Proof of concept to clinical trials

Design Central worked with P&C Pharma to deliver proof of concept, alpha and beta prototypes of a table-top, wet milling device and disposable plastic container to secure project funding and ultimately clinical trial approvals of the QuartetRX™ Compounding System. The patented system converts prescription medication hard dose capsules into high-quality, custom liquid medications as a solution for patients that have difficulty swallowing drugs in pill form. The enclosed design enhances safety and efficiency and requires no cleaning of traditional compounding or crushing tools. The compounded liquid medications prepared with QuartetRX have superior palatability and enhanced physical stability, resulting in better dose uniformity and better patient care.

  • Patients' and Consumers' Pharma
  • Healthcare
  • Engineering
  • Prototyping

Special features of QuartetRX are:

  • Medication reduced to 50-micron particle size
  • Eliminates cross-contamination by using one bottle for compounding, dispensing and administration
  • No transfer loss of medication
  • Increased efficiency of pharmacy & staff

Proof of concept

P&C Pharma came to Design Central with a patent and a viable concept however; they needed to make the concept real. Design Central developed proof-of-concept prototypes including low-end, functional mock-ups and mechanism breadboard models to demonstrate the patented concept.  To achieve better compounding results we modified the original proof-of-concept to increase RPM and define life-cycle specifications.

Alpha model

P&C Pharma had a limited budget for initial development and needed tools to demonstrate the concept to potential customers and investors. Design Central developed two fully functional lifecycle prototypes to validate that the device would satisfy customer expectations of high quality and long run times. We developed 3D databases, fabricated parts and sourced components and assembled two functional units. We tested the performance of the machines using medications specified by P&C Pharma who then used the units for customer and fundraising demonstrations.

Beta models

Once P&C had raised the next round of funding they had a need for multiple clinical trial units. Design Central developed Beta level mechanical and electrical engineering then fabricated and assembled ten fully-functional appearance models that enabled P&C Pharma to demonstrate the viability of the concept with long-term tests in hospital pharmacies. Design Central also developed the design details and CAD for the bottle, including research and implementation of the ultrasonic assembly. Today, the QuartetRX is the industry’s first automated oral liquid compounding device available to pharmacists.