Areas of Interest

Improved Pharma is a research and information company dedicated to improving pharmaceutical methods, formulations, and processes.  With a wide range of Synchrotron-based X-ray services available due to our agreements with Argonne National Laboratory and our experience in working there, we can provide critical research studies and information related to:

  • Analytical methods using the most sensitive and precise X-ray methods available
  • Sameness Studies of amorphous samples from spray drying and melt extrusion
  • Structure analysis of solvates, hydrates, polymorphs, and liquid crystals produced in polymorph screening including crystal structure from powder diffraction
  • Analytical Characterization for solids, in general
  • Improved formulations of existing products
  • Determination of detection limit and amounts of crystalline material in an amorphous formulation
  • Formulation of Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors and other poorly soluble compounds
  • Determination of maximum solubility of an amorphous form of a new
    drug under development using novel approaches such as amorphous complexes.
  • Assessment of the risk of a formulation (typically phase 2 or 3) undergoing crystallization or phase transformation or other unwanted changes at any time including manufacturing scale-up
  • Problem solving involving formulations failing dissolution or bioavailability or other specifications
  • Intellectual property management
  • Regulatory information
  • Short courses and webinars

Synchrotron methods are now ready for consistent application in the pharmaceutical industry

Improved Pharma recognizes the advantages of greatly improved information from Synchrotron studies augmented by other information including NMR, Raman, and dissolution studies.  We believe that this combination of information will provide unique advantages over standard structure, formulation, and design information.  Further, because of the major improvements in information available from a Synchrotron, we do not view standard formulation and analytical providers as competitors but rather collaborators.  Paired with traditional solid-state analytical techniques, Synchrotron data enhances the information about drugs and drug formulations to provide a deeper level of understanding that leads to better decisions, faster approvals, and stronger patent protection.

Improved Pharma Offers the Best X-ray Methods Available

For the last 5 years, Improved Pharma has carried out a number of proprietary studies at Argonne National Laboratory, and especially beamlines 6-ID-D and 11-BM.  Beamline 11-BM is optimized for powder diffraction analysis of crystals and formulations containing crystalline materials and beamline 6-ID-D is optimized for total scattering analysis of amorphous materials and formulations.  Both of these beamlines are among the best two or three beamlines in the world for their particular analysis.  Improved Pharma has the required arrangements with the US Department of Energy to use these facilities for proprietary measurements.  Further, Improved Pharma has gained valuable experience analyzing and interpreting the results from these beamlines.  Improved Pharma also has the proper agreements to carry out proprietary studies at the Industrial Pharmacy Services Laboratory and at charge-back X-ray diffraction, NMR, and porcine pharmacology centers at Purdue University.  The COO of Improved Pharma, Pam Smith, is responsible for all studies and has access to consultants and technicians needed to carry out all of the studies in a highly accurate, professional manner.

Meet Our Team

Improved Pharma is a research and information company dedicated to improving pharmaceutical methods, formulations, and processes.

Stephen R. Byrn
Stephen R. ByrnCSO
Stephen R. Byrn, Ph. D. is Charles B. Jordan Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the Department of Industrial and Physical Pharmacy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. Dr. Byrn set in motion the development of the field of Solid State Chemistry of Drugs with his books, short courses, and papers on the subject the first of which were first published in the mid-1970’s. He has also educated over 50 Ph. D. students and postdoctoral fellows and taught a wide range of courses at Purdue. Dr. Byrn has had numerous grants including one of the first 13 NIH Centers for AIDS Research. Dr. Byrn is cofounder of Purdue’s graduate programs in regulatory and quality compliance. These programs now constitute the Biotechnology Innovation and Regulatory Science (BIRS) MS program. He is also cofounder of the Purdue-Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy Sustainable Medicines in Africa project in Moshi, Tanzania. Dr. Byrn has served as chair of the Pharmaceutical Sciences Advisory Committee to the FDA and chaired several USP committees. Dr. Byrn is also cofounder of SSCI, Inc. (Solid State Chemical Information) a cGMP research and information company. SSCI, Inc. is now owned by AMRI. Dr. Byrn has taught a range of courses and short courses involving Medicinal Chemistry, Industrial Pharmacy, Physical Pharmacy, and Solid State Chemistry. Dr. Byrn is an elected Fellow of the AAPS and has received several awards for his research and entrepreneurial activities including the AAPS David Grant Award for Research Achievement and the AAPS Wurster award in pharmaceutics and formulation. Dr. Byrn also received the Purdue University Morrill Award.
Pamela (Martoglio) Smith
Pamela (Martoglio) SmithCOO
Dr. Pamela A. (Martoglio) Smith has joined Improved Pharma as COO. Dr. Smith was most recently Vice President of Analytical Services for AMRI, where she was responsible for 300 employees at four global sites. One of those sites included SSCI, the cGMP contract research organization founded by Dr. Steve Byrn and Sally Byrn. She has a long history with SSCI, having joined it in 1999 as a Research Scientist specializing in vibrational spectroscopy and solid state method development. When SSCI was acquired by Aptuit in 2006, she assumed P&L responsibility for the analytical division of SSCI. In 2009, Dr. Smith was asked to become a Lean Six Sigma black belt and she generated over $2M in benefits during her tenure in this role. Eventually, she assumed the role of General Manager for SSCI, where she led the site to record performances for multiple years, culminating in the successful sale of SSCI to AMRI for $36M. Upon joining Improved Pharma, Dr. Smith states “I’m very pleased to have the opportunity to work once again with the Byrns. Steve is a highly respected leader in his field, and I am confident that Improved Pharma will be another successful endeavor. I’m looking forward to growing the company as we expand upon our offerings with cutting-edge developments in the pharmaceutical development space, and I look forward to working with our clients to help them succeed in their projects.”
Sally Byrn
Sally ByrnCEO
Sarah (Sally) R. Byrn co-founded SSCI, a company dedicated to providing high quality solid state chemical information, in 1991 with her husband, Stephen R. Byrn. She served as CEO, and under her leadership, the company grew from 1 to 100 employees, acquired a 45,000 sq ft building in the Purdue Research Park, and earned the Growth 100 Award each year from 1999 to 2003. SSCI also received Inc 500 Awards in 2001 and 2002 as one of the 500 fastest growing privately held companies in the United States. SSCI was acquired in 2006 by Aptuit, and Sally became the Vice President of Physical and Analytical Chemistry for Aptuit. She oversaw operations with 700 employees in Kansas City, 300 employees in Edinburgh Scotland, and SSCI. Sally’s driving passion which led to the success of her businesses was a focus on quality and employee satisfaction.
In 2010, she became CEO of Family Services, a non-profit organization in Lafayette. Sally served on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and chaired the Entrepreneurship Committee which managed the 21 Fund. She also served on the Board of Directors for Family Services Inc., Wabash Center, and Greater Lafayette Commerce. She was awarded the iWoman Visionary Award in the Trailblazer category in Oct 2003, and The Salute to Women by the YWCA in 2011.

Our Work in Africa

Improved Pharma believes strongly in servant leadership with a focus on identifying and meeting the needs of others. Authentic servant leadership consists of purpose, values, heart, relationships, and self-discipline. Whether working with a client, helping a colleague, or volunteering for a cause, we listen, strive to understand what is needed, and then work hard to get that to them.

Improving global health is a key passion of ours, and we use our talents in high-quality pharmaceutical research and development to assist in the Sustainable Medicines in Africa program. This program is the result of a collaboration between Purdue University and the Kilimanjaro School of Pharmacy in Moshi, Tanzania. We volunteer our time and expertise to develop laboratory experiments and lectures for use in the course. We also travel to Africa to provide hands-on teaching. Being present in Africa is essential for many reasons. Firstly, only by visiting someone in their environment can you better understand their needs, challenges, and resources. Secondly, many of the students do not have the resources to travel to the US for instruction. And thirdly, working side by side with these developing scientists and regulators establishes strong relationships that carry into the future. Working together, we can contribute to the over-arching goal of eliminating the medical disparity between developed countries and the developing world.

If you are interested in becoming involved in this endeavor, please contact us at

“Solid state chemistry is the underpinning of many of the most exciting advancements in drug development and quality in the past two decades. By utilizing synchrotron technology many new advances are possible, as we move into a new golden age of pharmaceuticals and attack many of the most difficult and troublesome diseases. By attacking these diseases, we have a chance to improve longevity and quality of life on a global scale”

Steve Byrn CSO, Improved Pharma


“Using the highest energy, brightest sources available”


“Solving solubility problems using the best methods available”

Analytical Testing Services

 “Testing, understanding, monitoring, and controlling drug development”

Problem Solving

“Working together to improve and protect your intellectual property”

Solving Pharmaceutical Problems

We are a research and information company dedicated to improving pharmaceutical methods, formulations, and processes.

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