Enabling Patient-Centric Nanoparticle Drug Discovery and Design through Sparse-Data AI

When:  Sep 27, 2022 from 12:30 to 14:00 (ET)
Associated with  AAPS Community

This presentation will run through a range of solid form strategies for increasing oral bioavailability and their relative advantages and disadvantages, including salt formation, co-crystallization, spray drying of amorphous solid dispersions, and Controlled Expansion of Supercritical Solutions (CESS®). The dissolution behavior of nanoparticles created using different techniques will be explored, along with the importance of crystallinity in the context of drug design.

To this end, the presentation will feature case study examples, including piroxicam (PRX), fenofibrate (FEN) and budesonide (BUD), demonstrating methods for controlling crystallinity, particle size and polymorphism using supercritical carbon dioxide to achieve the desired particle attributes.

A closer look will be taken at how the use of nanoparticles can contribute to patient comfort and quality of life, examining how reducing particle size can lead to, for example, increased drug loading and lower pill burden. Finally, the presentation will also explore how sparse-data AI can be used to predict both a drug candidate’s propensity to crystallize and its amenability for a specific nanoparticle engineering technique, highlighting that through this technology it is possible to determine that 87% of all API molecules whose structure has been publicly disclosed are amenable to CESS®. Taken together, the presentation will serve to spotlight the game-changing nature of patient-centric nanoparticle drug discovery and design powered by sparse-data AI.


Dr. Christopher P Worrall joined Nanoform as the Vice President of US Business Development in May 2021. He is an expert in the area of crystallization and physicochemical modification, having spent the last 14 years specializing in the pharmaceutical solid form, including 13 years with Pharmorphix.

Dr. Worrall has been involved in the development of 7 commercial pharmaceutical products and is an inventor on numerous patents in the areas of liquid crystals, organic semi-conductors, and pharmaceutical solid form. Prior to 2008, he held scientist positions at SAFC and Merck KGaA focusing on developing organic syntheses for GMP production of active pharmaceutical ingredients and display materials. He earned his PhD in synthetic organic chemistry from the University of Manchester, UK, and has multiple publications in the areas of atropisomerism and enantioselective synthesis.

Elisabetta Micelotta has extensive research experience within the fields of astrophysics and nanoscience in space, having completed a Marie Curie Postgraduate Fellowship at the Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale in France and formerly holding a position of Postdoctoral Research Assistant at NASA Goddard. Elisabetta further progressed as a Researcher in the Department of Physics at the University of Helsinki. In her current role of Science and Technology Team Leader at Nanoform, Elisabetta’s work focuses on investigating the physico-chemical foundations of nanoformation to support continuous improvement of the process. In this perspective, Elisabetta’s team has developed STARMAP®, Nanoform’s AI-based tool to identify the candidate molecules best amenable to CESS®.

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