Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Using nanotechnology to make better pharmaceuticals

Manufacture and process development of nano-engineered pharmaceutical particles

AstraZeneca is interested in novel platform technologies for nano-engineering pharmaceuticals, while TU Delft has expertise in scalable approaches for nano-engineering particles. They have teamed up two bring these two interests together.

Administration of drugs to the lungs is the preferred way in treating pulmonary diseases such as asthma, but also for drugs that exhibit a poor bioavailability when administrated by the oral route. Moreover, there is a general trend in pharma to use nanoparticles: this optimizes the uptake (e.g., certain nanoparticles can cross membranes) and limits the doses of the active components. However, proper approaches for making nanoparticles with constant quality at the large scale is still lacking.

In this project, we aim to explore and develop an approach for manufacturing pharmaceutical products based on dry nanopowders. For the current dry powder inhalers, only a limited part of the powder properly leaves the device. Moreover, this powder often does not have the optimal size. With the proposed research, we will develop technology to reduce the losses during the use of dry powder inhalers, to better tune the size and solubility of the product.

The final outcome of the project will be technology for controlling the dispersibility and dissolution of dry pharmaceutical powders, specifically aimed at dry powder inhalation. We do not aim for treatment of a specific disease, but rather for a general platform technology that can be adapted for specific applications.