HPU Parent Donates Technology Equipment to the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy

Jan 23rd, 2023

HPU Parent Donates Technology Equipment to the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy

High Point University’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy has received a generous donation from HPU parent Adam Covitt and his business, Federal Equipment Company.

HIGH POINT, N.C., Jan. 23, 2023 – High Point University’s Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy has received a generous donation from HPU parent Adam Covitt and his business, Federal Equipment Company. The gift provides state-of-the-art equipment to the school’s Doctor of Pharmacy program.

Covitt donated 14 different pieces of pharmaceutical manufacturing and testing equipment to the school over the span of two years. The equipment, which faculty and students have been using in class and for research purposes, is used to make and analyze solid dosage forms, like tablets, powders and capsules, as part of research and teaching.

“This process equipment will give students a leg up in getting jobs and understanding different aspects of the pharmaceutical industry,” says Covitt. “Now, the professors have this additional equipment to train their students, allowing them an entry into a variety of manufacturing, business development, supply chain and marketing positions in the pharmaceutical industry.”

“This is an amazing opportunity to have hands-on experience with the equipment that is introducing us to new aspects of pharmacy,” says Nate Little, a second-year pharmacy student from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. “With this new equipment, we are working in the lab on formulations of new drugs and changing forms from a liquid to a gel to package new drugs. I have found that this is something I will enjoy doing in my future career, and now I can have the exposure in this practice before I start working.”

Dr. Bradley Clark, associate professor of basic pharmaceutical sciences, says this donation is unique to pharmacy schools’ curriculum and will help students gain hands-on learning to prepare for a career in pharmacy.

“This will also allow faculty here at the school to incorporate the science and technology of manufacturing into our instruction of PharmD candidates, allowing them the experiential learning of experimental design, manufacture of dosage forms and navigation within the regulatory framework of pharmaceutical product development,” says Clark.

More on the manufacturing equipment:

  • Centrifugal sieve: Students will use this to prepare powder blends to compress into tablets. This machine ensures consistent particle size of the powders.
  • Powder blender: Mixes powders intimately to provide product content uniformity.
  • High-shear granulator: Where the granulation takes place by mixing water with powders to provide larger granules. This helps with a better powder flow and improved content uniformity with the tablets.
  • Fluid bed dryer: Dries wet granulation by blowing hot dry air up through the powder bed.
  • Tablet press: Compresses the powder mixtures and granulations into pharmaceutical tablet dosage forms.
  • Tablet film coater: This applies a film coat to compressed tablets to either protect or provide elegance to tablet dosage forms.
  • Lab scale freeze dryer: Freeze dries, lyophilizes, the solutions of drugs and sugars, removing water to render the drug completely dry without heat.
  • High performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC’s): Covitt donated three HPLC machines in the labs that are used to evaluate content of drug in the tablet solution.
  • Balances and scales: Used to weigh smaller to larger amounts of drug and ingredients in preparing tablets and capsules.
  • RotoVap: Chemical solution dryer that removes solvent by heat and vacuum to isolate drug crystals.
  • Miscellaneous test equipment: Students will use these pieces of equipment to evaluate the quality of the products they’ve made. They include a Carver hydraulic press, tablet friabilator, tablet disintegration tester and tablet dissolution apparatus.

Dr. Jwala Renukuntla, associate professor of basic pharmaceutical sciences, says having access to advanced pharmacy equipment like this will give students an advantage in their future. At HPU, pharmacy students are introduced to this equipment early in their academic careers to give them the experiential learning needed after college.

“Here at HPU, we are emphasizing early exposure to both the basic sciences and applied clinical sciences,” says Renukuntla. “Our students having hands-on experience with this new tableting technology is very unique, which is not seen in every pharmacy school. Getting exposed to this technology in school will be very helpful for our students who plan to pursue a career in the industry.”

Students who have access to utilizing the equipment say it is beneficial to their future career path, and it’s unique to their journey in the health care industry.

“Using this equipment has helped me realize where my passion lies with my future in pharmacy,” says Annie LaVallee, a second-year pharmacy student from Hamlin, Pennsylvania. “I want to pursue veterinary compounding after I graduate. I’ve seen the process of compounded medicine for pets being made, and it’s fascinating. To know I could make something like this and help out a pet owner is amazing.”

This donation will also encourage independent research for faculty to conduct on dosage form design and development.

More on Adam Covitt

Covitt, president of Federal Equipment Company, has more than 25 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and chemical process and packaging industry, with a focus on investment recovery and the purchase and sale of high-end equipment to major pharmaceutical sites and contract manufacturers with a global footprint.

“HPU has this new, beautiful school of pharmacy, and its students are really located in a hub for pharmaceutical manufacturing,” he added. “I sell machinery for these industries, and it’s my job to help train my clients for the future. HPU is now one of the few schools in the country with this capability. HPU has an incredible team including Drs. Brad Clark, Jwala Renukuntla and Robert Coover, with great industry experience.”

He and his wife Kelly are the proud parents of HPU student, Drew, who is expected to graduate in 2024. Covitt earned a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio.

HPU’s School of Pharmacy, the only pharmacy school in the Triad, welcomed its first class in 2016. Find out more information on the programs offered in the school by clicking here.