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Discovery & Development Drug Delivery, Formulation

Breathing Easy

What was your route into inhaled drug development? And why is this such a fascinating field?

When I started my career as an inhalation formulation section head at Norton Healthcare in the UK (which later became IVAX, UK, and is now part of Teva), I was fortunate enough to work with colleagues who developed Spinhaler, the first commercially successful dry powder inhaler (DPI). During that time, I learnt that DPI formulations are counterintuitively the “simplest” yet “most complicated” among all dosage forms. On the one hand, DPI formulations only contain two ingredients: micronized API and lactose – and it doesn’t get much simpler than that. (My colleagues used to joke that the first DPI formulation was prepared in the laboratory by shaking the ingredients in a plastic bag!) On the other hand, you must achieve good product performance from a fixed device with only two components – and that it is extremely challenging. This melding of simplicity and complexity really drew me to the field.

Since starting my career, I’ve been fortunate to witness constant advances in inhalation science, along with the launch of many patient-centric products. Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are two of the most prevalent diseases worldwide – most people will know someone who suffers (or suffer themselves). I’ve had colleagues who suffered with asthma and the inhaler significantly improved the quality of their life. And that really emphasized to me the importance of my field of work. 

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About the Author

Stephanie Sutton

Making great scientific magazines isn’t just about delivering knowledge and high quality content; it’s also about packaging these in the right words to ensure that someone is truly inspired by a topic. My passion is ensuring that our authors’ expertise is presented as a seamless and enjoyable reading experience, whether in print, in digital or on social media. I’ve spent seven years writing and editing features for scientific and manufacturing publications, and in making this content engaging and accessible without sacrificing its scientific integrity. There is nothing better than a magazine with great content that feels great to read.

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