The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a 3-D printed drug called Spritam levetiracetam, which is prescribed for oral use as an adjunctive therapy in the treatment of select seizure types in adults and children with epilepsy. Spritam utilizes Aprecia’s proprietary ZipDose Technology platform, a groundbreaking advance that uses 3-dimensional printing (3DP) to produce a porous formulation that rapidly disintegrates with a sip of liquid.

While 3DP has been used previously to manufacture medical devices, this approval marks the first time a drug product manufactured with this technology has been approved by the FDA.

“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,” says Don Wetherhold, CEO of Aprecia, 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.”

ZipDose Technology enables the delivery of a high drug load, up to 1,000 mg in a single dose. As a result, Aprecia says Spritam enhances the patient experience-administration of even the largest strengths of levetiracetam with just a sip of liquid. In addition, with Spritam there is no measuring required as each dose is individually packaged, making it easy to carry this treatment on the go. Spritam is expected to be available in the first quarter of 2016.

“In my experience, patients and caregivers often have difficulty following a treatment regimen. Whether they are dealing with a swallowing disorder or the daily struggle of getting a child to take his or her medication, adherence can be a challenge,” says Marvin H. Rorick III, MD, neurologist at Riverhills Neuroscience in Cincinnati, Ohio. “Especially for children and seniors, having an option for patients to take their medication as prescribed is important to managing this disease.”

ZipDose Technology combines formulation science with the unique manufacturing capabilities of 3DP. Aprecia developed its ZipDose Technology platform using the 3DP technology that originated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Using 3DP as a catalyst, Aprecia is developing formulations of medicines that rapidly disintegrate with a sip of liquid, even at high dose loads. The company intends to manufacture them on Aprecia’s proprietary equipment. Aprecia holds an exclusive, worldwide license for pharmaceutical applications of this 3DP technology.