3D printing of modular ‘polypills’ for personalised therapy

Interview with Beatriz Pereira, University of Central Lancashire, for JakajimaTV hosted by Pieter Hermans. Current healthcare follows an ‘one size fits all’ approach, and it is associated with high variations in treatment outcomes, due to the high interindividual variability.

Current healthcare follows an ‘one size fits all’ approach, which is associated with variations in therapeutic outcomes, due to the high interindividual variability. With the introduction of genetic diagnostics this method has gradually been replaced by a patient-centred approach.

The goal of personalised medicine is to tailor treatment to each patient’s needs taking into account the individual genotype and other characteristics such as allergies, the presence of co-morbidities and weight of the individual.

In the future, an electronic healthcare database may contain medical information about the patient. A computer software will be able to simulate the target pharmacokinetic profile of the drug, and a personalised tablet/capsule is generated. Through an e-prescription, healthcare professionals can then manufacture on-demand oral dosage forms using 3D printing (with for instance the polypill).

In order to move forward and apply 3D printing of medicines in a clinical setting, it is crucial to ensure the quality and safety of 3D printed drug products. Therefore, it is necessary to have full control of the formulation, by guaranteeing the compatibility between the formulation components and between the formulation and the 3d printing process and equipment.  In addition, it is crucial that the manufacturing process is controlled with the use of GMP qualified 3D printers and validation of a cleaning process to avoid any contamination.

More clinical studies to assess the benefits of 3D printed dosage forms are needed, especially with populations that can benefit the most from this technology, such as organ impaired individuals, paediatric and geriatric populations. Finally, a clearer regulatory pathway for 3D printed drug products is still needed.

For this, it is crucial that governments, regulatory bodies, educational institutions and industries collaborate to invest in and support this common interest.

If you are interested in the topic of 3D Pharma Printing and the polypill, please visit the conference site.

If you want to watch more interviews about 3D Medical Printing / Health Car Innovation please go to the JakajimaTV playlist for health care

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