RDD 2018 In Review

Respiratory Drug Delivery® 2018 took place in Tucson, Arizona, from April 22 through April 26, 2018, convening experts from the pharmaceutical industry, academia and government agencies to discuss emerging science associated with inhaled drug delivery. Joseph DiPiro, Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Virginia Commonwealth University, welcomed 550 participants, representing 28 countries. Just over half (51%) came from the USA and Canada, 39% from Europe and the remaining 10% from the rest of the world including India, China, South Korea, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. Approximately 83% of attendees reported working for pharmaceutical companies or their suppliers while the remaining 17% were from academia and regulatory authorities.

Charles G. Thiel Award

Charles Thiel Award
Charlie Thiel and John Pritchard
RDD recognized innovators in the field, old and young. The conference organizers were honored to present the 2018 Charles G. Thiel Award to John Pritchard, of Philips Respironics. John is a committed scientist and well-published author who has pioneered and disseminated core knowledge throughout his career for the benefit of all in the respiratory family. John’s fingerprints are on a significant number of inhaled products – Advair, Flovent, Symbicort, Dulera, Optichamber, Innospire and eFlow to name just a few – more products than any previous Thiel awardee.  John was a Founding Member and President of The Aerosol Society and co-founder of the Drug Delivery to the Lungs conference in Great Britain. Charlie Thiel was in attendance to present the award in person. Endowed at VCU by 3M Drug Delivery Systems, the Thiel award recognizes outstanding research and discovery in respiratory drug delivery.

Peter R. Byron Travel Award

Peter Byron Award
James Ivey, Joe DiPiro and Peter Byron
The third VCU RDD Peter R. Byron Graduate Student Award (the "Pete"), was presented to James Ivey, of the University of Alberta, Canada, for his work on Isokinetic In-line Sampling Enables Rapid Characterization of Atomizers and Cyclones for Spray Drying Process Development. All graduate students who had a poster abstract accepted for the conference and attended RDD 2018 were eligible to receive the award, which covers the student's registration fee, travel expenses and accommodation up to $2,000. The next award will be made at RDD Europe 2019 - the deadline for Scientific Poster abstracts submission is January 7, 2019.

An Unexpected Award for Peter Byron

Immediately after presenting “the Pete”, Peter Byron was himself was ambushed by colleagues (Tony Hickey and Andy Clark) and representatives from various inhalation organizations, including AAAR (Tyler Beck), AAPS INTFG (Philip Kuehl), ISAM (Hugh Smyth), USP (Jolyon Mitchell) and VCU (Dean DiPiro), who surprised him with a special commendation in recognition of his own outstanding contributions to inhaled drug delivery.

Peter Byron Award
Tony Hickey, Hugh Smyth, Joe DiPiro, Tyler Beck, Peter Byron, Philip Kuehl, Jolyon Mitchell, Andy Clark


Plenary Speaker
Fernando Martinez
The plenary lecture was delivered by Fernando Martinez, Director, University of Arizona Health Sciences Asthma and Airway Disease Research Center, who emphasized the importance of lung function in childhood as a predictor for asthma and COPD in later years. Other speakers offered insights in lung biology, targeted inhalation and molecular design, connected medicines, deposition modeling, respiratory support devices, regional nasal targeting, and innovations in pharmaceutical engineering.

Tuesday morning opened with back-to-back sessions offered by the conference Platinum Sponsors. 3M Drug Delivery Systems highlighted the challenges associated with designing a pressurized metered dose inhaler (pMDI) to match the performance of an existing inhalation product as well as their 3M Intelligent Control Inhaler™ platform. Aptar Pharma provided an overview on the most recent FDA guidance on NDA and ANDA submissions for Combination Products focusing on respiratory and nasal drug products. Lonza Pharma & Biotech’s seminar, entitled “Expanding the Orally Inhaled and Nasal Drug Product Portfolio Through Particle Engineering”, discussed how to use technology to incorporate particle engineering techniques to overcome dose, solubility and other unique challenges.

Highlights of FDA’s April 2018 Draft Guidance on Quality Considerations for MDI and DPI Drug Products

At the request of the FDA, the RDD team organized a late-breaking presentation by Richard Lostritto, US Food & Drug Administration, who outlined the long anticipated update to the Draft FDA Guidance on Quality Considerations for MDI and DPI Drug Products, which had been announced four days prior to the start of the conference. The Thursday morning session, Expanding the Marketplace for Generic Inhalers via Improved Testing & Regulatory Guidance, provided a timely complement to Lostritto’s well-attended talk and emphasized the increase in product specific guidances that are now available as well as the funded research programs to understand the complexities of inhalation products. A lively panel discussion concluded the session.

Conference audience
Packed Auditorium for Rik Lostritto's Presentation

Poster and Technology Exhibition

Technology exhibition
Scientific Poster Session
The Scientific Poster Session and Technology Exhibition provided two days of effective networking. “Posters on the Podium” highlighted the latest research in pulmonary and nasal delivery submitted to the Scientific Poster Session and included presentations by both graduate students, academics and industrial representatives. VCU hosted a reception on Monday evening providing time for viewing 84 posters and over 100 exhibitor tables. The Technology Exhibition showcased the latest services, excipients, testing equipment, as well as novel devices ranging from low cost disposable DPIs to connected inhalers. During the conference peer-reviewed speaker papers and poster abstracts were available. Delegates had the option of print or searchable electronic versions after the meeting.

Connecting Science and People

Networking in the Sunshine
RDD is proud of its reputation for fostering long-standing professional relationships in a casual and collegial atmosphere, and RDD 2018 presented many opportunities to connect with fellow attendees. Beyond the podium and poster sessions, evening receptions, breakfasts, breaks, Wednesday morning recreation, and the Wednesday evening Dinner all allowed attendees to network and even relax a little under the desert sun.

The organizers thank the presenters, exhibitors, sponsors and all those in attendance who make the annual Respiratory Drug Delivery series a success. We encourage you to attend future conferences so we can continue to showcase cutting-edge science from international opinion leaders.

Future Conferences

Our next meeting is RDD Asia 2018, to be held in Kochi, India, November 14-16, 2018. RDD Europe is heading to Lisbon, Portugal, for RDD Europe 2019, May 7-10, 2019. Both meetings offer invited speaker, poster, exhibition, workshop and sponsorship opportunities.

Please visit rddonline.com for deadlines and details, or contact info@rddonline.com with programming or speaker suggestions.

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