EPISODE 9: Capsules for Targeted Therapy

 

A Game-Changer in Modern Medicine

In this episode we are joined by Vincent Jannin, Lonza's R&D Director, to explore Enprotect, the Award-Nominated Capsule Technology.

Imagine starting your day with a simple capsule that goes beyond simply dissolving in your stomach to reach the place in your body where it is needed most before releasing its medicine. That’s just what Lonza’s Enprotect enteric capsules do. They are designed to release medication directly into the small intestine, which represents a significant leap in pharmaceutical delivery. They improve patient compliance without increasing production costs and offer targeted delivery for specific therapies such as live biotherapeutic products. This targeted approach is crucial for treatments that require local delivery, for example for Crohn's disease, exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, or Clostridium difficile infection.

In this episode we hear from Vincent Jannin about how advances in polymer science have ushered in this new era of capsules capable of targeted drug delivery. This marvel of modern medicine combines the fields of chemistry, nanoscience, biology, and physics. The creation of a bilayer capsule—comprised of a structural layer for shape and a functional layer for targeted release—both required the development of new technologies and could itself serve as an enabling technology for future therapies.

Vincent Jannin and his team have published several peer-reviewed studies in open access scientific journals, which were mentioned in the podcast:

Curious to Know More? Join us this episode as we explore the journey from a simple capsule to a sophisticated drug delivery system and how this advancement reflects a remarkable fusion of science and innovation. Discover how the Enprotect technology not only offers hope for more effective treatments but also exemplifies the relentless pursuit of medical advancement for the benefit of patients everywhere.



KEY TERMS:

An enteric capsule is a type of capsule specifically designed to bypass the acidic environment of the stomach and release its contents into the small intestine. The term 'enteric' relates to the small intestine. These capsules are formulated to remain intact in the stomach and dissolve only when they reach the more neutral pH levels of the intestine, ensuring targeted drug delivery.

Enteric polymers are materials used in the construction of enteric capsules. They are chosen for their ability to withstand acidic conditions (like those in the stomach) and dissolve at higher pH levels like those found in the small intestine. HPMC Acetate Succinate is an example of an enteric polymer used for the outer layer of the capsule to ensure the treatment’s proper dissolution and release in the intestine.

Live Biotherapeutics (LBPs) refer to live microorganisms used for therapeutic purposes. They are designed to interact with the human microbiome, particularly in the small intestine, and are sensitive to stomach environments. The protection LBPs need before their release in the desired intestinal location is facilitated by specialized capsules.

Fecal Material Transfer refers to a medical treatment involving the transfer of fecal matter from a healthy donor to a patient, often used for conditions like Clostridium difficile infections. The podcast highlighted the potential use of enteric capsules for the delivery of such treatments directly to the small intestine, thereby offering an alternative to more invasive procedures.

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