CRSIC organized its 20th International symposium on “Advances in Technology and Business Potential of New Drug Delivery Systems” from 24th to 26th February 2022 on AirMeet virtual platform. This was a flagship event of CRSIC and we received excellent participation from academia as well as industry with 780 confirmed registrations from across the country as well as from USA, UAE, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia and New Zealand. The registration was offered free of charge to all the CRSIC members.
The symposium began with the inaugural function in which the welcome address and Sarasvati Vandana was recited by Dr. Madhur Kulkarni, Associate Professor and HOD-Pharmaceutics, SCES’s Indira College of Pharmacy, Pune and Secretary, CRSIC. The inaugural lamp was remotely lit by the Chief Guest, Prof. Benjamin Boyd, Professor in Drug Delivery Science at the University of Copenhegan, and Monash University, Australia. Dr. Boyd is also the current President of CRS Inc. The President of Executive Committee of CRSIC, Dr. Parizad Elchidana, Principal Technical Consultant – Pharma, at ACG delivered the presidential address. Dr. Vandana Patravale, Professor of Pharmaceutics at the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai and Vice President of CRSIC and the editor of the Newsletter briefed the audience about the CRSIC e-Newsletter and the e-abstract book. Dr. Boyd formally released the e- Newsletter and e- abstract book and in his inaugural talk that followed, highlighted the importance of understanding the impact of colloidal structures of the polymers on drug delivery and its outcome. The inaugural program concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Dr. Vandana Patravale.
Invited speakers’ sessions on day 1 began with a talk by Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro, Director, Cancer Biology Research Center, Israel. She gave an insight into use of nanotechnogy based brain targeting specifically to treat glioblastoma. Dr. Nathalie Mignet, Research Director at National Center for Scientific Research, France gave a wonderful session on the use of physical triggers in combination with drug delivery systems to achieve tumor targeting. Dr. Olivia Merkel, Professor of Drug Delivery, LMU, Munich, Germany explained her research work on pulmonary delivery of SiRNA to fight SARS Covid 2, the most contemporary topic of research. Dr. Maria Vicent, Head, Polymer Therapeutics Lab, Spain very lucidly discussed the therapeutic potential of polypeptide based conjugates. Day 1 also included technical showcase presentations by Mr. Naresh Gaddapati and Mr. Santosh Manepally from Merck Lifesciences and CADFEM India Pvt. Ltd. The scientific sessions were followed by a highly interactive student mentorship session in which mentors like Dr. Vandana Patravale, Dr. Maria Vicent, Dr. Sajeev Chandran, Director of Advanced Drug Delivery Research, Lupin Ltd. and Dr. Swati Biswas, Associate Professor, NIPER, Hyderabad diligently answered the queries of the participants and gave them valuable suggestions and advice.
Day 2 of the symposium began with an outstanding keynote address by Prof. Molly Stevens, Professor and Research Director, Biomedical Materials at Imperial College, UK. Dr. Molly showcased her truly multidisciplinary research on SPARTA technology, nanoneedle mediated tissue regeneration, and biosensors for early detection of infectious diseases and cancer. Prof. Yu Kyong Oh, Professor, College of Pharmacy, Seoul National University, South Korea delivered a brilliant session on approaches to treat tumors by altering the tumor microenvironment. Prof. Wim Hennink, Professor and HOD, Utrecht University, Netherlands explained applications of polymeric micelles and polymeric nanoparticles in improving the cellular delivery, and bioavailability of various drugs like curcumin. Prof. Tushar Kumeria, Fellow at School of Material Sciences and Engineering, UNSW, Australia elaborated the applications of porous silica nanoparticles whereas Dr. Ajay Banga, Professor & Department Chair, College of Pharmacy, Mercer University, USA gave a superb overview of drug delivery to and through the skin. The technical showcase presentations on day 2 were delivered by Dr. Michael Caves from Malvern Panalytical and Anita Solanki from ACG-Worldwide. Scientific sessions of day 2 were again followed by an interactive mentorship session. Dr. Ajay Banga, Dr. Parizad Elchidana, Dr. Padma Devarajan (Professor of Pharmaceutics, Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai), and Dr. N. Udupa (Research Director, SDM University, Dharwad) guided the students with regards to the expectations of industry and academia in terms of research quality, technical, and soft skills.
On day 3 of the symposium, eminent scientist Prof. Christine Allen, (Vice Provost, Strategic Initiatives/Professor, University of Toronto, Canada) in her keynote address emphasized on the importance of artificial intelligence, specifically machine learning in pharmaceutical sciences and formulation development. She also explained the techniques to improve efficacy of nanomedicine in cancer therapeutics. Dr. Demetrious Lamprou, Reader in Pharmaceutical Engineering, Queen’s University, UK elaborated the applications of 3D printing in therapeutics, tissue engineering and even designing microfluidic chips. Dr. Rachit Agarwal, Asst. Professor at Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore gave insights into the applications of biomaterial carriers in treating inflammatory diseases like osteoarthritis. Dr. Mansoor Amiji’s session on applications of non-viral vectors in nucleic acid delivery systems was outstanding. Dr. Amiji is a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences at North-eastern University, USA. Lastly, Dr. Sajeev Chandran of Lupin Ltd. gave an overview of industrial aspects of complex generic formulation development. Dr. Sameer Padhye from Arihant Innochem and Arnabh Banerjee from Gansons delivered the technical showcase presentations on day 3.
The symposium also included a poster presentation competition, where 138 e- posters along with 3 minute-video presentations were made available for viewing throughout the 3 days of the symposium. The delegates had an opportunity to have online interaction with the poster presenters during these three days. To enhance the engagement of the participants in the virtual program, points were assigned for visiting the posters, interacting with the poster presenters, other delegates as well as with the speakers. Even a virtual selfie booth was set up for delegates to take a selfie and upload on the social media.
One more unique feature of this symposium includes the “Go Green Drive to Save Planet” adapted by CRSIC. As a part of this drive, each invited speaker at the symposium was presented with a “Go Green Certificate” and a tree would be planted on their behalf at the Datta Meghe College of Pharmacy, Wardha, Maharashtra. The photographs of the plantation would be shared with the speakers once the activity would be completed and they all were invited to visit Wardha to have an opportunity of watering their plants. The trees would be the epitome of the ever-lasting bond between the speakers and the CRSIC.
Dr. Bruno Sermento was invited as the chief guest of the valedictory function at the end of day 3. Dr. Bruno is a Principal Investigator at i3S – Institute for Investigation and Innovation in Health, University of Porto. CRSIC has instituted a “Lifetime Achievement Award” and this year, Professor H.L. Bhalla, Professor Emeritus and Founder President of CRSIC received this award for his outstanding contribution towards the field of Pharmaceutical research and towards the establishment of Indian Chapter of CRS. Dr. Bruno announced the names of the winners of “The Young Scientist Award” as well as the winners of the e- poster presentation competition. The Prof. H. L. Bhalla Young Scientist Award was presented to Ms. Vanashree Chaudhari, ICT, Mumbai. Ms. Ukti Bhatt, NIPER, Guwahati was adjudged as the first prize winner of the poster presentation. The second prize was shared between Dr. Shruti Rawal, Institute of Pharmacy, Nirma University & L J Institute of Pharmacy, Ahemdabad and Ms. Sneha Das from BITS- Hyderabad. Ms. Chethana Maduka, G. Pulla Reddy College of Pharmacy, Hyderabad won the third prize in poster presentation.
The symposium received sponsorships from the Pharma and Allied industry. Sun Pharma & ACG were the Master Event Sponsors. Gansons sponsored Exhibitor’s booth while Merck, CADFEM India Pvt. Ltd., Malvern, ACG, Arihant Innochem and Gansons were Tech showcase sponsors. Malvern also sponsored an advertisement in the CRSIC e-Newsletter.
CRSIC Executive committee members including Dr. Yogeshwar Bacchav, Dr. Sujata Sawarkar, Dr. John Disouza, Dr. Anil Pethe, Dr. Nilesh Mahajan, Dr. Subham Banerjee and the co-opted members Dr. Sandhya Shenoy, Dr. Saikat Ghosh, Dr. Pranav Shah and Dr. N. Udupa were involved in organizing and coordinating the e-symposium. Mr. Tarun Soni, Director, Novel Innovative Concepts Interactive Pvt. Ltd very efficiently managed registrations, social media, and the virtual platform. He was also involved in designing the flyers, certificates, abstract book and newsletter.
CRSIC will continue to share the latest innovations in delivery science and technology through national seminars, workshops, and the international conference next year. For further details on activities and membership, kindly visit the official website www.crsic.org and follow our social media handle @CrsIndian.