Award-winning King’s College London researcher to join ISAB for in vitro dissolution collaboration
King’s College London (KCL) research associate Dr Abhinav Kumar is joining ISAB at their lab in Stockholm in 2015 to collaborate on in vitro dissolution research: “Our team at KCL has developed simulated human lung lining fluid. With ISAB’s expertise in in vitro dissolution testing we hope to generate exemplary data. Working with ISAB lets me engage with a group of world class scientists, who continually challenge me intellectually and further my professional development,” says Dr Kumar.
Dr Abhinav Kumar is one of the most feted and awarded young researchers in the field of inhalation, and in 2015 he will be collaborating onsite with ISAB at their labs in Stockholm.
“Simulated extracellular lung fluids bring the importance of biorelevant models to the analysis of inhaled materials,” says Dr Kumar. “Human beings are being increasingly exposed to engineered particles and the number of inhaled drug formulations coming onto the market is rising. Better methods for testing how inhaled drugs and particles interact with the respiratory tract lining fluid could contribute significantly to understanding the solubility and dissolution of new inhaled drugs. Our team at KCL has developed a simulant model of human lung lining fluid, and with ISAB’s expertise in in vitro dissolution testing we hope to generate exemplary dataset, and ultimately attract funding to take the model forward.”
DissolvIt: Leading in vitro dissolution capability
The KCL team has already used ISAB in vitro dissolution technology: “ISAB’s in vitro dissolution capability is unparalleled, as it has been designed to mimic the in vivo situation as closely as possible,” says Dr Kumar. “ISAB’s DissolvIt system is a highly innovative, robust and effective device which has been developed by innovating rather than replicating. It meets, and exceeds, current standards and guidelines in assessing drug dissolution.”
Abhinav’s supervisor, Dr Ben Forbes, agrees. He is Reader in Pharmacuetics at the Institute of Pharmaceutical Science at King’s College London (KCL) and publishes extensively on inhalation, most recently co-authoring Triggered-release nanocapsules for drug delivery to the lungs (Jan’ 2015) and Quantitative assessment of nanoparticle surface hydrophobicity and its influence on pulmonary biocompatibility (June 2014). “ISAB are highly expert and take a collaborative academic approach,” Dr Forbes says. “For King’s and ISAB this is a win-win arrangement: ISAB have bespoke dissolution technology, with their engineered kit, and King’s have the data on human lung fluid. I’d describe ISAB’s in vitro dissolution capabilities as excellent, in fact, leading.”
Dr Abhinav Kumar: Multi-award winning
Dr Forbes attributes Abhinav Kumar’s success to his “enthusiasm, curiosity and tenacity.” All of which have lead to Dr Kumar being one of the most celebrated young researchers in the inhalation field. What drives him?
“The global burden of lung related diseases is growing year on year,” he says. “I’m curious about the health impact of commercially manufactured and environmentally inhaled nanoparticles. I want to develop better in vitro models to understand the particle/drug-cell interaction. I’m intrigued by this research as it has the potential to impact society on a broad scale. I am also very interested in the interplay between science and public policy. I believe that data generated from my research might help inform policy makers.”
Multidisciplinary approach essential
Dr Kumar’s three Young Investigator Awards have been for multidisciplinary and translational work. He believes a multidisciplinary approach is vital: “Researchers shouldn’t be afraid of moving away from the techniques they know – embracing whatever technological tool is available to address a given question, and gaining the technical ability to innovate new solutions where none currently exist. A lot of researchers put blinkers on and focus on their micro-environment. But in the way scientific data is being generated today – especially with the explosion of big data – things are more connected. So I tell my project students that the most important thing is to talk to other researchers – at meetings, seminars and conferences – even if they work in an area which seems far apart.”
Increased interest and collaboration in dissolution testing
Dr Forbes too has previously written about the clear benefits of a multidisciplinary collaborative approach, calling for better industry-academia-regulatory co-operation, improved sharing of pre-competitive data, and open innovation through collaborative research in key topics such as lung deposition, drug solubility and dissolution in lung fluid, and adaptive responses in safety studies. Does he see the present collaboration with ISAB and KCL as part of this? “Absolutely,” he says. “We’re seeing increased interest in dissolution testing, it’s under discussion by cross-industry groups (IPAC-RS, EPAG) and data for dissolution is increasingly presented at conferences.”
ISAB CEO Fredrik Sjövall is delighted to continue the collaboration with KCL and looking forward to Abhinav working in the lab. “This really shows the power of a truly multidisciplinary approach,” he says, “and the growing recognition of the importance of in vitro dissolution testing. We’re delighted to partner with KCL who have so consistently pioneered and led the way in such vital research. And we’re greatly looking forward to the skills, expertise and commitment that Abhinav will bring with him as part of the ISAB lab team.”
Dr Abhinav Kumar
Pat Burnell New Investigator Award, Drug Delivery to the Lungs (DDL) 2014 Conference
Young Investigator Award 2014 International Society of Aerosols in Medicine and Association of Inhalation Toxicologists
Young Investigator Award 2012 Society for Free Radical Research International