The group perform research and development in pharmaceutical technology and applies scientific principles in the formulation of medicines and in the development and use of predictive models of drug absorption. This involves not only some of the more challenging conventional drug molecules, but also the products of biotechnology. The ability of a formulation to influence the targeting and duration of drug action and affect therapeutic success is the major theme and results in a multifaceted research programme. Research is conducted in a vibrant environment through close associations with other research groups within King’s College London and active collaborations with universities, institutes and companies across the world. The Medicines Development Group has excellent facilities for dosage form characterisation, laboratory scale formulation of dosage forms, and in-vitro and in-vivo evaluation of drug candidates and medicines.
In the study of pharmaceutical biophysics, the group aims to secure an understanding at the molecular level of the physicochemical and biological properties of small and macromolecules, lipid membrane systems and macromolecular drugs and drug delivery systems, through the combined application of advanced analytical techniques, including computer modelling, FT-IR, circular dichroism, Raman spectroscopy, static and dynamic light scattering, rheometry and dilute solution viscometry, atomic force microscopy, X-ray diffraction, small angle neutron scattering, neutron reflectivity and both liquid and solid-state NMR.
The group applies scientific principles and analytical techniques for identifying, characterising and quantifying biological molecules. This work is applied in both the kinetic and equilibrated states to the health related fields, drug disposition and metabolism, biochemical endocrinology, clinical chemistry and evidential analysis.
Translational research and clinical pharmaceutics
Development of novel materials, processes, formulations and devices is the metier of the group. This not only results in numerous publications, it has also given rise to many patents. These include international patents for stabilising proteins in inhaler devices or improving the efficacy of topical formulations through formulation and device design. Where possible, this intellectual property is licensed to industry and products utilising technology developed at King’s are in various stages of clinical development, including products on the market such as Solaraze gel for actinic keratosis. Not all research is commercially exploitable, however, and the group also work to develop medicines for orphan diseases. Collaboration with the National Health Service allows the group to apply their expertise to clinical problems with successful projects contributing to improvements in medicines manufactured as ‘specials’ for specific patient populations.
International funding and mobility
The group’s research is funded by UK research councils and charities and by strong links with industry in the UK and worldwide. The group work internationally with active collaborations throughout Europe, in the USA and Asia. International postgraduate research programmes are supported by ORS awards and European Union training schemes.
The Head of the group is Professor Ben Forbes