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A model for pharma development
by DDNews Staff  |  Email the author


MedPharm, a leading clinical development organization in topical and transdermal drug delivery, recently announced that it has expanded its testing models to support pharmaceutical development programs targeting coronavirus treatments.
These models reportedly allow companies to assess therapeutic effectiveness in nasal, airway (bronchial), and deep lung (alveolar) epithelia against members of the Coronaviridae family. The use of such models is, in part, intended to help to de-risk development programs and screen drugs for therapeutic effectiveness to accelerate development prior to clinical trials.
“This new model allows companies to screen compounds and formulations to answer critical questions about effectiveness against viral infections in the Coronaviridae family prior to the clinic,” said Dr. Jon Lenn, MedPharm’s chief technology officer. “Finding effective new treatments quickly for these viral infections is imperative in these extraordinary times.”
MedPharm’s facility in North Carolina has a dedicated innovation laboratory, able to rapidly support the development of new types of in vitro pharmacodynamic/infection models. The dedicated microbiology lab has been specifically designed with negative internal pressure and biological safety cabinets suitable for BSL2 work. These models are based on air liquid interface tissue culture of primary human cells from different regions of the respiratory system which are then infected with relevant corona viral strains.   
MedPharm notes that it has a history of innovation in developing living tissue models to screen compounds and formulations.  This experience, company officials say, allows the company to quickly react and help solve project-specific problems for its customers and stay at the forefront of the latest scientific breakthroughs and technology.
Dr Jon Volmer, MedPharm’s Senior Director of Research Biology and Innovation, who has over 15 years experience in investigating of lung and respiratory disease at the University of North Carolina and the University of Texas, added: “We are looking forward to applying such a useful high throughput model to the development of new therapies for current and future coronaviruses”.  
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