Advanced Drug Delivery Group awarded 3 year ARC Linkage Grant

5 November 2009

The Advance Drug Delivery Group, Dr Daniela Traini, Dr Paul Young and Professor Hak-Kim Chan, at the Faculty of Pharmacy have just been awarded a three year Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant, entitled 'Engineering of composite particles to enhance performance in respiratory drug delivery'.

The grant links with Synectix Pharmaceutical Solutions Ltd in the UK. Funding for the three years, including partner organization contribution, will total half a million dollars.

This project will develop a new method of high-efficiency respiratory drug delivery based on composite particles. The development of effective inhalation medicines is limited by the engineering constraints surrounding the production of micron sized crystalline drug particles. This project will develop an alternative approach explains Dr Daniela Traini, Chief Investigator on the project.

"Basically we will be looking at the structure of drugs used to treat respiratory illness and experimenting with a number of compositions to try and make them more stable. The outcome will mean that the drug is much more predictable and therefore much more efficient in its treatment of disease."

Respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic pulmonary disease affect in excess of 5.8 million Australians and the common method of treatment is via drug inhalation. Although a wide range of drugs are commercially available as dry powder inhalers the efficiency of these systems is poor, with most devices delivering less than 20% to the lung.

The technology developed from this project will advance Australia's Research & Innovation and Pharmaceutical industry sector, and improve healthcare outcomes in the government's key priority area of Promoting and maintaining good health: 'A healthy start to life' and 'Ageing well'

Dr Traini who completed her postgraduate studies at the University of Bath in England after spending five years working in the pharmaceutical industry, has been at the Faculty since 2005, attracted in part by the opportunity to work with Professor Chan, who had established a group researching drug delivery to the lungs. Dr Young, also a senior lecturer in Pharmaceutics at the Faculty, has expertise in all areas of Pharmaceutical Technology, including solid dosage forms, inhalation, nasal delivery, colloidal science, controlled release and surface/interfacial science.

Partner organization Synectix is a technology focused R&D company engaged in early phase pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical drug dosage form design and development. The Synectix team will be led by Dr Mark Saunders and Dr Simon Gainsford.

Further information on the Advanced Drug Delivery Group can be found at

Further information on ARC Linkage grants can be found at the ARC website

Contact: Claire Riordan

Phone: 02 9351 3925

Email: 2d363d4027164a0237200b0f1b0f472138524b6a5c1e076d3022