Nanomedicines are already being utilised and the fundamental science base is continually developing, as such market predictions indicate that nanotechnologies will make an increasing contribution to new medicines over the next 10 years and beyond. In recognition of these developments the APS has established this Focus Group to provide a forum for discussion and to help raise the profile of nanomedicines within the UK, engaging with personnel working at all stages across the supply chain.
The Focus Group will facilitate and promote the understanding of nanomedicines from a pure science base through the evolving regulatory environment and finally manufacture. Drawing on expertise from industry, academia, regulatory and clinical practice, the group encourages the exchange of information and collaboration across all parties. Through establishing an active and open community in this fast moving field, this Focus Group will explore the opportunities that nanotechnology offers, investigate any barriers to their adoption and then work together to propose solutions.
Elaine graduated from the University of Manchester with a Master of Pharmacy degree in 2003, before completing a PhD with Prof Ruth Duncan at Cardiff University’s Welsh School of Pharmacy in 2008, in which she developed a bioresponsive polymer-phospholipase conjugate for the treatment of breast cancer. This research initiated Elaine’s long-standing interest in using natural biodegradable polymers as novel carriers for bioactive agents. Having demonstrated the feasibility of bioresponsive polymer therapeutics in cancer, Elaine joined Cardiff University’s School of Dentistry, where her interests focused on exploring new clinical applications, including chronic wound healing, infection and spinal cord injury. Her ongoing research aims to optimise drug release by attachment of biodegradable polysaccharides to protein and peptide drugs, in order to direct them to sites of inflammation, thereby minimising toxicity, overcoming resistance and increasing bioavailability.
Driton is a pharmacist and gained his MPharm and PhD from the University of Nottingham. His PhD and postdoctoral research focused on mucosal drug delivery and intestinal models. In his previous lectureship at Lincoln he contributed towards the establishment of a Pharmacy School. Driton is currently a lecturer within the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science, King’s College London. His research centres around overcoming the mucosal barrier to improve drug delivery (particularly biologics), enabling patient-acceptable drug administration.
Francesca Greco is an Associate Professor in Drug Delivery at the Reading School of Pharmacy and sits on the board of directors of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences. She graduated from Pisa University with an MPharm (110/110 cum laude), which included a one-year research project at Pharmacia (now part of Pfizer) in Nerviano, Milan (Italy). She then undertook a PhD in drug delivery under the supervision of Prof. Ruth Duncan and Prof. Rob Nicholson, in Pharmacy, Cardiff University (awarded in March 2006). Immediately after completion of her PhD, Francesca was appointed to a lectureship at the Reading School of Pharmacy (July 2006) and she was then promoted to Associate Professor in May 2012. Her research in polymer-drug conjugates led to several publications in peer-reviewed journals and her work has been presented at national and international conferences. Francesca was awarded prizes for her research, including an invitation to the “Roche Symposium for leading scientists of the next decade” (Basel, Switzerland, 2007). Francesca acts as referee for scientific journals including the Journal of Controlled Release, Molecular Pharmaceutics and the Journal of Biomaterials.
Based at the University of Liverpool, Dr Liptrott has a background in pharmacology, immunology, and molecular cell biology. He is a Reader in the department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and the principal investigator for the Liverpool Immunocompatibility Group, Coordinator of the Liverpool Nanotherapeutics Hub, Platform manager (Nanotherapeutics) for the Infection Innovation Consortium (iiCON), member of the Liverpool City Region Health & Life Sciences board, and biocompatibility lead for the recently established Centre of Excellence for Long-acting Therapeutics (CELT) at the University of Liverpool. Additionally, Dr Liptrott is a member of the Executive Board, Core Expert Team (CET) and Assay Group leader (Immunotoxicity and Haematoxicity) for the European Nanomedicine Characterisation Laboratory (EUNCL); leading work on nanoparticle biocompatibility and structure-activity relationships.
His research is aimed at investigating the biological interactions of conventional and nanotechnology-enabled medicines and therapeutics as well as other novel therapeutic strategies such as cellular therapies. This work encompasses assessment of the biocompatibility, immuomodulatory potential and risk of these novel therapeutic strategies. Dr Liptrott’s team is also investigating impacts on cellular health and metabolism that may underpin these interactions. To date, his research has helped underpin the successful translation of the first solid drug nanoparticle formulations, through GMP manufacture, towards healthy volunteer bioequivalence studies, for use in HIV treatment. His group continues to support developers of advanced therapeutics in their efforts to reach clinical studies.
Nikolaos is currently a Senior Scientist at the National Formulation Centre; Centre for Process Innovation. He is leading a collaborative project for the development of a microfluidic-based platform for the scale-up, process development and manufacture of nanomedicines. Prior to that he worked for a technology development consultancy focusing on Point-of-Care Diagnostics.
Philipp is a registered pharmacist and a Reader in Pharmaceutical Materials at the Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. He obtained his BPharm and MSc from King’s College London and his PhD (2005) in drug delivery from Cardiff University. He conducted postdoctoral research at the Technical University Dresden (Germany) and Tufts University (Boston, USA). He is a Fellow of the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. His research interest lies at the interface of cell biology, drug delivery and material science. His research mission involves top-down, challenge-based activities centred on developing pharmaceutical materials for healthcare technologies, with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.
Yiwen is a Senior Research Scientist at National Physical Laboratory (NPL). Yiwen’s main expertise lies in the development of new analytical knowledges for high-value sustainable polymer technologies, with a focus on medical applications. Yiwen is passionate about and has been active in the design, synthesis and analysis of advanced polymeric nanomaterials. Yiwen is a UK expert for ISO/TC 229 (nanotechnologies) and CEN/TC 352 (nanotechnologies).
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