The symposium provided an interdisciplinary forum to discuss the latest innovations in the arena of pharmaceutical drug delivery research and offered an impetus to the research aptitude and collaborations
The Indian Chapter of Controlled Release Society (CRS IC), one of the 15 global chapters of CRS Inc USA, recently organised its 18th International Symposium on the theme ‘Advances in Technology and Business Potential of New Drug Delivery Systems’ in Mumbai. The symposium provided an interdisciplinary forum to discuss the latest innovations in the arena of pharmaceutical drug delivery research and offered an impetus to the research aptitude and collaborations among the attendees. This year’s symposium attracted over 400+ delegates from the industry and academia.
The conference started with the welcome and opening remarks from the President of CRS IC, Dr Parizad Elchidana, followed by the inaugural address by Ajit Singh, President, ACG Worldwide and Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee, CRS IC. The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), Dr VG Somani, the Guest of Honor for the symposium, urged for extensive research in novel drug delivery systems that align the efforts of academia and industry with those of the government, which is improving access to quality and affordable medicines.
Prof Clive Wilson addressed the gathering by sharing insights on the commercialisation of formulations and further went on to release the 11th edition of CRS IC Newsletter along with the other members of the organising committee. This was followed by the unveiling of the online abstract book, which comprised more than 150 poster abstracts presented during the symposium. Prof Vandana Patravale, Vice President, CRS IC then delivered her vote of thanks concluding the inaugural session.
Serial entrepreneur and inventor, Prof Samir Mitragotri from Harvard University, USA was the keynote speaker for day one. In his talk on ‘Understanding and overcoming biological barriers for drug delivery,’ he shared valuable insights on various challenges and solutions to improve drug absorption and his research strategy on utilising ‘cells as drugs.’ The keynote address was followed by the first technical session by Dr Joyce Macwan from Simulations Plus team, US in which critical points on physiology-based biopharmaceutics modelling and virtual bioequivalence assessment to support formulation development were discussed.
The post-lunch session commenced with the technology showcase podium presentations. Dr Sameer Padhya from Arihant Innochem, India elaborated on various excipients for hot melt extrusion, while Nilesh Mahajan, Shin-Etsu, India gave an interesting talk on L-HPC, a novel multifunctional excipient in formulation development.
Christian Schneider, Celanese Corporation, Germany delivered the third technology showcase presentation on novel EVA excipients for the upcoming long-acting dosage forms. The next session of the symposium included three invited lectures, the first of which was delivered by Prof Karl Wagner from the University of Bonn, Germany. He explained in detail the characterization and applicability of solid-state modification for life cycle modification of a drug product by sharing case studies on real-world issues and ways to mitigate them. This was followed by a talk by Prof Matthias G Wacker from the National University of Singapore, who gave a broad perspective on the importance and applicability of performance assays for next-gen translational nanotechnology.
The last talk of the day was by Suhas Yewale from Sotax India, India who elucidated the dissolution testing of novel drug delivery systems giving case studies from almost three decades of experience in analytical R&D.
The second day of the symposium had a great start with the keynote address by the stalwart of drug delivery research, Prof Clive Wilson from the University of Strathclyde, UK. He presented a very unconventional view of the barriers that are still observed while developing well-studied regional gut delivery. The momentum set by Prof Wilson was further elevated by Prof Vinod Labhasetwar from the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, USA. His session delved through the severe catastrophic spinal cord injury that mainly affects the younger population. Dr Siddharth Jhunjhunwala from the Indian Institute of Science, India presented a scintillating talk on the current strategies employed in tertiary healthcare centres and his research group’s efforts to address the unmet needs in diabetic foot ulcers treatment by immunomodulation followed by regenerative medicine.
In the following talk, Dr Kailas Thakker, Co-founder Emeritus, Tergus Pharma, USA stressed upon the importance of Quality by Design in topical drug delivery. Next, Dr Jose das Neves from the University of Porto, Portugal went on to share insights on the global pandemic – HIV and the women-centric strategies using nanotechnology-based microbicides for topical pre-exposure prophylaxis. In the post-lunch session, the delegates also benefitted from the tech-showcase speakers of day two.
Sanjay Negi from Ideal Cures, India presented details on innovative coating technology for sugar coating and was followed by Dr Smita Rajput from Merck Life Sciences, India who spoke about Merck’s new line of tailor-made excipients for high-risk formulations.
The last invited speaker for this two-day symposium was Gargi Nadkarni from Sun Pharma, India. She gave a utilitarian business perspective to the 505(b)(2) USFDA regulatory pathway using case studies of successful and unsuccessful approved 505(b)(2) products.
Another highlight of the event was a poster presentation competition in which over 150+ selected abstracts were evaluated over the two days of the symposium. In the concluding session, CRS IC announced three best poster awards and a special mention award selected by an esteemed panel of independent judges.
Preeti Sharma from the Centre of BioSystems Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India bagged the first place for the poster titled ‘Interactions of Nano- and Micro- Drug Delivery Systems with Phagocytic Immune Cells.’ The second and third best poster awards were presented to Shruti Singh from Faculty of Pharmacy, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Vadodara, India and Tushar Malakar from the Department of Pharmaceutics, National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Guwahati, India, respectively. Dr Nilesh Mahajan from the Department of Pharmaceutics, Dadasaheb Balpande College of Pharmacy, Nagpur, India received the special mention award.