22 March 2019

Assistant Professor Stine Harloff-Helleberg receives grant from Lundbeckfonden


Assistant Professor Stine Harloff-Helleberg (Center for Biopharmaceuticals and Biobarriers in Drug Delivery and the Drug Delivery and Biophysics of Biopharmaceuticals group) has been granted DKK 2,4 million from Lundbeckfonden for her project "Understanding mucosal drug delivery by uncovering the interaction between delivery system and mucus".


Oral administration of biopharmaceuticals (BP) is an attractive alternative to today’s invasive injections, resulting in adverse consequences on life quality. Unfortunately, being able to deliver BP orally is despite many attempts still not successful, and thus represents a major challenge for oral therapy with BPs. One central and underestimated challenge is the understanding of how drug delivery system (DDS) with BPs interacts with the mucosal surface, lining the intestinal tract. The hypothesis in this proposal is that a deeper fundamental understanding of BP-DDS-mucus interaction allows for novel and innovative biomedical approaches to overcome challenges of mucosal delivery. Recently, available large-scale synchrotron research infrastructure and advances in in vitro3D dynamic flow models have now made these investigations possible at the required level of detail. To successfully address the hypothesis, I will explore the following aims:(1) select and advance state-of-the-art BP-DDS by systematically introduce structural modifications. (2) Implement a highly advanced dynamic microfluidic model, via research stays in MIT Boston, to highly advanced dynamic microfluidic model, via research stays in MIT Boston, to understand the effect of BP-DDS’s physicochemical properties on mucus interaction. (3) Employ a novel approach, neutron reflectometry, to study molecular level impact of BP-DDS on mucus in collaboration with Malmö Uni.(4) Relate findings (aim 2-3) to advanced ex vivomodel via research stay at Uni. College Dublin.