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Boosting advanced doctoral training in innovative colon targeting drugs

Project description

Training in colon specific drug delivery (colon targeting)

Oral administration may be the most convenient and preferred drug delivery route, but issues relating to solubility, absorption and metabolism hamper its effectiveness. Moreover, the performance of formulations that deliver drugs specifically to the large intestine (so called colon targeting formulations) also depends on intra- and inter-individual physiological variability (e.g. pH profile in the gastrointestinal tract). The EU-funded COLOTAN project aims to address such drug delivery challenges as well as the lack of tools and models that recapitulate events occurring in the colon which can predict colon specific drug release, absorption and performance. Through an interdisciplinary research and training programme that also includes career development activities, COLOTAN will support the next generation of pharmaceutical scientists.


The Colon Targeting Network (COLOTAN) is a European Training Network that will train 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) in (bio)pharmaceutical sciences to improve targeting of oral drugs to the colon.
Oral administration of drugs is the preferred delivery route due to its non-invasiveness and convenience for the patient. However, issues related to solubility, absorption, and metabolism often cause oral drug candidate attrition. Oral formulations that release the drug in a pH- or time-dependent manner in the colon have been developed for local treatment of colonic diseases. However, currently available colon-targeting formulations suffer from an inconsistent performance and lack of efficiency due to intra- and interindividual (patho)physiological variability. Moreover, the available tools to predict drug absorption mainly focus on the upper gastrointestinal tract and fail to recapitulate events occurring in the colon, resulting in a lack of validated models to predict drug and formulation behaviour in the colon.
To meet these challenges, we must move beyond traditional, mainly monodisciplinary education and train a new generation of pharmaceutical scientists in diverse disciplines ranging from drug delivery to chemistry, cell biology, microbiology and gastroenterology.
In an ambitious intersectoral environment, COLOTAN will deliver this new generation via an advanced research and training programme with a total value of 180 ECTS comprising challenging Individual Research Projects, workshops with joint training in scientific and transferable skills, online training, individual training, dissemination, outreach and career development activities. At the end of the project, all ESRs will obtain a doctoral degree. This new generation of ESRs will become future leaders in academia and industry and will be at the forefront of developing a new generation of innovative colon targeting drugs.


Net EU contribution
€ 512 640,00
3000 Leuven

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Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 512 640,00

Participants (9)