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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/S012265/1
Title: An Injectable Implant Providing Long-Acting Drug Delivery for the Treatment of Chronic disease
Principal Investigator: McDonald, Dr T O
Other Investigators:
Kearns, Dr VR Owen, Professor A Rannard, Professor S
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Aintree University Hospitals Anton Paar UK Ltd
Department: Chemistry
Organisation: University of Liverpool
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 05 April 2019 Ends: 04 April 2023 Value (£): 931,713
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Biomaterials Complex fluids & soft solids
Drug Formulation & Delivery Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
01 Aug 2018 HT Investigator-led Panel Meeting - Aug 2018 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Within Europe, chronic diseases are currently the leading cause of mortality and morbidity. In England alone, there are 15m people with long-term conditions who are estimated to account for 70% of the total health and social care spend. A significant factor in the management of chronic disease is the long-term nature of the treatment. Although often very efficient, therapies are only effective when combined with long-term medication adherence from the patient. Unfortunately, patient adherence is typically poor within long-term disease patient populations; only about 50% of patients adhere to their treatment regimes. Poor adherence can be addressed by the simplification of therapeutic regimes through reducing the dosing frequency. For example, when self-administered treatment regimens such as oral dosing are replaced with long acting formulations adherence can be greatly improved. Additionally, reducing the frequently of dosing is known to be appealing to patients with long-term therapy requirements.

This proposal seeks to develop a new drug delivery system that could be easily injected into the body and would provide long-acting drug release. This technology would address issues caused by poor medication adherence. The drug delivery system would be composed of responsive polymer nanoparticles and drug nanoparticles that form a nanocomposite, entrapping a reservoir of drug upon injection into the body. After the drug has been released the materials would degrade into non-toxic components and leave the body.

In order to accelerate the development of this novel technology toward clinical use, this project will consist of closely-integrated materials synthesis and biological assessment. The materials involved will be simultaneously prepared and evaluated in the presence of cells to check that they are biologically compatible. The responsive polymer nanoparticles will be synthesised to combine responsive behaviour with tuneable degradation, while the design of the drug nanoparticles will allow the drug release rate to be altered. A small number of optimised materials will undergo detailed biological evaluation. The resulting novel, biodegradable, nanocomposite material would have appropriate physical and biological properties for injection into the body. This technology will provide tuneable, long-acting release of drugs for the treatment of chronic disease.

Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.liv.ac.uk