CRS Indian Chapter


Controlled Release Society, Indian Chapter (CRS IC) celebrated its Silver Jubilee with the 17th International Symposium on “Advances in Technology and Business Potential of New Drug Delivery Systems at Hotel The LaLiT, Mumbai on the 1st and 2nd of February, 2019.

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Dr. Ilva Rupenthal, Director at Large, CRS Inc, representing the parent body Controlled Release Society USA, and responsible for liaising with local Chapters worldwide, summarised the event well. She said, “ The 17th International Symposium which marked the Silver Jubilee of the Indian Chapter of the Controlled Release Society, rendering it one of the first Local Chapters to be established. With close to 400 attendees, it was one of the biggest Local Chapter meetings so far, which attracted participants from academia and industry.

I really enjoyed attending the CRS IC Silver Jubilee meeting which offered a great mix of speakers from academia and industry nationally and internationally. The meeting also offered valuable interaction with young scientists during the poster session, an aspect of great importance to the Controlled Release Society. An additional highlight was the inauguration ceremony as well as the cultural program by Dhrutam, which offered an insight into the Indian culture. I wholeheartedly thank the conference’s organizers again for inviting me and congratulate CRS IC for a very successful meeting”.

Dr. Anisha Pargal, President CRS IC highlighted the contribution of the Symposium and the Chapter. She said,  “ The CRS Indian Chapter provides a unique platform for sharing research innovations and promoting education in the field of new drug delivery. This  Symposium series, which we started in 1994,  is India’s largest gathering of scientists in the field of pharmaceutical new drug delivery. This year we received applications for over 150 poster presentations by postgraduate students from across the country, showcasing their talent and research. The Symposium thus provided postgraduate students with a wonderful opportunity to listen to first hand and interact with leading scientists and industry leaders and provided the industry with the platform to interact with the national talent pool”.

The international and national invited speakers included Dr. Janet Halliday, Associate Vice President, Ferring Controlled Therapeutics and External Technology, Scotland, UK; Prof. Bruno Sarmento, Assistant Professor, University of Porto, Portugal; Dr. Andreas Bernkop-Schnürch, Scientific Officer, ThioMatrix GmbH, Austria; Dr. Ajay Saxena, Lead Investigator, Syngene International Ltd., Bengaluru, India; Prof. Clive Wilson, Research Professor, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy & Biomedical Sciences, Glasgow, UK; Dr. Jayant Khandare, Alexander Von Humboldt Experienced Fellow & Professor, MAEER's Maharashtra Institute of Pharmacy, Pune, India; Dr. Claus – Michael Lehr, Professor at Saarland University, Germany; Prof. Kinam Park , Showalter Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue University  & Founder & President Akina Inc., USA and Dr Hitesh Doshi, Vice President R&D, Sulphur Mills Limited, Mumbai,  India.

Dr. Janet Halliday, in her talk titled “Drug Delivery - Where Science meets Business”, shared how drug delivery technologies are translated into products through examples of polymer controlled release formulations and on-going clinical trials in the field of women’s health, reproductive medicine, urology, and gastroenterology.  Examples of prolonged vaginal delivery sustained release injectables, and orally administered peptide formulations were also discussed. Dr. Bruno Sarmento unraveled the mucoadhesive behavior of nanoparticles and their interaction with cells and mucus. Passive and active targeting strategies in effecting mucosal delivery of drugs without compromising the safety were discussed. Dr. Ajay Saxena, emphasized the need to integrate in silico, in vitro, and in vivo approaches while designing modified release formulations targeting a robust clinical performance. Dr. Andreas Bernkop-Schnürch, a pioneer in the field of thiolated polymers, spoke about the evolution of different thiol-immobilized polymeric excipients like thiolated alginate, thiolated chitosan, thiolated hyaluronan, thiolated gelatin, etc. He then went on to elaborate about the clinical trials involving these excipients, and their translation into different marketed products. Dr. Hitesh Doshi focused on agrochemical formulations, and shed light on the immense potential for formulation research and value-added products of varied categories like nutrition, pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, etc. in the agrochemical space. Prof. Kinam Park, spoke on how nanotechnology has driven drug delivery research in the recent past and highlighted the fact that fewer nanotechnology products are being translated into marketed products. He emphasized the need to nurture young researchers to divert their research efforts and grants to bring forth more feasible and practical drug delivery solutions. Prof. Clive Wilson’s talk featured the fundamentals of gastrointestinal absorption of oral formulations and emphasized the influence of the composition of gastrointestinal fluids on the drug and formulation behavior. He also discussed the research towards developing robust in vitro tests and simulated biological fluids closely mimicking the composition of fluids to predict the performance of oral formulations in the gut. Dr. Ilva Rupenthal spoke about the innovative drug delivery approaches for the management of ocular disorders like dry eye, uveitis, diabetic retinopathy, and age-related macular degeneration. Ligand-based targeted delivery systems and external stimulus-triggered delivery systems along with the relevant in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models to adequately test such systems were discussed. Dr. Jayant Khandare focused on the role of circulating tumor cell analysis for the detection of early-stage metastasis with prognostics value, monitoring relapse, and in personalized cancer therapy. He then explained about OncoDiscover ‘Liquid Biopsy Technology that was developed in line with the USFDA approved CellSearch technology for affordable overall survival monitoring of cancer patients in India. Dr. Claus - Michael Lehr highlighted the need for developing novel anti-infectives that can overcome biological barriers like the gastrointestinal epithelia, the skin and the lungs as well as additional microbial barriers, such as the bacterial cellular envelope, biofilms and host cell membranes. He also explained the use of predictive cells and tissue models to evaluate the safety and efficacy of these anti-infective therapeutics and facilitate their translation into the clinic.

Another feature of the symposium, was the sponsored Technology Showcase Podium Presentations by the excipient and allied industry, to provide practical insights on formulation development, processing parameters and product performance of a variety of excipients and devices.

Mr. Steve Mesite, Director of Microfluidics Machines at Microfluidics International Corporation presented the process flow involved in the development of liposomal formulations for controlled drug delivery using microfluidizers while Dr. Robert W Lee, President of Particle Sciences, a Lubrizol LifeSciences Company shared a CDMO perspective on the development of complex formulations involving insoluble, sterile, and highly potent drug products. The other speakers included Mr. Shirish Sankpal, Assistant Manager Technical Sales at Arihant Innochem Ltd and Mr. Mayuresh Sainkar, Assistant Lab Manager at Shin-Etsu Chemical Tylose India Pvt. Ltd. Mr. Sankpal offered a glimpse of the wide array of conventional pharma excipients as well as tailor-made excipients catering to new generation formulations. Mr. Sainkar gave insights about the process parameters and product performance involved in the solvent-free, powder enteric coating approach using the polymer hypromellose acetate succinate. Dr. Heeshma Shah, Director of Technical Services, Signet Chemical Corp. Pvt. Ltd., Mr. Soumya Ranjan Satapathy, Business Development Specialist-Formulation, Merck, Mr. Vinay Muley, Leader for South Asia, Pharma Technology & Innovation DuPont Nutrition & Health, Dr. Nitin Tayade, Formulation Technologies Manager, Colorcon, and Dr Sudipta Ganguly, Director Global Respiratory Regulatory Affairs, Cipla Ltd. also delivered presentations. Dr. Shah highlighted the different excipients that aid in overcoming various formulation challenges and find use in the entire spectrum of pharmaceutical applications. Mr. Satapathy spoke about poly (D, L-lactic acid) and poly (D,L-lactic-co-glycolic acid) biodegradable polymers, with varying polymer content and characteristics for fine-tuning sustained release of small molecule and peptide injectables. Dr. Muley and Dr. Tayade spoke on an engineered grade of hypromellose that can enhance the flow of the polymer, making it more suitable for direct compression processes, and leading to a reduction in development time and manufacturing costs. Dr. Ganguly shared different industrial processes and considerations driving the development of inhalation technologies.

150+ posters presentations, representing a range of research topics relevant to novel drug delivery systems, was another highlight of the symposium.  CRS IC announced three best poster awards and a special award selected by a panel of independent judges. Pankti Ganatra, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai received the first prize for the poster titled “FDM 3D Printing As A Tool For Rapid Prototyping And Manufacturing Of Modified Release Tablets” ; Girdhari Roy, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Pilani, Hyderabad, the second prize for the poster titled’ Effect Of Ocular Patches Containing Microprojection Array On Corneal Penetration Of Amphotericin B Liposomes”; and    Saurabh Patil, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, received the third prize for the poster titled “ Oral Delivery of Peptides: Innovation To Preclinical Evaluation” . Saikat Ghosh, The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, received a  special award for his poster titled” Synergistic Combinatorial Liposomal Delivery Of Two Drugs For Treatment of Breast and Lung Cancer”.

The key sponsors of the event were Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Dupont - Colorcon Controlled Release Alliance, and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd as Platinum sponsors and ACG Associated Capsules Pvt. Ltd., Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS), USA, and Hindustan Unilever Ltd., as Gold sponsors.

Mr Ajit Singh, Chairman ACG group Worldwide, as Chairperson of the Symposium and  Patron of the CRS Indian Chapter, called out to industry leaders to help translate the research into commercially viable products and sharing his views he said , “ A real world class CRS IC Symposium at Mumbai was put together by Dr. Anisha Pargal, Dr. Vandana Patravale, and their teams. While the audience was still preponderantly academia and students of pharmacy, nevertheless it was gratifying to see the greater presence of industry personnel in the event – over 100 attended. Involvement of the Pharma Industry should be a focus area for all CRS events worldwide. This will enable Controlled Release Technologies to reach their full potential quicker, improve patient convenience and ensure better compliance and marketability of superior pharma products.”

 The Indian Chapter also released the 10th edition of the CRS IC Newsletter on this occasion.

For further details on the symposium, CRS IC activities, and membership, kindly visit the official website