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home > pmps > summer 2003 > recent technical advances and formulation strategies in pulmonary drug delivery
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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

Recent Technical Advances and Formulation Strategies in Pulmonary Drug Delivery

Inhalation aerosols have been the subject of significant investment in research and development for almost two decades. At intervals the science and technology have taken leaps forward in response to therapeutic (1, 2) and environmental needs (3). The propellant-driven metered dose inhaler (MDI) has been the dominant inhaler for almost a half century. The combination of the drug dispersed in a high vapour pressure propellant, metered accurately in 10s to 100s of microgram quantities directly to the lungs, was a powerful new tool for the treatment of pulmonary diseases (4). The historical significance of this new technology with potent new therapeutic agents revolutionised the treatment of asthma.

Nebulisers for the delivery of solutions of drugs were in existence prior to the development of the MDI. These systems found their application in acute ambulatory care and domiciliary situations since the droplet size of the aerosol was slightly smaller than that of the MDI, could penetrate more deeply into the lungs of the patients and did not require the degree of co-ordination to effectively deliver the drug (5). Nebulisers continue to have a valuable role in severely compromised patients and for applications other than asthma, notably cystic fibrosis (6).


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By Paul J Atkins, CEO, Timothy M Crowder, Chief Technology Officer, Anthony J Hickey, Chief Scientific Officer, Keith A Johnson, Sara A Kraabel and D Dean Mckinney at Oriel Therapeutics Inc

Dr Paul Atkins joined Oriel as its CEO from GlaxoSmithKline where he was involved with the development and commercialisation of inhaled delivery systems, most recently as Director, Delivery Systems in the Global Respiratory Therapeutic Development group. With 18 years' experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Paul's accomplishments include leading a number of global technical development programmes, particularly the development of HFA MDIs. Paul is a Founder of Oriel Therapeutics.

Dr Timothy Crowder is a Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Oriel Therapeutics. His dissertation research, concerning the physics of powder flow and its application to dispersion in dry powder inhalers, forms the basis for Oriel's technology platform. Timm's research at UNC included the direction of an industrially-sponsored nasal dry powder vaccine project and developing a prototype dry powder inhaler with dispersion mechanism.

Professor Anthony Hickey is internationally reputed in the field of inhalation technology and has been a consultant to the pharmaceutical industry for almost 20 years. He is currently Professor in the Division of Drug Delivery and Disposition at the University of North Carolina, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Oriel Therapeutics and CEO of Cirrus Pharmaceuticals.

Dr Keith Johnson has over 15 years of pharmaceutical industry experience, which includes development of formulations and delivery systems for small molecules, peptides, and proteins. In addition to several patents, he has written and lectured on colloid and interface science, respiratory drug delivery, topical drug delivery and experimental design.

At Oriel, Ms Sara Kraabel is employed in pharmaceutical powder characterisation and evaluation of Oriel's prototype inhaler. She has previous experience in clinical data management in CROs such as Quintiles Transnational Corp and PPD Inc, as well as medical device development in the area of semi-invasive blood glucose monitors.

Mr D Dean McKinney has been employed in pharmaceutical and health care-related industries for over 21 years. Before recently beginning a new career in pharmaceutical business development consulting, he served as Vice President of Business Development for Bespak Inc. In his prior position he was involved with commercial and manufacturing operations of pulmonary and nasal drug delivery technologies.
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Dr Paul Atkins
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Dr Timothy Crowder
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Professor Anthony Hickey
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Dr Keith Johnson
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Ms Sara Kraabel
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Mr D Dean McKinney
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