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August 23, 2022

Zerion Pharma and Hovione extend partnership to cover use of the Dispersome® technology platform in nutraceuticals

Many dietary supplements suffer from low solubility. This results in poor bioavailability and consequently limits the physiological effect of the supplement. To overcome these limitations, the two companies will collaborate and apply the solubility enhancing Dispersome® technology for the development and commercialization of certain nutraceutical products. 

The first product candidate selected for joint development is an antioxidant with multiple health benefits and known for its extremely low solubility and bioavailability. By applying the Dispersome® technology, ZERION has been able to demonstrate significant solubility improvements of this antioxidant. Under their collaboration, Hovione and ZERION will now upscale and develop commercial formulations of the antioxidant using the Dispersome® platform and make these products available for distribution by partners globally. Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, the two companies will share income from the commercialization of these products according to their respective contributions. 

In addition to the joint development projects, ZERION has granted Hovione an exclusive license to exploit the Dispersome® technology for other nutraceuticals/dietary supplements. In return, Hovione will pay ZERION license fees and royalties on sales of the licensed products. 

“I am extremely pleased with this extension of our collaboration”, says Ole Wiborg, CEO of ZERION, and continues: “The Dispersome® technology is actually very well suited for use in dietary supplements because it employs beta-lactoglobulin – or BLG - as its solubility enabling component. BLG is a sustainable natural material and in itself a beneficial nutritional product that we source in high quality from Arla Food Ingredients. Since we as a company only have limited resources to exploit these promising applications of the Dispersome® technology in the nutraceutical field, the collaboration with HOVIONE is a win/win situation.”
“The low oral bioavailability of some of the health-promoting nutraceutical compounds is a well-known challenge. The problem is compounded by the fact that some of the solutions used in pharma cannot be used in foods.” says Jean-Luc Herbeaux, CEO of Hovione. He adds: “Hovione is thrilled to be Zerion´s exclusive partner for the application of Dispersome® to the fields of nutraceuticals and diet supplements. The Dispersome® platform and its enabling ingredient – beta-lactoglobulin or BLG – afford formulators new options which address unmet needs of the industry.”  

In February 2022, ZERION and Hovione announced a strategic partnership aimed at commercializing the Dispersome® technology within the drug development field. Under this partnership, Hovione and ZERION are offering pharma and biotech companies worldwide access to an innovative drug delivery platform combined with an unparalleled experience in formulation development, scale up, and GMP manufacturing. This unique combination provides customers in the pharma industry with a line of sight over the entire drug development life cycle from the preclinical phase to commercial drug product.

The Dispersome® technology

ZERION has pioneered the Dispersome® technology that addresses poor drug solubility, one of the most recognized drug development challenges. Here, the API (Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient) is formulated with novel protein-derived excipients, into amorphous solid dispersions (ASDs) by Spray Drying. These protein-derived excipients aim to replace traditionally used polymers, achieving a higher increase in solubility and drug bioavailability.

High solubility - High drug load

The use of Dispersome® technology has shown to enable drug loadings at even above 50% w/w while maintaining stability and improving API solubility. These results have been demonstrated and proven with a wide diversity of drug entities. 

BLG, an alternative to polymer excipients

Beta-Lactoglobulin (BLG), the main component in whey protein isolate (WPI), is the key excipient used in the Dispersome® technology. BLG is a natural and biodegradable ingredient used in food and nutrition products, offering a safe and easy to integrate alternative to be used in existing applications. 

About Zerion Pharma A/S

ZERION develops proprietary drug formulations and offers the Dispersome® technology to established pharma companies as a means to solve their most challenging drug solubility problems. By applying the Dispersome® technology, the solubility of poorly soluble, oral drugs is greatly enhanced, which improves their bioavailability and therapeutic outcomes for the patients. 

ZERION was established in 2019 as a spinout from the University of Copenhagen based on almost a decade of research. (Dispersome® is a trademark of Zerion Pharma A/S)

About Hovione

Hovione is an international company with over 60 years of experience as a Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization (CDMO) with a fully integrated offering of services for drug substance, drug product intermediate and drug product. The company has four FDA inspected sites in the USA, Portugal, Ireland and China and development laboratories in Lisbon, Portugal and New Jersey, USA. Hovione provides pharmaceutical customers services for the development and compliant manufacture of innovative drugs, including highly potent compounds, and customized product solution across the entire drug life cycle. In the inhalation area, Hovione offers a complete range of services, from API, formulation development and devices. Hovione´s culture is based on innovation, quality and delivery. Hovione was the first Chemical/ Pharmaceutical Company to become a Certified B Corp, is a member of Rx-360, EFCG and participates actively in industry quality improvement initiatives to lead new global industry standards.


For more information, please visit or or contact: 

Ole Wiborg, CEO / Mobile: +45 40 96 80 18 / E-mail:

Vanessa Romeu, Communications Director / Mobile: +35191912428230 / E-mail: