Most biopharmaceuticals (BP) currently on the market are recombinant proteins which are parenterally administered. These would benefit from more patient-friendly routes of administration. Moreover, new classes of BP (e.g. siRNA, miRNA, DARPins) with specificity for intracellular targets hold promise but await the advent of efficient delivery systems before their potential can be realised into therapeutic products. Solving the bottleneck of BP delivery is one of the main incentives of the pharmaceutical industry as this would allow a broadening of the spectrum of potential targets for therapeutic intervention needed to fill their drug pipelines. COMPACT represents Europe’s frontrunners in pharmaceutics, nanotechnology, biology, chemistry, engineering and imaging who will work in close collaboration with EFPIA on the delivery issues with BP. The main objectives are (1) to identify and understand transport pathways across biological barriers and cell membranes that can be utilized for delivery of BP, (2) to construct, characterise and preclincally validate BP formulations for non-invasive delivery of BP, with an emphasis on oral, airway and (trans)dermal delivery and for transport over the BBB. This will be achieved by setting up sophisticated in vitro models of biological barriers and appropriate animal models to find pathways that can be used for effective delivery of BP. In parallel, we will alter the BP either by chemical or biological engineering or by nano-formulations to enhance their uptake or transport over biological barriers.To be able to follow the transport,advanced imaging techniques will be utilised. The unique feature of this consortium is the alliance of experts in different research fields that complement each other in this challenging task. It is only the concerted action of such an interdisciplinary consortium that can make a difference in finding constructive solutions to the problem of poor bioavailability and target accessibility of BP.
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