Pharmaceutical Technology took a step into the future with our first Vidcast series from the annual meeting and exposition of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) in Atlanta this week. In doing so, I had the opportunity to discuss the future of drug delivery and formulation with leading experts.
Dr. Lee Jia, project officer of the Developmental Therapeutics Program for the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health, spoke on the potential of nanotechnology in drug delivery. He explained that there are roughly 28 commerical nanodrugs that use liposomal and polymeric systems for drug delivery. Advances such as nanoparticles and dendrimers are prevalent for drugs under clinical and preclinical development, which allow for more targeted drug delivery, making these types of nanosystems an attractive option for cancer therapeutics.
Dr. Al Brzeczko, vice-president of global pharmaceutical research and development and pharmaceutical technologies at ISP Pharma Systems, discussed both an immediate and near-term problem for formulation scientists: how to improve the solubility of poorly water soluble drugs. Roughly 40% of currently marketed drugs and 60% of drugs under development may be characterized as poorly water-soluble. Developing a solid dispersion in a polymeric matrix is one approach to resolve this problem. Melt-congeal technologies and solvent evaporation for making spray-dried solid dispersions are examples of manufacturing modes that can be used for solid dispersions.
And Dr. Brian Carlin, global manager of pharmaceutical R&D at FMC Biopolymer and chairman of IPEC-America’s Quality by Design New Product Development Committee and Dr. Stuart Porter, senior director of film coating technology and excipients at ISP, explained the role of excipients as it relates to quality by design (QbD) and process analytical technology. They explained that the key to advancing QbD is improving process understanding to better understand variability in a formulation and manufacturing, particularly the variability of raw materials such as excipients.