Silicon-based micro-machined devices for the controlled delivery of oral therapeutics, developed by Tejal Desai from the University of California, have won first prize at the 2006 Eurand Award Programme, impressing with their ability to combine novelty with practicality.
Specialty drug firm Eurand gave the award to Desai after reviewing the work of all those who presented at the 33rd annual meeting of the Controlled Release Society in Vienna. Her presentation showed how geometrically designed polymer-based micro-devices, which also have a relatively simple manufacturing process, exhibit properties that are not found in traditional spherical particulate systems.
In particular, these devices demonstrate enhanced cellular adhesion and the paracellular transport of the therapeutic molecules that they are fabricated to deliver.
"The Eurand Award Evaluation Board was once again very impressed by the quality and quantity of applications for the Grand Prize award," said Stephen Perrett, technology director at Eurand.
"Dr Desai's technology has the potential to become something truly distinct in what is an increasingly well-developed field."
The second prize was awarded to Puchun Liu from Emisphere Technologies for his presentation of work on the oral delivery of insulin using Emisphere's eligen technology.
Liu's presentation explored the impact of dosage form and site on oral insulin absorption and, in the model used, it was demonstrated that absorption site and dosage form do influence the levels of insulin absorbed.
An honorable mention was awarded to Tae Kyoung Kim from Banner Pharmacaps for work carried out on an extended release drug delivery system, Versatrol, for use in soft gelatin capsules.
This presentation demonstrated how sustained-release drug dosage forms can be constructed from a semi-solid system filled into soft gelatin capsules.
Bill Charman from Monash University in Australia was given the Career Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to oral drug delivery.
Charman has published over 320 scientific papers and communications and his research interests include the bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs, lymphatic drug transport and drug candidate optimisation.
He is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, a fellow of AAPS and a member of various Scientific Advisory Boards.
Now in its seventh year, the Eurand Awards Programme, which is sponsored by Eurand and held in conjunction with the Controlled Release Society, is regarded as a premier industry award and is designed to encourage, recognise and reward innovative approaches in oral drug delivery.