Hanne Mørck Nielsen
Drug design and delivery of biopharmaceuticals, specifically related to designing and evaluating drug delivery systems (DDS) efficiently deliver biopharmaceuticals to seriously ill patients. I focus on drug design and delivery of therapeutic peptides/proteins and other challenging hydrophilic drugs like antibiotics and oligonucleotides for them to reach their target in sufficiently high amounts. To advance the field of drug delivery of biopharmaceuticals, interdisciplinary research is essential since only by implementing expertise in various aspects of chemistry, biology, and analysis, in relation to pharmaceutical sciences, we, as researchers, will be able to lead the field towards scientific innovations.
I apply pharmaceutical formulation design implementing expertise on the chemistry of drugs and excipients, processing technologies with expertise on drug design and delivery; namely the biological matrix interaction, uptake, and transport of the active drug molecule to target. Thoroughly understanding the importance of the properties of the DDS, drug, and (expected inactive) excipients and their interactions with biological matrices, is crucial for advancing the design of future (bio)pharmaceutical drugs. Importantly, the effect of drug formulation processing parameters may be decisive for the properties of the DDS and thus the safe use and applicability. Further, analytical processing of samples and quantitative assessment of data obtained by applying relevant in vitro and in vivo models are necessary to translate to expected outcome in humans. In brief, I hold expertise in: (1) design of advanced DDS based on e.g. carrier peptides, lipids and (bio)polymers, (2) cell-penetrating peptides, (3) antibiotics and antimicrobial peptides, (4) drug interaction with and transport across biological matrices such as mucus, epithelia and biofilms, (5) application of biosimilar in vitro and in vivo models.