Source: Ineos Barex.
Barex in nicotine replacement therapy productsIn addition to preserving oxygen sensitive implants made from UHMWPE, Barex is used for nicotine therapy product packaging.
Ineos Barex, the division of Ineos responsible for the manufacture of Barex copolymer resin for barrier films, has signed a binding agreement to acquire the polyacrylonitriles (PAN) business of Japanese chemical manufacturer Mitsui Chemicals. Ineos is the world's fifth largest chemical company, according to Wikipedia, and is registered in the UK with headquarters in Switzerland. Barex is manufactured by Ineos Barex in Ohio, USA.
According to Ineos Barex, the agreement brings together complementary capabilities and synergies of both businesses and secures the long term supply of polyacrylonitrile resin and Zexlon film to Mitsui customers across Asia. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Polyacrylonitrile resins are inert products manufactured by Mitsui Chemicals under license at its Nagoya works. Film and sheet applications include pharmaceutical and medical packaging to in the Asia Pacific region.
Ineos is the leading supplier of polyacrylonitrile copolymers, sold under the Barex trademark, primarily in the European and North American markets. Ineos Barex says the company is committed to the long-term growth of its Barex business and continues to invest in its plant, personnel and products, securing future business growth. Ineos Barex products are substitutes for Mitsui PAN resin Zexlon film products.
On completion of the deal, Ineos will immediately take over responsibility for sales and marketing to all Mitsui PAN resin and Zexlon film customers and will work closely with them to obtain necessary approvals and make the transition to Ineos Barex products. Mitsui production will be continued for sufficient time for approvals to transition to Ineos Barex products. The deal comprising the sales, marketing, and supply of PAN resin and Zexlon film is expected to be completed on August 1, 2013.
CEO David Schmidt says: “The transfer of this business to Ineos Barex provides a very close strategic fit. The proposed agreement is good news for all parties involved. Most importantly it will provide significant benefit to customers through ongoing, reliable access to Barex, PAN resin and Zexlon film”.
Ineos Barex continues to invest in its Barex business to enhance product quality and expand available capacity to meet the growing needs of new markets in pharmaceutical, medical, cosmetic, and personal care packaging.
Barex is a specialised acrylonitrile-methyl acrylate co-polymer that has both US Pharmacopoeia and FDA clearances for medical and pharmaceutical packaging. The chemistry behind Barex makes it readily convertible into film, sheet and bottles on standard equipment using extrusion, injection and calendaring techniques.
Barex resins provide chemical resistance essential for packaging aggressive active ingredients that need to stay inside the packaging while also providing excellent oxygen barrier properties.
Ineos Barex AG is a part of Ineos AG.
In September 2012 Medical Plastics News published the following piece on Barex.
Barex Copolymer Helps UHMWPE Vitamin E Implants Stay Fresh
Barex acrylonitrile-methyl acrylate copolymer (AMAB) from Swiss headquartered petrochemicals company Ineos is an advanced packaging material for injection and blow moulding, extrusion and calendering. The material, available from European distributor Velox, offers high barrier properties to gases such as oxygen and nitrogen, as well as chemical resistance and inertness. At the same time, the material is sterilisable using gamma radiation as well as ethylene oxide. The material is used commonly for sealing large catheter trays as well as drug elution products including nicotine therapy patches.
The material has been shown to be especially effective in the packaging of orthopaedic implants made of cross-linked ultra high molecular weight (UHMWPE) polyethylene by providing a barrier layer between the implant and oxygen in the atmosphere.
According to Elena Maria Brach del Prever et al in the scientific journal J Orthop Traumatol, UHMWPE degrades when in contact with oxygen. Degradation results in an increased rate of wear of the implant’s surface while decreasing its mechanical strength. Wear-induced UHMWPE debris may cause a degeneration of the bone tissue all around the implant (osteolysis) when in vivo and lead to the implant’s removal. Using Barex or another suitably powerful oxygen barrier reduces the implant’s oxygen exposure to a minimum while the device is packaged.
The oxidative degradation of UHMWPE starts during the gamma or e-beam irradiation process. The process results in free radicals, enabling oxygen to sink into the UHMWPE polymer chain. Once the oxidation has been initiated, it cannot be interrupted. The reaction continues inside the packaging and increases due to the extra oxygen constantly entering through blister walls.
A recent trend is for manufacturers to incorporate vitamin E into crosslinked UHMWPE implants to get a better resistance to oxidative degradation. It should be noted that while the use of vitamin E does reduce the rate of oxygen degradation, it does not completely suppress it so oxygen barrier packaging is still required.
According to Velox, the copolymer is very easy to thermoform and is self-sealable with heat.