chain security sector, and has recruited a number of specialists in recent months to help drive those efforts.
The pharma industry "is reflected by high rate of the diversion and a high rate of counterfeiting," APDN chief executive James Hayward told investors during the firm's recent results call. "It's one of the largest single counterfeited categories out of $1.8trn counterfeited economy."
Aside from being a potentially valuable new revenue stream for the company, "this is an area where the results will be measured in lives saved," he added. "Hundreds of thousands of people died last year in Africa as a consequence of counterfeit drugs and our desire as a company is to have both kinds of impact."
APDN has completed trials with Nissha and KGK, proving that unique SigNature DNA marks can be authenticated on the pharmaceutical tablet and packaging materials. The technology satisfies the principles established by FDA guidelines for inclusion in pharmaceutics, according to the firm.
The technology can also mark other elements of a finished product including bulk active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and excipients such as fillers, binders and enteric coatings.