CRS Nordic Chapter Meeting
The annual CRS Nordic Local Chapter event of 2017 was a one-day symposium on “Drug Transporters,” which was organized backto-back with the symposium “30-years of Drug Delivery Research – In Honour of Professor Arto Urtti’s 60th Birthday.” The Nordic Chapter event gathered 60 participants and took place in Kuopio, Finland, on June 11 in the Spa Hotel Rauhalahti located by the beautiful Lake Kallavesi.
The program was divided into a morning and an afternoon session with well-reputed invited speakers and short poster presentations from the submitted abstracts. During the Nordic Chapter symposium, 16 posters were presented.
The symposium was opened with a welcome from the local organizers by Marika Ruponen (University of Eastern Finland) and from the CRS Nordic Local Chapter by outgoing chair Ingunn Tho (University of Oslo, Norway). The new leadership from 2018 was presented, with Bente Steffansen (University of Southern Denmark) as the new chair and Christel Bergström (Uppsala University, Sweden) as vice-chair.
Also, introduction of the new award established by CRS, the CRS Local Chapter Young Scientist Travel Grant, was given attention and the selection criteria explained. This award aims at promoting connectivity between the local chapters and the mother organization by providing travel grants to promising young scientists to attend the CRS Annual Meeting and present their research. The selection of awardee is to be based on the quality of the science as reflected in the research presentation in the local chapter meeting. The awardee from the CRS Nordic Local Chapter for participating in the 2018 CRS Annual Meeting was to be selected among Ph.D. students, postdocs, and young researchers presenting in the Kuopio symposium. All poster presenters in this category were given the chance to present their poster in a five-minute presentation from the podium, and the awardee was selected based on evaluation of both the short presentation and the poster.
The first part of the scientific program was devoted to transport across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and chaired by Marika Ruponen. Invited speaker Tetsuya Terasaki (Tohoku University, Japan) opened this part with the lecture “Retro-enantio Peptide of Transferrin Receptor Binding Peptide (D-THRre) as a Blood-Brain Barrier Permeable Stable Carrier.” He talked about how the retro-enantio peptides with their increased circulation time as compared with the parent peptide show promising results for brain delivery via receptor-mediated transcytosis utilizing the highly BBB-expressed transferrin receptor. The next speaker was Kati-Sisko Vellonen (University of Eastern Finland) with the presentation “Effect of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) on Drug Transporters in Brain.” She introduced her study about profiling transporters and tight junction markers in AD mice models showing only minor disease-induced alterations in all studied AD animal models. The last speaker before the coffee break was Jarkko Rautio (University of Eastern Finland) with the presentation “LAT-1 Transporter as Pathway Across Blood-Brain Barrier.” He presented their research on prodrugs, such as ketoprofen-tyrosine, that are substrates for the L-type amino acid transporter (LAT-1) highly expressed on BBB. The last segment before lunch was dedicated to the short poster presentations from young researchers, and 13 enthusiastic and engaging presentations were delivered.
The afternoon session was devoted to clinically relevant drug transporters and chaired by Jarkko Rautio. Invited speaker Peter Swaan (University of Maryland, U.S.A.) opened this session with his lecture “Modeling and Simulation of Drug Transport: Challenges and Successes.” He talked about identifying a new class for p-glycoprotein (Pgp) drug interaction with a neural network type model by studying Pgp-drug interactions of 1,500 drugs in DrugBank. The next invited speaker was Heidi Kidron (University of Helsinki), whose lecture was “Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) Located in the Transmembrane Regions of Breast Cancer Resistant Protein (BCRP) Impair the Expression and Transport Activity.” She lectured about performing a number of naturally occurring BCRP variants in vesicles from sf9 insect cells or human embryonic kidney (HEK) 293 cells. She showed that the efflux of BCRP probe substrates estrone-3-sulphate (E3S) and Lucifer yellow were reduced in the cells expressing variants compared with wild type (WT) BCRP and, thereby, that transmembrane regions of BCRP were sensitive to amino acid substitution. Thus, patients with these BCRP variants could suffer from unexpected pharmacokinetic events of substrate drugs. The last lecture was presented by Mikko Niemi (University of Helsinki) who talked about “Pharmacogenomics of Drug Transporters.” He showed that patients expressing the SNP of organic anion transporter (OATP)1B1–521CC could have significantly increased pravastatin plasma concentrations compared with patients with WT OATP1B1.
Then, the incoming CRS Nordic Chapter chair Bente Steffansen awarded the CRS Local Chapter Young Scientist Travel Grant to Eva Ramsey from University of Eastern Finland for her excellent poster/short talk on “Conjunctival Drug Permeability, Employing QSPR and PK Models,” and finally closed the one-day symposium.