Abstract: Polymeric materials have been used in a range of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products for more than 50 years. These materials have evolved from their earlier use as biodegradable products such as resorbable sutures, orthopedic implants, macroscale and microscale drug delivery systems such as microparticles and wafers used as controlled drug release depots, to multifunctional nanoparticles (NPs) capable of targeting, and controlled release of therapeutic and diagnostic agents. These newer generations of targeted and controlled release polymeric NPs are now engineered to navigate the complex in vivo environment, and incorporate functionalities for achieving target specificity, control of drug release/concentration and exposure kinetics at the tissue, cell, and subcellular levels. Indeed this optimization of drug pharmacology as aided by careful design of multifunctional NPs can lead to improved drug safety and efficacy, and may be complimentary to drug enhancements that are traditionally achieved by medicinal chemistry.

Potential advantages of polymeric NPs include: (1) the ability to improve the pharmaceutical and pharmacological properties of drugs, potentially without the need to alter drug molecules, (2) enhancement of therapeutic efficacy by targeted delivery of drugs in a tissue- or cell-specific manner, (3) delivery of drugs across a range of biological barriers including epithelial and endothelial, (4) delivery of drugs to intracellular sites of action, (5) the ability to deliver multiple types of therapeutics with potentially different physicochemical properties, (6) the ability to deliver a combination of imaging and therapeutic agents for real-time monitoring of therapeutic efficacy and, (7) possibilities to develop highly differentiated therapeutics protected by a unique set of intellectual properties.

Inflammation is a hallmark of many diseases, and therapeutics such as nanomedicines that can dampen inflammation, enhance resolution, and achieve this in a controlled manner with minimal host collateral damage are of considerable interest. This talk will present investigations into the development of targeted anti-inflammatory polymeric nanomedicines incorporating potent biologics. These findings support the concept that defective inflammation resolution plays a role in chronic conditions such as heart disease, IBD and stroke, suggesting a new form of therapy and paradigm shift in thinking from antagonistic to agonistic approaches for the treatment of inflammatory diseases via the effective delivery of potent biologics that can modulate multiple cascade in vivo.