Dry powder inhalation products (oxytocin, anti-infectives, vaccines)

D4 researchers are exploring opportunities where drug delivery to the airways can improve health outcomes for certain patient populations. The lungs present a large surface area with an extensive blood supply and thin epithelial cells. This can facilitate absorption of some compounds so that medication reaches the bloodstream without the need for an injection. In certain disease states, it is beneficial to deliver medicine to the site of action. D4 researchers are therefore investigating the role of inhaled antibiotics for respiratory infections.

Researchers are working to develop a novel aerosol delivery system for oxytocin that can be inhaled by patients immediately after childbirth, using a simple, disposable device. This approach will increase access to potentially life-saving treatment in resource-poor settings—where a large number of women give birth outside medical facilities or in understaffed and ill-equipped clinics with limited or no refrigeration facilities.

Pulmonary immunisation has gained increased recognition as a means of triggering both a mucosal and systemic immune response without the use of needles. The appropriate formulation of antigens in a dry, solid state can result in improved stability, thereby removing cold-chain storage complications associated with conventional liquid-based vaccines.

Delivery of the antibiotic via inhalation, as compared to intravenous administration, has the potential to achieve higher concentrations within the respiratory tract while minimising systemic exposure. These effects combined are likely to improve clinical efficacy and reduce adverse effects.

Research laboratories