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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
METHOD OF MOULDING A PHARMACEUTICAL COMPOSITION IN A PACKAGING MATERIAL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2002/005744
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method of producing a pharmaceutical composition directly in a packaging material, a moulded packaging material comprising the pharmaceutical composition, a cassette comprising the packaging material, as well as a method of administering a dosage of the pharmaceutical composition for example directly from the packaging material. The packaging material defines the predetermined geometry of the pharmaceutical composition, in that a melt of the pharmaceutical composition is injected directly into the packaging material, whereby the method comprises establishing a mould, moulding, in said mound, the packaging material from a melt, whereby the packaging material is provided with at least one cavity, said cavity having at least one side wall and optionally bottom wall, moulding in a moulding compartment, said compartment having a predetermined form being defined by at least a part of said at least one cavity, the pharmaceutical composition from a melt consisting of the ingredients of the pharmaceutical composition having a predetermined temperature, and cooling the pharmaceutical composition, whereby the packaging material comprising the pharmaceutical composition having a predetermined form is obtained.

Inventors:
Buch-rasmussen, Thomas (Dalvej 28 Gentofte, DK-2820, DK)
Aasmul, Søren (Borgmester Schneiders Vej 60 Holte, DK-2840, DK)
Poulsen, Jens-ulrik (Virumgade 54C Virum, DK-2830, DK)
Flink, James M. (Taarbæk Strandvej 76, st.th Klampenborg, DK-2930, DK)
Hansen, Philip (Skovmindevej 23B Holte, DK-2840, DK)
Juul-mortensen, Claus (Junggreensvej 8 Frederiksberg, DK-2000, DK)
Application Number:
PCT/DK2001/000489
Publication Date:
January 24, 2002
Filing Date:
July 12, 2001
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
Novo, Nordisk A/s (Novo Allé Bagsværd, DK-2880, DK)
Buch-rasmussen, Thomas (Dalvej 28 Gentofte, DK-2820, DK)
Aasmul, Søren (Borgmester Schneiders Vej 60 Holte, DK-2840, DK)
Poulsen, Jens-ulrik (Virumgade 54C Virum, DK-2830, DK)
Flink, James M. (Taarbæk Strandvej 76, st.th Klampenborg, DK-2930, DK)
Hansen, Philip (Skovmindevej 23B Holte, DK-2840, DK)
Juul-mortensen, Claus (Junggreensvej 8 Frederiksberg, DK-2000, DK)
International Classes:
A61J3/00; A61K9/00; A61K9/20; (IPC1-7): A61J3/00
Foreign References:
US4153406A1979-05-08
US6098675A2000-08-08
EP0838209A11998-04-29
US4920727A1990-05-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Høiberg, Aps (St. Kongensgade 59 B Copenhagen K, DK-1264, DK)
Download PDF:
Description:
Method of moulding a pharmaceutical composition in a packaging material The present invention relates to a method of producing a pharmaceutical composi- tion in a packaging material, a moulded packaging material comprising the pharma- ceutical composition, a cassette comprising the packaging material, as well as a method of administering a dosage of the pharmaceutical composition.

Background of the invention Some drugs are administered parenterally, either because a rapid effect is desired, or because due to the nature of the drug it will be destroyed in the stomach before any effect of the drug has occurred.

By far the most widely used method for parenteral injection of drugs is by injection of an aqueous solution using a hypodermic syringe. The use of aqueous solutions is associated with a number of inherent problems. In order to inject a given volume of drug, a much larger volume of water and different additives also have to be injected, leading to injection of a high volume. In particular for muscular injection the pain associated with injection is primarily caused by the volume injected, not by the penetration of the skin. Any reduction in volume would thus lead to a reduction in pain for the patient.

Injection of drugs as solid particles have been discussed in the prior art, such as powder injection and injection of pharmaceutical compositions having the shape of needles, the latter being administerable with greater precision than the powders.

Injection moulding of tablets has been attempted which is described for example by Cuff et Raouf in"A Preliminary Evaluation of Injection Moulding as a Technology To Produce Tablets. The production of moulable compositions for injection purposes has not been suggested yet.

To obtain a satisfactory solid-dose-parenteral-injection, the pharmaceutical compo- sition to be injected must be of small volume to avoid injection pain and to achieve a desired dissolution rate. Also, preferably the pharmaceutical composition should be provided with a well-defined strength to make it possible to penetrate the cutis of the

patient, be it an animal or human being. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical composi- tion should be long-term stable at ambient temperature in terms of both strength and structure of the pharmaceutical composition and the biological activity of the drug.

The pre-determined strength may be provided by using a carrier in addition to the drug to be administered. A carrier used to provide the necessary strength should comprise compounds that are tissue compatible and that are contained in the phar- macopoeia.

Injectable pharmaceutical compositions are by nature very small in order to be in- jected essentially without causing pain. A problem with these compositions is how- ever their size, since such sizes cannot be handled without a tool like a pincer, to arrange the composition for injection.

Summary of the invention By the present invention the pharmaceutical composition is moulded directly into the packaging material thereby obviating any needs for transporting the delicate struc- tures after moulding.

Thus, the present invention relates to a method of producing a pharmaceutical com- position in a packaging material comprising the steps of establishing a mould, moulding, in said mould, the packaging material from a packaging melt, whereby the packaging material is provided with at least one cavity, said cavity having at least one side wall and optionally a bottom wall, moulding in a moulding compartment the pharmaceutical composition from a pharmaceutical melt consisting of the ingredients of the pharmaceutical compo- sition having a predetermined temperature, wherein said moulding compartment having a predetermined form being defined by at least a part of said at least one cavity, cooling the pharmaceutical composition,

obtaining in the packaging material the pharmaceutical composition having a pre- determined form.

By the present method it is possible to provide a method for preparing a pharma- ceutical composition being injectable without any uses of transfer needles or the like whereby the composition is capable of penetrating the epidermis or the mucosa of an individual by itself. However the pharmaceutical composition produced in accor- dance with this invention may of course also be implanted or injected by use of transfer needles and/or trocars.

The packaging material defines the predetermined geometry of the pharmaceutical composition, in that a melt of the pharmaceutical composition is injected directly into the packaging material.

In another embodiment the invention relates to a moulded packaging material com- prising at least one cavity, said cavity having at least one side wall and optionally a bottom wall, and a pharmaceutical composition being moulded in at least a part of said at least one cavity from a melt consisting of the ingredients of the pharmaceuti- cal composition.

In particular the packaging material comprises at least one cavity, said cavity having at least one side wall and optionally a bottom wall, and a pharmaceutical composi- tion being moulded in at least a part of said at least one cavity from a melt consisting of the ingredients of the pharmaceutical composition, whereby the pharmaceutical composition is in contact with the cavity side wall in an area being more than half of the surface area of the pharmaceutical composition.

The pharmaceutical composition is preferably in contact with the cavity side wall in an area being more than half of the surface of the pharmaceutical composition to ensure that the direction of the pharmaceutical composition in the packaging mate- rial is optimal for ejection without damages to the pharmaceutical composition. By the term in contact with means that substantially no movements of the pharma- ceutical composition in the packaging material in a plane perpendicular to the longi- tudinal axis is possible.

Yet a further aspect relates to a cassette comprising a packaging material as de- fined above and furthermore comprising ejecting means for ejecting the pharmaceu- tical composition from the cavity.

Also, the present invention relates to a method of administering a dosage of thera- peutic agent comprised in a pharmaceutical composition to a patient in need thereof from a cassette as defined above, comprising -arranging the cassette adjacent the skin of the patient, -activating an ejecting means, -injecting the pharmaceutical composition comprising the therapeutic agent.

Drawings Fig. 1 a shows a vertical cross section through a moulded packaging material prior to moulding the pharmaceutical composition, Fig. 1 b shows a vertical cross section through a moulded packaging material comprising the pharmaceutical composition, and Fig. 1 c shows a horizontal cross section through a moulded packaging material comprising the pharmaceutical composition.

Fig. 2: In one configuration, the packaging material is formed with a further cavity which fit to an inserter (6). The inserter and the further cavity are constructed with the aim to be able to insert the pharmaceutical composition into human subcuta- nous tissue. Moving the inserter forward, the inserter presses the pharmaceutical composition (3) through the protective membrane (9) and into the human skin. The movement will be stopped when the inserter head (8) hits the container (1). At this end position the inserter head (5) will stick approximatively 1 mm out from the con-

tainer and into the human skin. The pharmaceutical composition will be in front of the inserter and thus be in the subcutaneous tissue. The inserter can be fitted to the container in such a way, that after insertion the inserter is withdrawn and thus free from the skin.

Fig. 3: From the initial position of the inserter (13), the inserter is pressed forward to the end position (12) and automatically withdrawn to position (11).

Fig. 4: The packaging container, the pharmaceutical composition and the inserter can be a single unit or a multiple unit. In this figure the system is formed as a cas- sette where the container part is formed in one moulding stem and the pharmaceuti- cal composition in a second moulding step.

Detailed description of the invention The packaging material is described in the following as a single unit of packaging material having a cavity for housing the pharmaceutical composition, but as de- scribed below the packaging material may comprise several cavities each housing an individual pharmaceutical composition.

The packaging material may serve at least two functions: -Serving as a mould for the pharmaceutical composition -Serving as packaging when storing the moulded pharmaceutical composition.

Also the packaging material may serve as a cassette or a part of a cassette for ad- ministering the pharmaceutical composition.

In the present context"ejection"means the action of forcing the pharmaceutical composition out of the packaging material.

The term"administering"is used in its normal meaning, i. e. to press or inject the pharmaceutical composition into the patient in need thereof, such as an animal or a human being.

The administration may be conducted through the use of a transfer needle or by injecting the composition directly through the skin without the use of a transfer nee- dle, wherein the latter is preferred.

The packaging material is moulded in a mould defining the outer shapes of the packaging material. Furthermore, during moulding the packaging material is pro- vided with a cavity, the cavity being positioned in the packaging material so that ac- cess to the cavity is possible from the outside.

In a preferred embodiment a mould comprising an inserter is provided, said inserter having a shape corresponding to the predetermined shape of the cavity. The pack- aging melt is then injected into the mould comprising the inserter, and after having packed the mould the melt is cooled and the inserter is removed.

The inserter may be in one or several parts depending on the predetermined ge- ometry of the cavity.

Accordingly, the packaging material is provided with at least one cavity, said cavity having at least one side wall and optionally a bottom wall as discussed below.

The cavity is provided with one side wall when having a round, such as circular or oval cross-section. The cavity may be provided with 3,4,5 or more side walls, when the cross-section is triangular, square, rectangular, pentangular, or higher. It is pre- ferred, that the cavity is substantially round.

Before moulding the pharmaceutical composition the cavity may be lined with an- other material, such as a lubricant. It is however preferred that the cavity side wall is defined by the packaging material.

The cavity defined within the packaging material is preferably having a volume larger than the pharmaceutical composition to be moulded therein. Thereby for ex- ample an injection head may be guided by the cavity when injecting the melt for the pharmaceutical composition.

The cavity is preferably an elongated cavity, such a through bore, having two open ends. In a preferred embodiment however the cavity comprises a bottom wall moulded from packaging melt. The bottom wall may then function as a diffusion tight sealing of one end of the cavity during storage.

In an alternative embodiment the cavity is provided with a top wall as well, whereby access to the cavity may be obtained for example through an opening in the side wall.

The moulding compartment for the pharmaceutical composition constitutes at least a part of the cavity, or the whole cavity.

The moulding compartment has a predetermined form, that is defined by the cavity side walls, the cavity bottom, that may be a mould part or packaging material as discussed above and an insertion means, said insertion means being inserted into the cavity through an opening of the cavity.

The insertion means preferably comprises an injection head for injecting the phar- maceutical composition melt into the moulding compartment. During moulding of the pharmaceutical composition the insertion means may be arranged adjacent to or in the open end of the cavity and pharmaceutical melt is injected into the moulding compartment and packed.

The injection head may however also be arranged to inject through an opening in the side wall of the cavity, whereby the insertion means simply constitutes a part of the moulding compartment.

The moulding compartment is defining the form of the pharmaceutical composition, and is preferably elongated, whereby the predetermined form of the pharmaceutical composition is preferably an elongated form.

The moulding compartment is furthermore preferably so defined that one end of the elongated moulded pharmaceutical composition will become plane during moulding.

The plane end obtained is capable of transferring a more even pressure from the

ejection means to the remaining part of the pharmaceutical composition during ejec- tion, reducing the risk of damaging the pharmaceutical composition during ejection.

In principle the packaging material may assume any form suitable for functioning as at least a part of a mould for moulding the pharmaceutical composition.

For use with therapeutic agents for which only one dose is needed, such as gluca- gon, adrenaline, or atropine, a single unit packaging may be used, whereas for in- jection of medicine administered frequently, such as insulin or growth hormone, an array of more units is preferred. In the present context the term"unit"means cavities in the packaging material. The units may be arranged in line in a beam shaped packaging material or in a revolver drum shaped packaging material or a number of single packaging material each comprising one unit may be designed to be hinged together to form a cartridge belt. The choice of design may depend on the number of units of pharmaceutical compositions to be stored in the packaging. When using several units it is preferred that the units are moulded simultaneously in a mould comprising a compartment for each unit, such as at least 5 cavities arranged in par- allel, said cavities being substantially identical. When moulding individual packaging material these may be assembled subsequently through for example hinging means.

The packaging material will store the moulded pharmaceutical composition from moulding to administration. The pharmaceutical composition is preferably adminis- tered by ejection or pressing it from the packaging.

In order for the packaging material to serve as a part of a cassette for administering the pharmaceutical composition the packaging material must be sufficiently rigid, so that the pressing force applied to the pharmaceutical composition is not merely ab- sorbed by the packaging material, but may be used to eject the pharmaceutical composition.

Any suitable pharmaceutical packaging material capable of being moulded, such as injection moulded may be used. The packaging material is preferably moulded from a polymer melt, such as a polymer selected from a polyolefin, a cyclic olefin, a cyclic polyolefin.

Examples of polymers may be polycarbonate, polystyrene, polyesters, polyethylene naphtalate, polyfluor fluorethylene propylene (FEP), such as fluor ethylene hexa- fluor propylene copolymer.

Other examples are poly (ethylene terephtalate) (PET), poly (ethylene naphtalate) (PEN), and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene terpolymer (ABS).

Any suitable moulding techniques known to the person skilled in the art may be used, such as injection moulding.

It is important the packaging material maintains its shape after moulding and during storage, since this would otherwise impair the function of the cavity with respect to moulding the pharmaceutical composition and later ejecting the composition.

Therefore substantially no shrinkage or contraction of the packaging material is al- lowed after moulding the pharmaceutical composition therein. Thus, it is preferred to cool the packaging material after moulding and before injection of the pharmaceuti- cal melt, thereby allowing any contraction due to temperature changes to take place before production of the pharmaceutical composition.

Substantially no contraction means that the moulded packaging material contracts at most 5 % after the step of moulding the pharmaceutical composition, preferably at most 3 %, more preferably at most 1 %. The most important contractions with re- spect to the functions of the packaging material are those in a plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the elongated cavity.

The production method may be a sequential two-component moulding, whereby the pharmaceutical composition is moulded in the cavity immediately after the moulding of the packaging material, optionally while the packaging material is remaining in the mould. In between the two moulding steps may be a cooling step if necessary. Pre- ferably, the pharmaceutical composition is moulded at most 60 sec. after moulding the packaging material.

The packaging material is preferably cooled to a temperature substantially identical to the predetermined temperature of the pharmaceutical melt. Thereby a too fast

freezing of the pharmaceutical melt in the cavity is avoided during moulding of the pharmaceutical composition.

It is furthermore preferred that no melting or softening of the packaging material is allowed to happen when the pharmaceutical melt is injected into the cavity. Accord- ingly, it is preferred that the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the packaging mate- rial is at most 20 °C lower than the predetermined temperature of the pharmaceuti- cal melt, more preferred the Tg is identical to or higher than the predetermined tem- perature.

The glass transition temperature (Tg) of the packaging material is preferably above 100 °C, such as above 120 °C, preferably at least 140 °C or higher.

Contraction however may also be due to a phase shift, i. e. after-crystallisation of the packaging material. This is preferably overcome by using a moulded packaging material being an amorphous material, such as an amorphous polymer.

Crystalline polymers may also be used when the time necessary for crystallisation and contraction is accounted for before moulding the pharmaceutical composition.

The amorphous polymer may be a cyclic olefin copolymer, such as an olefin com- prising a 5 or 7 membered ring optionally copolymerised with a linear olefin, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, and/or polybutylene.

In a preferred embodiment the packaging material is a 5 to 7 membered bicyclic hydrocarbon copolymerised with ethylene, such as TOPAS @ from Schott.

The production method may also be conducted as an insert moulding process. By an insert moulding process is meant that two separate moulding steps are con- ducted, first the packaging material is moulded, and the obtained packaging material may then be stored for a time period before the pharmaceutical composition is moulded in the packaging material. The requirements to the material for the pack- aging material are less demanding for an insert moulding process than for a two- component moulding process, and therefore an insert moulding process is a more flexible process. For example crystalline polymers may be used since the crystalli-

sation is finished at least during storage of the packaging material before moulding the pharmaceutical composition.

In insert moulding the packaging material may be stored in the mould or the pack- aging material may be removed from the mould. In any situations the pharmaceuti- cal composition is moulded into the cavity of the packaging material. The packaging material may be heated appropriately, for example to the predetermined tempera- ture before injecting the melt comprising the ingredients for the pharmaceutical composition.

Whether the production is carried out as a sequential two-component moulding or an insert moulding is often merely a matter of choice, however in particular when producing a packaging material comprising more than one cavity the insert moulding may be a first choice.

Pharmaceutical compositions may be moulded in several cavities simultaneously when using a packaging material having more than one cavity, such as simultane- ous moulding in at least 5 cavities, such as simultaneous moulding in at least 10 cavities or at least 15 cavities.

In a preferred embodiment the elongated pharmaceutical composition is moulded with a pointed end or a tip, whereby the administration of the composition in a sub- stantially painless manner is facilitated. The pointed end or the tip is preferably de- fined during moulding by a tip mould insert arranged in an open end of the cavity. In the present context the term"pointed end"is used synonymously with the term"tip".

After moulding the tip mould insert may be removed to allow the composition to be injected.

The tip mould insert may be part of the insertion means comprising the injection head, it is however preferred that the tip mould insert is arranged in the end of the cavity opposite the insertion means comprising the injection head.

In case the cavity is provided with a bottom wall, the bottom wall may be shaped in a form corresponding to the tip, so that the tip is defined by the bottom wall. In this

embodiment the bottom wall is preferably supported to the right shape by for exam- ple the mould. In this embodiment the bottom wall may be supported by the mould during injection of the pharmaceutical melt, to obtain the exact tip geometry.

In another embodiment the pharmaceutical composition is administrated through the use of a transfer needle or trocar whereby the transfer needle or trocar may be at- tached to the packaging material or loosely connected, so that the composition is injected from cavity via the needle or device through the skin or mucosa.

The cavity is preferably sealed, such as sealed with a diffusion tight sealing, during storage. The sealing may be applied after moulding the pharmaceutical composition or moulded with the packaging material.

The sealing may be any membrane providing the properties mentioned above. In one embodiment sealing of the ends is provided after moulding. Such as wherein the sealing of one end is a pin or a plug designed to seal the end when inserted into the cavity, whereby the pin or plug may also function as an anvil for ejecting the pharmaceutical composition. Thus, the method further comprises moulding a pin being dimensioned to fit into the open end of the cavity after retracting the insertion means. The pin is preferably moulded simultaneously with the packaging material, and more preferred from the same material.

As an alternative to the pin or in addition to and opposite to the pin another type sealing is preferably moulded from the packaging material, such as a membrane of packaging material constituting a bottom wall.

The sealing is preferably capable of being penetrated by the pharmaceutical com- position during ejection, preferably without making any hindrance to the ejection route.

The pharmaceutical composition is moulded from a melt consisting of the ingredi- ents of the pharmaceutical composition, such as at least one therapeutic agent and optionally at least one binder, capable of forming a melt and being injection moulded without compromising the ingredients.

When used the binder is present in an amount sufficient to produce, in combination with the therapeutic agent, the required strength of the composition. Therefore, the binder may constitute at least 1% by weight of the composition, such as at least 5% by weight of the composition. The upper limit of binder is mostly at most 90% by weight of the composition, such as at most 85%, such as at most 80%, such as at most 75%, such as at most 60%, such as at most 50%. Mostly the binder may con- stitute at least 5% and at most 80%, such as 60% by weight of the composition.

According to the invention, a solid pharmaceutical composition for parenteral injec- tion having sufficient strength for parenteral injection yet having a relevant content of therapeutic agent is provided. The binder may be any kind of binder being mould- able and pharmaceutical acceptable, in particular acceptable for parenteral injec- tion. The binder is preferably a polymer or a sugar or a sugar alcohol.

In addition to the strength, the binder may also provide the composition with a very smooth surface. Thereby, the friction upon penetration of the epidermis or mucosa is greatly reduced and consequently less force is required for the penetration and the penetration causes less pain. An advantage is that the composition is very stable both in terms of the biological activity of the therapeutic agent and in terms of the geometry and the strength of the composition even when it is stored at ambient temperature. Thereby, the invention combines compactness with ease of storage.

The binder is preferably a carbohydrate capable of providing an amorphous matrix, for example by adding a non-crystallisation agent to the binder.

According to an especially preferred embodiment, the binder essentially remains an amorphous matrix for at least 6 months at ambient temperature. This is achieved by carefully selecting the binding agent and the optional non-crystallisation agent so that the binding agent does not crystallise during storage. If the binding agent starts crystallising the composition will lose its strength, or if the crystallisation only takes place at the surface, the geometry of the composition will change and the friction upon injection will increase undesirably.

By the term strength is meant that the composition has sufficient compressive strength to penetrate the skin of a patient. It has been determined experimentally

that a pressure force of at least 0.7 Newton is required to penetrate the epidermis of a human being with the claimed composition. Less is required to penetrate the mu- cosa. Consequently, the composition must be able to withstand such pressure force.

The strength can be tested in a force gauge tester such as an Advanced Force Gauge AFG-250N from Mecmesin, UK. Tests are carried out by formulating the composition as a rod and applying a pressure force to the rod. The pressure force is increased until the rod breaks. The instrument records the pressure force necessary to break the rod. This parameter is termed the compressive strength and should be understood as the breaking strength under compression.

Furthermore, at least 95 % of the strength of the composition should be maintained after 6 months, preferably after 12 months, at ambient temperature. It is important that the compositions are long term stable not only with respect to the biological activity and the structure of the composition, but also that the strength is essentially unaffected by storage. Some binding agents have a propensity to slowly crystallise after the amorphous glass matrix has been formed. Such binding agents are unsuit- able for the present invention.

Preferentially, the composition should be essentially free from entrapped air. It is very important for the strength of the composition that no air is trapped inside the composition during processing in order to prevent air in the composition after cool- ing. Apart from reducing the strength, entrapped air also takes up unnecessary space and thereby reduces the amount of therapeutic agent contained in the com- position.

As described above the composition is preferentially elongated having a cross sec- tion, which is substantially cylindrical, triangular, square, or polygonal. According to an especially preferred embodiment, the composition has the shape of a rod essen- tially cylindrical and pointed at one end. With compositions according to these em- bodiments, it becomes especially important to withstand crystallisation.

Many compounds are capable of forming a glass upon melting and subsequent quenching to below the glass transition temperature of the compound, Tg. Glasses can also be formed by dissolution and subsequent removal of the solvent, whereby

the Tg is raised to above the storage and usage temperature. However, most com- pounds have a propensity to crystallise by themselves. Whereas an amorphous glass matrix often has a high compressive strength and a smooth surface, the same compound in a crystalline state has very limited compressive strength and a rough surface. The present compositions can be made from pure maltose or from pure sorbitol. These compounds will form glasses, but the compounds crystallise gradu- ally at room temperature causing the strength to be reduced and the geometry to be changed. By mixing two or more compounds, crystallisation can be prevented or retarded.

The compositions are not necessarily completely water free. However, the water content of the binder is less than 20 % (w/w), preferably less than 10 %, more pref- erably less than 5 %, such as from 0.1 to 5 %, preferably from 1 to 5%. It has been determined that by having a water content between 0.1 and 5 %, the composition is not sticky and the binder is dissolved rapidly once administered. By lowering the water content even further, the rate of dissolution upon contact with the body fluids may be reduced disproportionately causing the therapeutic agent to be released only very slowly. Furthermore, many therapeutic agents such as proteins, peptides and polypeptides are more stable at a low water content than when completely dry.

The advantage of having a low water content is that the therapeutic agent becomes biologically very stable and does not require special storage conditions such as re- frigeration to maintain the biological activity. A third advantage is that the composi- tion becomes essentially resistant to microbial attack, since microbes require a cer- tain water content in order to establish a colony. Thus the requirement for handling the compositions become less rigid since the presence of a few microbes on the composition will not result in microbic proliferation and thereby not cause contami- nation. Finally the presence of excess water in the composition may result in water vapour during processing, which may give rise to air entrapment in the composition during subsequent cooling.

Several compounds may be used as the at least one binding agent and the inven- tion is not limited to any specific compounds. According to a preferred embodiment the at least one binding agent is a mono-, di-, or oligosaccharide or a corresponding sugar alcohol or a derivative thereof. Many of these compounds are frequently used for pharmaceutical composition, are contained in the pharmacopoeia and can

therefore readily be approved by the authorities. Furthermore, these compounds make an amorphous glassy matrix readily.

Furthermore, the at least one binding agent may be a carbohydrate-derivative. As mentioned, carbohydrates make amorphous glassy matrices readily. In some cases it is preferred to provide the composition with a binder having a slow rate of dissolu- tion compared to binder made from true carbohydrates. This can be obtained by derivatising the carbohydrate, especially by adding non-polar groups to the carbo- hydrate, whereby the compound is rendered more hydrophobic.

According to a preferred embodiment the at least one binding agent is selected from maltose, sucrose, lactose, cellobiose, trehalose, maltulose, iso-maltulose, maltitol, sorbitol, Xylitol, mannitol, glucose, fructose, raffinose, melezitose, dextran, man- nose, sorbose, melibiose, sophrose, turanose, lactulose, stachyose. This group of carbohydrates has excellent amorphous glass matrix making abilities. Furthermore, the carbohydrates are well known and can be purchased at reasonable price and in well characterised grades.

The optional at least one non-crystallisation agent may preferentially also be a car- bohydrate, said carbohydrate being different from the binding agent. Likewise, the non-crystallisation agent may be a mono-, di-, or oligosaccharide, a corresponding sugar alcohol, or a derivative. It may be a natural or synthetic carbohydrate and ac- cording to an especially preferred embodiment the at least one non-crystallisation agent is selected from maltose, sucrose, lactose, cellobiose, trehalose, maltulose, iso-maltulose, maltitol, sorbitol, Xylitol, mannitol, glucose, fructose, raffinose, melezitose, dextran, mannose, sorbose, melibiose, sophrose, turanose, lactulose, stachyose.

Each combination of binding agent and non-crystallisation agent gives a unique amorphous glass matrix with a unique glass transition temperature, unique solubility, and unique strength. The composition has been found to perform excellently when the binding agent is selected from maltitol, sucrose, sorbitol, and mannitol and the non-crystallisation agent is selected from sorbitol, maltitol, and mannitol. These compounds are often used for pharmaceutical compositions, they all have the ad- vantage of being edible and without any side effects upon administration.

According to an especially preferred embodiment, the binding agent is maltitol and the non-crystallisation agent is sorbitol and/or hydrogenated oligosaccharides. By using these specific compounds to make up the binder, especially excellent results are obtained since the obtained amorphous glass matrix has an optimal glass tran- sition temperature and since the propensity to crystallise is very low. Furthermore, maltitol can be obtained in quantities and in a very suitable grade. Commercial mal- titol is made by enzymatically degrading starch whereby a mixture of glucose, mal- tose, maltotriose and higher saccharides are formed. These are hydrogenated to form their corresponding sugar alcohols sorbitol, maltitol and hydrogenated oligo- saccharides. Thus, the product contains primarily maltitol and sufficient amounts of the other sugar alcohols to prevent the crystallisation. Maltitol is tissue compatible, it is a well tested compound and has been used for years in the production of so- called sugarfree candies.

The binder comprising the at least one carbohydrate and the optional at least one non-crystallisation agent should not reduce the stability of the therapeutic agent.

This could for instance take place via chemical reactions between the therapeutic agent and the components of the binder, either during processing or during storage.

To avoid undesired reactions between aldehyde groups in reducing sugars and side chains of proteins, peptides, or polypeptides, the at least one carbohydrate and the at least one non-crystallisation agent are preferentially chosen from the group of non-reducing sugars.

When using a glassy binder the Tg of the binder in the final composition should preferably be at least 30°C. The Tg of the binder should be above ambient tem- perature, preferably 5 to 10°C above ambient temperature, or the composition will gradually melt during storage. Under certain special conditions, it may be necessary to select a binder having a higher Tg, e. g. for use in the tropics. With certain very heat labile therapeutic agents, it may be necessary to select a binder having a much lower Tg, so that the composition can be processed at e. g. 50°C. With such a low Tg, it may be necessary to store the compositions cold at 5°C and to inject them before the temperature rises above the Tg.

The invention is not limited by an upper Tg of the binder. Binders having a Tg from 40 to 120°C are preferred. Depending on the therapeutic agent, it is preferred that the Tg of the binder is less than 90°C, more preferably less than 80°C. A majority of therapeutic agent are heat labile and although many proteins or peptides can toler- ate exposure to elevated temperatures in a dry state a loss of activity may never- theless be encountered during processing. To reduce exposure of the therapeutic agent to elevated temperatures it is therefore preferable to select binders with a low Tg with due respect to the lower limits mentioned above.

When using a polymeric binder the melting temperature of the binder is preferably within the intervals mentioned above for Tg of the glassy binder.

According to a preferred embodiment, the viscosity of the composition is less than 50,000 Pa*s, preferably less than 40,000 Pa*s, more preferably from 1,000 to 30,000 Pa*s, in a sub-range of the temperature interval between 60 and 140°C. In this temperature interval the composition is in the state of a melt, which can be shaped. Generally, most glasses encompassed by the present invention have a suitable viscosity for bringing into the desired geometry at 20 to 30°C or even ap- proximately 40°C above Tg of the binder. The viscosity of the composition is very important during injection of the melt into the moulding compartment and further- more in the embodiments where the therapeutic agent is mixed with the melted binder.

As described above the composition may be provided with different dissolution rates according to the type of binder.

The melt consisting of the ingredients for the pharmaceutical composition may be prepared by mixing the at least one therapeutic agent homogeneously with a binder, obtaining melt matrix.

The exact order of the steps may be varied. The melt matrix constituting the binder may be produced in larger quantities and stored for later processing or disintegrated and stored, or processed immediately.

Different methods for producing the melt matrix may also be employed. The binder can be melted and quenched to make the amorphous glass matrix. The binder can be dissolved in a suitable solvent, preferentially in water, and the solvent removed by various methods such as boiling, vacuum boiling, freeze drying, spray drying, vacuum evaporation, air drying, or fluidised bed drying. Upon removal of the solvent, the binder will form matrix for further processing.

Similarly, the therapeutic agent may be added at different points of the process.

Preferentially it is added when the binder is in the state of a dry powder as men- tioned above, but it may also, where appropriate, be kneaded into the melted binder.

It may also be added to a solution of the binder and be dried or melted together with the binder. The choice of method will depend primarily on the glass forming tem- perature of the binder and the ability of the therapeutic agent to withstand elevated temperatures.

In a preferred embodiment, the therapeutic agent is dissolved in a solution and then mixed with a solution of the binder. The mixed solutions may then be dried, shaped, optionally preceded by a drying step.

According to one embodiment, the binder is brought into a solid amorphous glass matrix by dissolving in a solvent and drying, preferentially by freeze-drying. After preparing the amorphous glass matrix, the matrix can be processed into a powder by known methods.

According to an especially preferred embodiment, the binder and the at least one therapeutic agent are mixed homogeneously as powders. An advantage of this em- bodiment is that the therapeutic agent and the binder can be mixed in an essentially dry state where both ingredients are in the shape of a powder. Mixing under these conditions is performed very easily. Experiments have shown that it may be difficult to obtain a homogeneous mixture when the therapeutic agent is added to the binder in a molten condition and for instance kneaded into the binder at least when pro- duced in small amounts. An additional advantage of mixing in the dry state is that mixing can take place at ambient temperature whereby the activity of the therapeutic agent is conserved. When the composition has been mixed, it is melted and can

immediately be injection moulded whereby prolonged exposure of the therapeutic agent to elevated temperatures is avoided.

When referring herein to preferred dimensions of the pharmaceutical composition the diameter of a substantially circular rod is used as a measure for the cross sec- tion area. For the triangular or otherwise formed rods the cross section area is cor- related to the diameter of a corresponding circular rod. The diameter of the elon- gated pharmaceutical composition is preferably in the range of 0.2 to 1.0 mm, such as more preferred in the range of 0.3 to 0.7, even more preferred in the range of 0.4 to 0.6 mm. The diameter of the pharmaceutical composition is important with re- spect to the pain associated with the injection of the formulation, the smaller diame- ter the better. However, in order to obtain a sufficient amount of drug in the formula- tion to be injected, it is important that the diameter is not too small. By providing the pharmaceutical composition with this thickness, it has been determined that it can be injected essentially without pain. A further advantage is that less force is required to penetrate the skin as the diameter is reduced. By needles formed of the pharma- ceutical composition according to the invention, it has been found that even at these dimensions they still have the necessary strength to penetrate the cutis or mucosa upon injection. A further advantage of using small diameters is that the surface area to volume ratio is higher than for larger diameters. Thereby the pharmaceutical compositions are dissolved more rapidly and the drugs can enter the body fluids to exert their effect. However, a too small diameter will require a very long pharmaceu- tical composition in order to contain the predetermined amount of therapeutic agent.

A too small diameter would also reduce the compressive strength of the pharma- ceutical composition and maybe cause it to break upon injection.

In practice the length of the pharmaceutical composition is largely determined by the dose of the therapeutic agent, the amount of binder, and the selected diameter. The dose of many therapeutic proteins is approximately 1 mg. One mg of protein ex- cluding binder corresponds approximately to a cylinder with a diameter of 0.5 mm and a length of 3 mm. If such a pharmaceutical composition containing 1 mg of protein is made from 50 % therapeutic agent and 50 % binder, the pharmaceutical composition has a length of 6 mm. When the required dose is smaller, the dimen- sion of the pharmaceutical composition will be reduced accordingly. A dose of 1/3 mg protein in a pharmaceutical composition with 50 % binder having a diameter of

0.5 mm has an approximate length of 2 mm. The invention is not restricted to any specific volume, the volume being determined by the length and diameter of the pharmaceutical composition. In most cases, the volume of the pharmaceutical com- position is less than 5 ul, preferably less than 1 ul. Volumes down to 0.25 ul can obtained for small doses of therapeutic agent. Thus, the above-mentioned pharma- ceutical composition having a diameter of 0.5 mm and a length of 2 mm has a vol- ume of 0.39 ul.

Thus the length of the pharmaceutical composition normally is in the range of from 0.05 mm to 30 mm, such as from 0.1 mm to 20 mm, such as from 1.0 mm to 10 mm.

Although the pharmaceutical composition itself has a very small cross section, it has been shown that the pain associated with injection of the pharmaceutical composi- tion decreases when the pharmaceutical composition comprises a pointed end. As a consequence, the pharmaceutical composition is preferably moulded with a pointed end.

As a human skin model, porcine abdomen skin has been used in penetration tests.

Graphite rods with differently shaped pointed ends are pressed into porcine skin with a Lloyd Instrument LR5K, UK. The pressure force is measured in Newton as a function of the distance. The maximum force is used to compare the different rod shapes. No point (180°) on the rod is unsatisfactory and the rod may break before entering the skin. Using a graphite rod with a cone shaped point (90° top angle) is sufficient to penetrate the skin. However, a top angle of 60° significantly improves the penetration of the skin. Points with an angle below 20° are often very thin and thereby fragile.

Accordingly, the pointed end tapers preferably into an acute angle, wherein the an- gle is in the range between 10° to 110 °, preferably less than 90 °, more preferably less than 60 °. The pointed end may assume any configuration depending of the shape of the pharmaceutical composition itself, thus for a substantially circular pharmaceutical composition the pointed end may have the shape of a cone, whereas a pharmaceutical composition having a square cross section has a pyra- mid-formed pointed end. In a more preferred embodiment the top angle of the

pointed end should be between 20 and 110°, preferably below 90°, more preferably below 70°.

The pointed end may be located in any suitable relation to the longitudinal axis of the pharmaceutical composition, such as centered or eccentric.

The pharmaceutical composition may be defined by a cylindric part and a pointed- end part. In this case another way of defining the pointed end is the reduction of the diameter from the beginning of the pointed-end part, i. e. towards the cylindrical part of the formulation, to the most tapered end of the pointed end. It is preferred that the diameter is reduced by at least 30 %, such as at least 40 %. Independent of the re- duction it is preferred that the pointed end is rounded.

Any type of therapeutic agent can be incorporated into the pharmaceutical composi- tion and the invention is not limited to drugs with any specific function. Thus the therapeutic agent may be selected from analgesics, antianxiety drugs, antiarthritic drugs, antibiotic agents, anticholinergics, antidepressants, antidiabetics, antiemetics, antihistaminics, antihypertensive agents, antiinflammatory drugs, antimigraine agents, antiparkinsonism agents, antispasmodesics, antipsychotics, antithrombotic agents, antiviral agents, appetite suppressants, blood factors, cardiovascular drugs, cerebral vasodilators, chemotherapeutic drugs, cholinergic agonists, contraceptives, coronary agents, diuretics, growth factors, coagulation factors, hormonal agents, immunosuppressive agents, narcotic antagonists, opiods, peripheral asodilators, tranquilizers, vaccines, immunogenic agents, and immunising agents.

Similarly, the therapeutic agent may be any type of compound such as steroids, hormones, lipids, nucleic acids, nucleotides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides, organics, antibodies, peptide mimetics, peptides, polypeptides, polysaccharides, and proteins. In particular the therapeutic agent may be a peptide, a polypeptide or a protein. Actually, the pharmaceutical composition may also contain subcellular pharmaceutical compositions, cells, bacteria or vira as a therapeutic agent for im- munogenic purposes.

For some purposes it is important that the therapeutic agent is homogeneously dis- tributed throughout the pharmaceutical composition so that its release is initiated as soon as the pharmaceutical composition starts dissolving.

According to a preferred embodiment, the therapeutic agent is selected from hor- mones, antidiabetic drugs, growth factors, and blood factors. Preferably, the thera- peutic agent is a protein selected from the group insulin, glucagon, growth hormone, growth factors, blood factors such as FVII or FVIII, GLP-1, EPO, TPO, interferon or derivatives of these proteins. Such proteins can either be naturally occurring pro- teins or recombinant proteins.

The pharmaceutical composition may be produced from the therapeutic agent alone, it will however be appropriate to include a binder in the formulation. Any suitable binder may be used as discussed above.

Apart from the binder and the therapeutic agent, the pharmaceutical composition may comprise additives, which could be selected from but is not restricted to the group of preservatives, stabilisers, adjuvants, lubricants, and disintegraters. Some therapeutic agents may need to be preserved or stabilised through the use of a pre- servative or stabiliser, although this is likely to be necessary only in a few cases, owing to the almost anhydrous conditions in the pharmaceutical composition. In the cases where the therapeutic agent is for immunisation, it may be preferential to add an adjuvant to increase the immunogenic response. Lubricants such as fatty acids or their salts may be added to ensure that the pharmaceutical composition does not stick to the packaging and/or to provide lubrication as the pharmaceutical composi- tion penetrates the skin. Lubricants may be stearates, such as Mg-stearates, Zn- stearates or Ca-stearates. In cases where a rapid release of the therapeutic agent is desired and in cases where the therapeutic agent comprises a large proportion of the pharmaceutical composition it may be necessary to add disintegrators which will cause the pharmaceutical composition to disintegrate and thereby release the therapeutic agent rapidly.

Also the pharmaceutical composition may comprise stabilizers, such as alanine, histidine and glycine.

In addition, the therapeutic agent of the pharmaceutical composition according to the invention is long term stable even at ambient temperature and there is no need for special storage conditions such as refrigeration. Furthermore, the pharmaceutical composition is stable at ambient temperature both in terms of the compressive strength, the glassy nature of the binder and the geometry.

The pharmaceutical composition can preferably be used for patients requiring fre- quent medication such as diabetics. By frequent is meant that the therapeutic agent must be injected parenterally at least once a day. Such patients always need to carry with them a quantity of therapeutic agent for injection. The convenience of administration as well as the convenience of storage of the pharmaceutical compo- sitions according to the present invention makes it especially useful for this group of patients.

Another preferred use of the pharmaceutical composition is for immunisation. Im- munisation of children is often carried out in the clinics of general practitioners that will appreciate the less rigid storage requirements of the pharmaceutical composi- tions according to the inventions. The same cartridge containing several pharma- ceutical compositions can be used for different children, since there is no risk for cross contamination. The only object that penetrates the skin of the patient is the pharmaceutical composition itself. The injection will not cause the injection device or the cartridge housing the pharmaceutical compositions to be contaminated. Addi- tionally, children who often suffer from pre-injection fear will appreciate the almost painless injection that can be carried out.

Another large group of patients requiring immunisation is in the tropics and during epidemics where large groups of individuals need immunisation at essentially the same time. Using the pharmaceutical compositions according to the present inven- tion for mass immunisations is much more rapid and much safer than using conven- tional injection of aqueous solutions or suspensions of the immunoactive agent.

Mass medication is also frequently used in animal and fish farming. In these cases it will also be of great advantage to use the pharmaceutical compositions according to the present invention for reasons of speed and reduction of cross contamination.

The pharmaceutical composition may be injected for localisation in dermis or further into subcutis or maybe even to more profound layers.

The invention further relates to a cassette comprising a packaging material as de- fined above and furthermore comprising ejecting means for ejecting the pharmaceu- tical composition from the cavity.

Any suitable ejecting means may be provided. In one embodiment the ejecting means is a spring-loaded hammer means. The ejecting means is suitable arranged to exert an ejecting pressure on a pin arranged in one end of the cavity adjacent the pharmaceutical composition.

Cassettes comprising more units can be shaped as beams, cylinders or bands which can be mounted in an insertion position in which a hammer can be released to hit the pin of the unit in question to move the pharmaceutical composition out of the packaging material into the skin, so that the pin functions as an anvil.

The pharmaceutical packaging material may be used in a method of administering a dosage of therapeutic agent comprised in a pharmaceutical composition to a patient in need thereof from a cassette as defined above, comprising arranging the cassette adjacent the skin of the patient, activating an ejecting means, injecting the pharmaceutical composition comprising the therapeutic agent.

By this administration form the pharmaceutical composition is administrated in a simple, substantially painless and sterile manner without the use of any canulas.

In another embodiment the cassette is provided with a cannula whereby the cannula penetrates the skin or mucosa and the pharmaceutical composition is pressed into the dermis or subcutis of the patient through the canula.

Claims : 1. A method of producing a pharmaceutical composition in a packaging material comprising the steps of establishing a mould, moulding, in said mould, the packaging material from a melt, whereby the pack- aging material is provided with at least one cavity, said cavity having at least one side wall and optionally a bottom wall, moulding in a moulding compartment the pharmaceutical composition from a pharmaceutical melt consisting of the ingredients of the pharmaceutical compo- sition having a predetermined temperature, wherein said moulding compartment having a predetermined form being defined by at least a part of said at least one cavity, cooling the pharmaceutical composition, obtaining in the packaging material comprising the pharmaceutical composition having a predetermined form.

2. The method according to claim 1, wherein the cavity is an elongated cavity.

3. The method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the cavity side wall is defined by the packaging material.

4. The method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the moulding compartment is further defined by an insertion means arranged in an open end of the cavity.

5. The method according to claim 4, wherein the insertion means is provided with an injection head for injecting the pharmaceutical composition melt into the moulding compartment.

6. The method according to any of the preceding claims 2-5, wherein the prede- termined form of the pharmaceutical composition is an elongated form.

7. The method according to claim 6, wherein one end of the elongated pharmaceu- tical composition is plane.

8. The method according to claim 6 or 7, wherein one end of the elongated phar- maceutical composition is moulded with a tip.

9. The method according to claim 8, wherein the tip is defined by a tip mould insert arranged in an open end of the cavity.

10. The method according to claim 8, wherein the tip mould insert is arranged in the end of the cavity opposite the insertion means comprising the injection head.

11. The method according to claim 8, wherein the cavity is provided with a bottom wall and the tip is defined by the bottom wall.

12. The method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the packaging material is moulded from a polymer melt.

13. The method according to claim 12, wherein the moulded packaging material is an amorphous polymer material.

14. The method according to claim 13, wherein the amorphous polymer material is a cyclic olefin copolymer.

15. The method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the glass transi- tion temperature (Tg) of the packaging material is above 100 °C.

16. The method according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising a cooling step comprising cooling the moulded packaging material before mould- ing the pharmaceutical composition.

17. The method according to claim 16, comprising cooling the moulded packaging material to a temperature substantially identical to the predetermined tempera- ture of the pharmaceutical composition melt.

18. The method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the moulded packaging material contracts at most 5 % after the step of moulding the pharma- ceutical composition.

19. The method according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the packaging material is comprising at least 5 cavities arranged in parallel, said cavities being substantially identical.

20. The method according to claim 19, wherein the pharmaceutical compositions of each cavity are moulded simultaneously.

21. The method according to any of the preceding claims 1-18, wherein the pack- aging material is comprising one cavity.

22. The method according to claim 21, further comprising a step of assembling two or more packaging materials through a hinging means.

23. The method according to any of the preceding claims, further comprising moulding a pin being dimensioned to fit into the open end of the cavity after re- tracting an insertion means.

24. The method according to claim 23, wherein the pin is moulded with the packag- ing material.

25. A moulded packaging material comprising -at least one cavity, said cavity having at least one side wall and optionally a bottom wall, and a pharmaceutical composition being moulded in at least a part of said at least one cavity from a melt consisting of the ingredients of the phar- maceutical composition, whereby the pharmaceutical composition is in contact

with the cavity side wall in an area being more than half of the surface area of the pharmaceutical composition.

26. The packaging material according to claim 25, wherein the cavity is an elon- gated cavity.

27. The packaging material according to claim 25 or 26, wherein the cavity side wall is defined by the packaging material.

28. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-27, wherein the pharmaceutical composition is having an elongated form.

29. The packaging material according to claim 28, wherein one end of the elongated pharmaceutical composition is plane.

30. The packaging material according to claim 28 or 29, wherein one end of the elongated pharmaceutical composition is provided with a tip.

31. The packaging material according to claim 30, wherein the top angle of the tip is in the range of 10 °C-110 °C.

32. The packaging material according to any of claims 25-31, wherein the cavity is provided with a membrane providing a diffussion tight sealing of one end of the cavity.

33. The packaging material according to claim 32, wherein the sealing is moulded from packaging material melt.

34. The packaging material according to claim 33, wherein the sealing is shaped to correspond to the tip of the pharmaceutical composition.

35. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-34, further comprising a pin being dimensioned to fit into the open end of the cavity.

36. The packaging material according to claim 35, wherein the pin is moulded with the packaging material.

37. The packaging material according to claim 35 or 36, wherein the pin is providing a diffusion tight sealing of the cavity.

38. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-37, wherein the packaging material is moulded from a polymer melt.

39. The packaging material according to claim 38, wherein the moulded packaging material is an amorphous polymer material.

40. The packaging material according to claim 39, wherein the amorphous polymer material is a cyclic olefin copolymer.

41. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-40, wherein the glass transition temperature (Tg) of the packaging material is above 100 °C.

42. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-41, wherein the moulded packaging material contracts at most 5 % after moulding the phar- maceutical composition therein.

43. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the packaging material is comprising at least 5 cavities arranged in parallel, said cavities being substantially identical.

44. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claim 25-43, com- prising at least 5 cavities each being provided with a pharmaceutical composi- tion.

45. The packaging material according to claim 44, wherein the packaging material comprises a number of cavities being hinged together forming a cartridge band comprising several cavities.

46. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-45, wherein the pharmaceutical composition is comprising a therapeutic agent selected from the group consisting of analgesics, antianxiety drugs, antiarthiritic drugs, antibi- otic agents, anticholinergics, antidepressants, antidiabetics, antiemetics, anti- histaminics, antihypertensive agents, antiinflammatory drugs, antimigraine agents, antiparkinsonism agents, antispasmodesics, antipsychotics, antithrom- botic agents, antiviral agents, appetite suppressants, blood factors, cardiovas- cular drugs, cerebral vasodilators, chemotherapeutic drugs, cholinergic agonists, contraceptives, coronary agents, diuretics, hormonal agents, immunosuppres- sive agents, growth factors, narcotic antagonists, opiods, peripheral asodilators, tranquilizers, vaccines, immunogenic agents, and immunising agents.

47. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-45, wherein the therapeutic agent is selected from hormones, lipids, nucleic acids, nucleo- tides, oligonucleotides, oligosaccharides, organics, peptide mimetics, antibodies, peptides, polysaccharides, and proteins.

48. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 25-45, wherein the therapeutic agent is selected from proteins, peptides, and polypeptides, said protein, peptide, or polypeptide being amorphous or crystalline.

49. The packaging material according to any of the preceding claims 46-48, wherein the therapeutic agent is selected from hormones, antidiabetic drugs, growth factors, and blood factors, preferably being a protein selected from insulin, glu- cagon, growth hormone, blood factor such as FVII and FVIII, GLP-1, EPO, TPO, interferon or derivatives of these proteins.

50. A cassette comprising a packaging material as defined in any of the claims 25- 49 and furthermore comprising ejecting means for ejecting the pharmaceutical composition from the cavity.

51. The cassette according to claim 50, wherein the ejecting means is a spring- loaded hammer means.

52. The cassette according to claim 50 or 51, wherein the ejecting means is ar- ranged to exert an ejecting pressure on a pin arranged in one end of the cavity adjacent the pharmaceutical composition.

53. A method of administering a dosage of therapeutic agent comprised in a phar- maceutical composition to a patient in need thereof from a cassette as defined in any of claims 50-52, comprising -arranging the cassette adjacent the skin of the patient, -activating an ejecting means, -injecting the pharmaceutical composition comprising the therapeutic agent.