Pharmaceutical Company Gift to Support Pharmacy Research, Education

… College Board approves center created with Pii’s gift

OXFORD, Miss. — Pharmaceutics International Inc. has made a gift to the University of Mississippi to support pharmaceutical education for graduate students and create a center devoted to research related to hot melt extrusion and other pharmaceutical processing technologies.

The Pii Center for Pharmaceutical Technology will collaborate with private industry, government agencies and other universities to conduct research aimed at developing novel, cost-effective, patient-friendly and efficacious formulations for delivering new and existing pharmaceutical products.

The center is being directed by UM’s Michael A. Repka, a leading researcher in the field of hot melt extrusion and thermal processing.
“Hot melt extrusion offers multiple advantages over traditional processing techniques for pharmaceutical processing,” said Repka, chair and professor of pharmaceutics and research professor in the UM School of Pharmacy’s Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“HME is anhydrous, requires fewer processing steps, entails no organic solvents, requires no compression of active pharmaceutical ingredients and improves the bioavailability of poorly absorbed drugs,” said Repka. “Thanks to Pii’s support, we will be able to greatly expand our research into how this advanced technology can be used to produce various dosage forms and improve drug delivery through oral and other routes.”

Pii’s chief executive officer, Syed Abidi, a graduate of UM’s Ph.D. program, has remained active in the university’s pharmaceutical education programs over the years. Pii’s commitment to the university is further matched by the company’s support of UM’s Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award, which is given annually to a faculty member who has achieved national and/or international recognition in his or her field, and sponsorship of the School of Pharmacy’s “Alumni and Friends Luncheon,” which is held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

“This generous gift from Pii to create the Center for Pharmaceutical Technology enables us to expand our research in drug delivery systems,” said Alice Clark, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs at UM and president of its Research Foundation, which is administering the company’s gift.

“Our pharmaceutics faculty includes nationally recognized experts in hot melt extrusion processes to improve delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients,” Clark said. “This new center will have a huge impact on accelerating the use of this advanced manufacturing process in the pharmaceutical industry, and we are grateful to Pii for making this possible.”

After expanding its dosage form development and Good Manufacturing Processing capabilities with the addition of hot melt extrusion, Pii recognized the need for additional graduate level education in the area. Given Abidi’s affiliation to the university and Repka’s leadership in the field, the gift to UM was a natural fit for Pii.

“Today’s pharmacy students are tomorrow’s health care leaders,” Abidi said. “Through this long-term commitment to UM, we are delighted to know our country’s future pharmaceutical researchers will possess a better understanding of advanced and novel pharmaceutical processing technologies and the important role they play in the development of lifesaving medications.”

Pii is a contract development and manufacturing organization that specializes in developing difficult-to-formulate compounds.

“We are indebted to Pharmaceutics International Inc. for its support of our School of Pharmacy and our Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences,” said David D. Allen, the school’s dean and the institute’s director.

“Pii’s gift to establish this new RIPS center is a testament to the quality, importance and national competitiveness of the work and expertise of our faculty and scientists,” Allen said. “We look forward to demonstrating this new center’s unique capability for advancing pharmaceutical technology.”

At its April meeting, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning approved UM’s request to create the new center and name it for Pharmaceutics International.

Visit for more information about Pharmaceutics International Inc.

For more information about the UM School of Pharmacy, call 662-915-7265 or visit