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Dry powder inhalation of biopharmaceuticals. From formulation to proof-of-concept

11 December 2009

PhD Ceremony: G.S. Zijlstra, 13.15 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Dissertation: Dry powder inhalation of biopharmaceuticals. From formulation to proof-of-concept

Promotor(s): prof.dr. H.W. Frijlink

Faculty: Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Contact: Gerrit Zijlstra, tel. 026-3782246, e-mail: gerrit.zijlstra@novartis.com

The research of Gerrit Zijlstra demonstrates that biopharmaceuticals can be successfully developed as powder for inhalation. This means that for this class of therapeutics, which are usually administered as liquids, new dosage forms can be used.

The advantages of dry powder inhalation are for example a much shorter administration time, improved ease of use, improved storage stability, no need for refrigeration and a much better deposition in the lung. In addition, in a pharmaco-economic analysis for rhDNase these advantages even result in 40% lower costs per rhDNase treatment compared to nebulization. The administration of powders for inhalation to small laboratory animals was also investigated by Zijlstra and this resulted in an important contribution to the preclinical testing of such formulations. He developed a method that allows small laboratory animals to non-invasively inhale the powder. With this method, the aerosol properties of various formulations and inhalers can be assessed in a comparative manner at an early stage of development. Finally Zijlstra investigated an innovative approach of biopharmaceutical intervening in which the complex formulation of the protein could be avoided by administering a substrate that results in the production of the protein (enzyme) in the body itself. The ability to produce dry powder of biopharmaceuticals may therefore lead to a variety of treatment possibilities from which not only the patient but also society could profit.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.39 p.m.
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