Biopharmaceutics can be defined as the study of how the physicochemical properties of a drug, the dosage form and the route of administration affect the rate and extent of drug absorption. Effective biopharmaceutical characterisation of new chemical entities is a key factor throughout drug development. Biopharmaceutical properties help to guide formulation design and choice of delivery system, however profiling dosage form performance under conditions which are relevant to in vivo conditions remains a challenge to pharmaceutical scientists. The Biopharmaceutics Focus Group was established within APS in 1999 to provide a forum for discussion of such challenges and to promote awareness of this discipline within Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The Focus Group steering committee has representation from industrial scientists in a number of large pharma companies including Pfizer, GSK, AstraZeneca, academics from King’s College London, UCL School of Pharmacy, University of Bath, Huddersfield, De Montfort and Birmingham Universities and specialist technology companies including Quotient, SEDA, PSe and Simcyp. A number of focus group members are participants in the Innovative Medicines Initiative funded ‘OrBiTo’ project which is seeking to develop the next-generation of innovative tools for oral biopharmaceutics.
The Focus Group will promote scientific education and training in the field of biopharmaceutics to meet the needs of scientists working in both industrial and academic sectors. The Focus Group will provide an active community of practice for those interested in the science of oral drug absorption and through this network seek to develop opportunities for cross-sector pre-competitive collaboration. The Focus Group will contribute to the scientific programme for the annual APS PharmSci meeting and organise additional symposia to promote awareness of innovative approaches for oral drug delivery and biopharmaceutics.
My interest in GI anatomy and physiology stems from my PhD where I looked at the oesophageal retention of alginates for use in gastric reflux. The full scope of biopharmaceutics became apparent to my whilst working at AstraZeneca where the translation of laboratory data into regulatory science was fascinating to me. The change in regulations in 2007 lead me to explore paediatric biopharmaceutics in more detail and better understand the differences in GI physiology and anatomy in children compared to adults. I am an advocate for physiologically based pharmacokinetic modelling and am involved in projects that seek to generate new knowledge to further improve advances models of absorption.
Taking over the Biopharmaceutics FG from Mark is a pleasure and I hope to continue to build on the strong foundations to further advance biopharmaceutics knowledge within the APS.
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