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Medicines Development and Pharmaceutical Sciences

The group has strength, critical mass and excellent technical capacity in a range of areas important to medicines development and pharmaceutical sciences. These include expert computational chemistry approaches to predicting crystal structure, through to green technologies and smart solutions to formulation (engineering) of preparations containing medicinally important compounds in ways which improve solubility, dispersion and access to biological target tissues.  In particular the group is developing novel methods based on extrusion and microwave-based technologies, and with colleagues in Engineering, has developed a number of novel tools for skin delivery of drugs, namely microneedles and patches.  The group maintains world-class capability for chemical analysis, allowing detailed examination of compounds and their physical properties, in particular this approach allows analysis and development of complex mixtures of bioactives, and analysis of drug purity and stability.  The group has pioneered novel methods to monitor compound and protein aggregation.  Historically, Bradford is known internationally for its expertise in particle engineering, and this expertise continues, both in production of particles for a range of applications, and in the development of novel coatings using rheological techniques.  In addition the group has a strong interest in medicines quality and the supply chain, using sound science and analytical techniques to inform international policy, particularly in the developing world.

The strategy of the group over the next five years is to maintain, and in some cases develop, internationally-recognised excellence in the following areas:

  1. Complex Materials
  2. Formulation of Multicomponent and Complex Products
  3. Overcoming Complex Barriers for Functional Performance;

Specific areas of interest within these domains include:

  1. Problem solving for industrial applications: our experience in prediction and formulation allows us to work with industry to solve specific problems to optimise manufacture and bioavailability.  These include optimisation of crystal forms of drugs and novel formulations (e.g. polymorph prediction, co-crystal formation, understanding protein aggregation)
  2. Re-formulation of natural products to achieve standardisation and to optimise bioactivity (existing work on curcumin and propolis)
  3. Formulation of biological agents (vaccines, antibodies) in ways suitable for world-wide use
  4. Systems chemistry, to optimise the design and delivery of biologically active mixtures
  5. Design and formulation to optimise CNS availability and skin delivery of medicinally important compounds.
  6. Rational design and evaluation of polymers as anti-aggregation agents
  7. Analysis of protein aggregates in complex mixtures for biomarkers.

Some staff also work within the Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science (CPES), an interdisciplinary research centre, which has been developed across the pharmaceutical sciences, polymer and process engineering disciplines.

Aspects of our research in this area is underpinned the Analytical Centre which contains a range of sophisticated and specialist analytical equipment including biological mass spectrometry, X-ray diffraction, NMR as well as a variety of chromatographic and spectroscopic techniques:

Lead Academic Professor Anant Paradkar.

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