Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - DEPMAB (Developing Expertise in Pharmaceutical Materials and Biomaterials)

The project has looked at three aspects of pharmaceutical materials: crystal engineering (Project 1), bio-formulation (Project 2) and pharmaceutical materials (Project 3). Project 1 examined the solid state properties of organic compounds, which are determined by the relative orientation of individual molecules in the overall crystalline structure. This is particularly important with pharmaceutical compounds as it impacts on their bioavailability. This research focused on the design and synthesis of organo-sulfur compounds with the objective of enhancing our understanding of the solid state properties. A key hydrogen bonding interaction was identified which provides a robust interaction in the solid state across a wide range of compounds.

Project 2 sought to enhance biopharmaceutical expertise in the area of biopharmaceutical production, handling and formulation within the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork. Capability to produce these biopharmaceuticals in-house has substantially increased our capacity to study the impact of excipients and processing steps on their physical, chemical and bioactivity stability. The purpose of this research project was to prepare proteins with increased physical stability (reduced tendency to aggregate in solution prior to injection). This work introduced new techniques and expertise to the School of Pharmacy; cloning expression constructs, protein expression by bacterial cells, folding and purification of protein.

Project 3 focused on the production of pharmaceutical particles, generally crystalline or amorphous solids, under unfavourable conditions. Three problem cases have been examined: a model pharmaceutical, a biotransformation product, and a process which gives multiple crystal forms. Crystallisation of the model pharmaceutical was found to be severely inhibited by process impurities. The biotransformation product was converted into a manageable crystalline solid by further reaction and crystallization. The process giving multiple forms was directed to the required form using rationally designed additives.

Overall DEPMAB has allowed UCC to develop pharmaceutical materials as a significant research area. The success of the transfer of knowledge is shown by numbers of researchers working in UCC in this area, substanial additional research funding, infrastructure development and interactions with many pharmaceutical companies. The knowledge transferred into UCC by the DEPMAB fellows has been the main driver of these developments.

Reported by

Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top