Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery (BioDelivery)
Oral drug delivery is generally considered the most convenient way of dosing drugs. It is most often both patient-friendly and cost-efficient. If the drug is taken orally, it can act locally in the oral cavity, stomach or intestines or may be absorbed into the body. For some drugs like biopharmaceuticals, however, the natural biological barriers of the stomach and intestines represent a huge barrier for uptake of the drug in sufficient amounts to be therapeutically relevant.
Biopharmaceuticals comprise peptides and proteins for the treatment of life-threatening and debilitating diseases. Drug delivery systems for use in oral delivery of such peptides and proteins must, therefore, be specifically designed to aid the absorption of the drug, which represents a grand challenge.
Improved drug delivery of these medications can result in better treatment of numerous serious diseases, e.g., cancer, diabetes or inflammatory diseases. Therefore, further research within the field of oral delivery of biopharmaceuticals will be undertaken to provide a new understanding of the impact of the interplay between the active drug molecule, the helper components, the design parameters, and the biological barriers. We will provide new insight on how this affects the interaction and transport of biopharmaceuticals in the body.
Our concept is to exploit the molecular properties of the components in the drug delivery systems (DDS) for improved delivery. We will elucidate and explain the mechanisms for interaction of both the biopharmaceutical(s), excipient(s), and the dosage form with mucus and epithelial membranes in biophysical and real-time transport studies.
Through an interdisciplinary research collaboration, we will combine long-standing experience in drug delivery and advanced formulation design with expertise in cutting-edge peptide and protein chemistry, nanobiophotonics, and advanced bioimaging. Specifically, we will chemically tailor structurally complicated drugs and excipients to control their properties at the nano-scale. We will design and synthesize new excipients that can be combined into novel, tailored drug delivery systems. We will use innovative light-driven microrobotics that can deposit nano-drug systems with unprecedented precision onto biological membranes. Finally, we will perform comprehensive in vivo bioimaging studies of the developed DDS.
Our vision is to establish a world-class center for oral drug delivery of biopharmaceuticals. We will study how to overcome biological barriers by formulation design through interdisciplinary research collaborations.
The mission is to provide an improved fundamental understanding of novel methods pursuing oral delivery of biopharmaceuticals through tailoring of drug delivery systems and advanced assessment tools.
This center is funded for six years by the Novo Nordisk Foundation via its Challenge Programme, and it was launched in April 2017.