Scientific Sessions

Bioactive technical sessions are focused on various aspects within the extensive scope of controlled release and delivery, including nanoparticles, RNA and DNA delivery, cell-based delivery, transdermal delivery, overcoming biological barriers, and drug delivery to the eye, lung, and brain. The sessions are rounded out with two Preclinical Science & Animal Health (PSAH) sessions on formulation development and predictive animal models, and four Consumer & Diversified Products (C&DP) sessions covering process engineering, methods, and applications in consumer products, food, feed, and beverages.

Monday, July 14 • 10:30 - 12:00

Intracellular Delivery of Nucleic Acids and Proteins

Invited: Patrick Stayton, University of Washington, U.S.A.

The design of delivery systems to enhance intracellular delivery is essential to the therapeutic efficacy of nucleic acid-based therapies and promises to open vast opportunities for protein- and peptide-based drugs. The scope of this session includes the most recent advances and innovations in the intracellular delivery of genetic drugs and protein drugs. These include, but are not limited to, topics such as targeting systems for specific intracellular routes and cellular organelles, intracellular dynamics of the endomembrane system, and mechanism/application of endosomal escape in the areas of cancer therapeutics, stem cell differentiation, and other therapeutic medicine.

Innovations in Oral Drug Delivery

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Invited: Youngro Byun, Seol National University, Korea

The oral route of drug administration is preferred due to patient compliance, and therefore, oral drug delivery remains very important and of high interest. This session will focus on recent innovations in the field of oral delivery, with special attention directed to strategies for enhancing oral bioavailability. Poor aqueous solubility and low dissolution rate generally drive formulation trajectories toward applications that enable technology platforms, including amorphous solid dispersions, nanocrystalline systems, (self-) micro-emulsifying drug delivery systems, and others. On the other hand, poor permeation and enzymatic degradation limit the oral bioavailability of macromolecules. Strategies to address these and other critical issues will be highlighted.

Overcoming Biological Barriers

Invited: Dennis Discher, University of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Overcoming biological barriers constitutes a key hurdle in the field of drug delivery. This session will highlight recent significant advances in drug and gene delivery through difficult biological barriers and cover formulations, targeting, and device-based technologies. Barriers include, but are not limited, to the blood-brain barrier, the blood-ocular barrier, the mononuclear phagocytic system barrier, tissue penetration barriers, cell uptake barriers, intracellular barriers, and mucosal barriers.

Advances in Process Engineering—New Methods for the Production of Particles, Capsules, and Coatings

Invited: Sateesh Sathigari, Patheon, U.S.A.

Process engineering is a key step along the value chain from idea to commercial product. Improvements in established technologies for the production of particles, microcapsules, and other controlled release product forms and their expansion to novel applications are of interest to many. Examples of these technologies include spray-drying, hot-melt extrusion, supercritical fluid technology, fluid bed coating, complex coacervation, and emulsion-based processes. This session will include advances in process engineering of new and older methods for the production of particles, capsules, and coatings, e.g., 3D printing, inkjet printing, electrospinning, microfluidics, powder layering techniques, high-shear granulation techniques, and membrane processes.


Monday, July 14 • 15:00 - 16:30

Advances in RNA and DNA Delivery

Invited: Yoshiki Katayama, Kyushu University, Japan

Gene medicine is one of the most promising drug classes in the post-genomic era. Although gene medicine offers an exciting therapeutic opportunity by regulating disease-related genes, the major hurdle to bring these drugs to the clinic are suitable delivery systems. Therefore, DNA and RNA delivery systems have become a dynamic research area in our society. The scope of this session will encompass both fundamental and applied aspects of DNA and RNA delivery systems, including innovative design and synthesis of carriers, modification (chemical, peptide, aptamer, etc.), and DNA and RNA nanoparticulate systems for medical applications.

Nanoparticle-Based Delivery to The Brain

Invited: Rangaramanujam Kannan, Johns Hopkins Hospital, U.S.A.

There is a clear case for nanocarriers to create a Trojan horse effect to provide access across the blood brain barrier (BBB) by impermeable drugs and biologics. Nonetheless, there is still tremendous opportunity for further progress toward improved drug delivery to the brain. Examples of areas where further exploration is needed include alternative transporters to transferrin, selective release of a drug once across the BBB, definitive proof for nose-to-brain transport of particles, particle penetration within the brain parenchyma, and potential toxicity concerns. This session will provide a forum to share recent advances and views on these topics with the goal of driving forward the opportunities for drug delivery to the brain.

Transdermal Delivery

Invited: Mark Kendall, University of Queensland, Australia

The transdermal route of drug administration offers several advantages, including sustained release and ease of use; however, a number of limitations, especially low skin permeability, limit its applicability. This session will focus on recent innovations and mechanistic insights that open new opportunities in transdermal drug delivery. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, new methods of permeation enhancement, especially for macromolecules; new insights into permeation pathways, including use of novel biophysical tools or mathematical models; new applications that highlight the uniqueness of transdermal drug delivery systems; and delivery of new drugs that could not be previously delivered by the transdermal route.

Evaluation and Characterization of Controlled Release Products and Production Processes

Invited: Lew Brown, Fluid Imaging Technologies, U.S.A.

Reproducible and relevant characterization of controlled release products, as well as appropriate electronic and analytical technologies to control their production, are key aspects for their transition into commercial processes. This session will cover evaluation and characterization of controlled release products, as well as their preparation. Innovative evaluation and characterization protocols and technologies, with a focus on the main challenges (e.g., characterization in complex application media and real-time release measurements), will be covered. The session will also address the use of quality-by-design (QbD) concepts and process analytical technologies for process end-point and real-time monitoring of preparation processes to ensure the targeted final product properties.


Tuesday, July 15 • 10:30 - 12:00

Nanoparticles in Tumor Treatment

Invited: Youqing Shen, Zhejiang University, China

Nanotechnology for treating tumors has been a long-standing subject in our Controlled Release Society. Although a few products in nano sizes are now approved for use in humans, evolution in nanoparticle design has continued over the past couple decades. This session will focus on advanced nanoparticle technologies to treat or prevent cancer, both in humans and animals, with an emphasis on technologies with high potential of translation. In particular, abstracts that address the gap between preclinical and clinical results are welcome. Nanoparticles of all types are within the scope of this session, including lipid nanoparticles, liposomes, polymeric nanoparticles, polymeric micelles, polymersomes, drug-polymer conjugates, drug-antibody conjugates, inorganic nanocarriers, hybrid nanosystems, and other forms that offer the potential for improved therapeutic efficacy in clinical settings.

Overcoming Barriers in the GI Tract

Invited: Laura Ensign, Johns Hopkins Hospital, U.S.A.

Oral delivery is the most common route of drug administration, yet there can be significant challenges to achieving reliable, effective drug delivery across the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Effective absorption across the GI tract is also of high relevance for the successful delivery of food and feed additives. This session will focus on new advances in formulation and design of controlled release systems that overcome inherent barriers in the GI tract, such as mucus, tight-junctions, active transporters, efflux mechanisms, metabolic stability, GI transit, region-specific absorption, and other (patho)physiologic constraints that can affect oral absorption.

Advances in Drug Delivery to the Eye

Invited: Peter Humphries, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

Drug delivery to the eye had been dominated for many years by topical formulations, but drugs given by intraocular injection now command the largest portion of the eye medication market. Nearly 12 million intraocular injections of anti-VEGF agents alone were performed in 2012, and the number is rising. Topical delivery is hindered by poor intraocular penetration and rapid elimination. New technologies that enhance drug penetration by topical formulations are sorely needed. Injectable therapies require new delivery methods to enhance duration of therapy of small molecules and biologics and, in some cases, to control the amount of material delivered to specific parts of the eye. Various drug delivery platforms, including nano- and microsystems, bioadhesive patches, and implants are being developed and studied to treat ophthalmic diseases. This session invites abstracts in all areas related to ocular drug delivery.

Predictive Animal Models for Assessing Long-Acting Formulations for Human and Animal Health and Their Challenges

Invited: James Birchall, University of Cardiff, United Kingdom

This session will focus on utilizing animal models for correlating between species and the complications that arise in their use. All routes of administration are of interest, including in situ, transdermal, topical, pulmonary, oral, and parenteral. Submissions are sought with respect to animal model development, the use of in vitro and ex vivo models, correlations between species (including humans), and challenges surrounding animal models or their predictions.


Tuesday, July 15 • 13:30 - 15:00

Innovations in Micro- and Nano-Based Delivery

Invited: Adah Almutairi, University of California, San Diego, U.S.A.

This scientific session invites abstracts on innovative micro- and nano-based delivery systems, including micro- and nanofabrication, which are used for diagnostic and/or therapeutic purposes in humans and animals. Novel micro- and nano-based delivery systems for consumer products, cosmetics, and foods are also of interest. The scope of the session is further expanded to all bioactive materials that promote health, in various release patterns, such as sustained or pulsatile modes from delivery systems. The session will emphasize the advantages of particular size ranges in the delivery of bioactive agents to target tissues, cells, and subcellular sites or in the administration of agents in the body.

Proteins, Peptides, and Vaccines

Invited: Maria José Alonso, University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain

Therapeutic peptides, proteins, and vaccines represent the fastest growing sector in pharmaceutical products and are used globally to treat and prevent debilitating diseases. Various challenges must be overcome to maximize the therapeutic and prophylactic effectiveness of protein- and peptide-based products and vaccines and increase patient adherence. This session will focus on recent innovations in delivery science, devices, and technologies that improve targeted delivery, extend duration of action, enhance immunization efficacy, minimize delivery invasiveness, improve adherence and lower development/manufacturing costs of macromolecular therapeutics and vaccines.

Advances in Drug Delivery to the Lung

Invited: Paul Young, University of Sydney, Australia

The pulmonary route is commonly used to achieve local drug delivery to the lungs and also offers a less invasive route of delivery to the blood compared to injection for all classes of drug molecules. Great strides are being made in developing drug delivery methods to address a number of delivery hurdles and are expected to lead to wider adoption of inhaled drugs. This session is open to all areas of pulmonary drug delivery, including predictive in vitro and mathematical models, new biomaterials, nano- and microparticle-based systems capable of both efficient delivery by inhalation to desired regions of the lungs and reliable controlled release behavior, small and large molecules, nucleic acid therapies, vaccines, new inhaler designs, pulmonary clearance of controlled release systems, and the safety of new materials and formulation excipients being examined for drug delivery to the lungs.

Controlled Release Applications in Food, Feed, and Beverages

Invited: Erich Windhab, ETH Zürich, Switzerland

This session will cover recent developments in encapsulation and controlled release strategies in food, feed, and beverages, including health foods and sports drinks. Both enhanced and prolonged effect and stability of additives, as well as consumer benefits introduced through encapsulation, will be discussed. Recent developments in encapsulation and controlled release of probiotics and prebiotics are also of interest in this session. Another hot topic in these markets is sustainability and green technology. Innovative green technology using natural nonmodified, label friendly materials will be considered in this session.


Wednesday, July 16 • 08:00 - 09:30

Breakthrough Technologies

Invited: Chris Bettinger, Carnegie-Mellon University, U.S.A.

Scientific and technological breakthroughs are not created equal. Some have the potential to disrupt the status quo and transform the way we think about and create innovative products. This session will focus on the future “game changers” and next-generation technology advances that will drive transformative change and impact our industry. Recent drug delivery concepts and technologies, as well as adjacencies, such as regenerative medicine and bioelectronic therapeutics, that capture the imagination to create entirely new products and services across the healthcare ecosystem will be covered.

Cells as Delivery Vehicles

Invited: Maciej Lesniak, University of Chicago, U.S.A.

Donated cells, including stem cells, iPS cells, and engineered cells, have been transplanted with the goal of treating various chronic disorders in the endocrine and CNS systems. Cells often respond to physiological and pathological conditions by tuned release of cell products and present unique tropism by migrating to particular sites in the body. Cells are the target of various therapeutics but may also serve as a delivery vehicle for biopharmaceuticals, which is closely linked to gene and protein delivery. As such, cells are the nature that delivery technologies often seek to mimic. This session invites abstracts on all cell-based therapeutics, cell-riding approaches (i.e., cells as Trojan horses for drug delivery systems), and associated technologies such as protection from immune surveillance.

Controlled Release of Actives in Consumer Products

Invited: Nilesh Shah, Dow Chemical, U.S.A.

This session will cover recent developments in controlled release strategies in personal and home care areas such as cosmetics, cosmeceuticals, skincare, deodorants and antiperspirants, hair care, mouth care, air fresheners, cleaning and sanitizing agents, and insect, pest, or mold control agents and devices. This session will capture a sample of current work and applications across this diverse range of products. These products often involve encapsulation and controlled release of complex mixtures of actives (e.g., fragrances) with a broad variety of physical and chemical properties. These mixtures pose special challenges to encapsulation and release processes. Novel and innovative solutions for complex mixture handling will be another focus.

Novel Developments in Formulation, Analytical Chemistry, and Processing in Animal Health and Preclinical Sciences

Invited: Susan Cady, Merial Ltd., U.S.A.

This session will highlight current global research, development, and commercialization of controlled release technology in the preclinical and animal health sciences and bring together professionals from small and large pharma, CROs/CMOs, excipient companies, and academia. Submissions are sought that advance knowledge in the areas of animal health and preclinical sciences related to 1) novel formulations, technologies, excipients, or strategies; 2) analytical or processing innovations; or 3) scientific investigations of established technologies, including troubleshooting and quality-by-design case studies.

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