In-depth focus

Drug Formulation In-Depth Focus 2022

Features in this in-depth focus highlight developments in the MRI contrast agent space, explore the development of precision medicine for chronic diseases and explain why immunotherapies should engage the innate immune system in the fight against cancer.

  • Setting a new standard of care for liver MRI contrast agents in patients with reduced kidney function
    A ‘hot’ topic on the radar of radiologists in recent years has been the safety of the potentially toxic gadolinium-based contrast agents (GBCAs) used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This is especially pertinent in the detection of focal liver lesions for patients with poor kidney function due to potentially fatal side effects of GBCAs. In this interview for European Pharmaceutical Review, Carl Bjartmar, Chief Medical Officer at Ascelia Pharma, explains how the company is working to resolve some of the key drawbacks of current imaging approaches and improve outcomes for these patients.
  • Precision medicine for complex chronic diseases: how near are we?
    Targeting medicines against the genetic and molecular drivers of lung, breast and other tumours has helped transform cancer care for many patients, yet precision medicine for complex chronic diseases has lagged behind. Maria Orr, Adam Platt and Ben Challis, from BioPharmaceuticals R&D at AstraZeneca, explain why this is changing for chronic diseases.
  • Engaging the innate immune system to fight cancer effectively
    Most therapeutic approaches in immuno-oncology focus on targeting the adaptive immune system; innate immunity has only recently gathered momentum. One of the most potent receptors for activating innate immune cells such as natural killer cells and macrophages is CD16A. Addressing this target mimics the body’s natural defence against potential threats, resulting in a cascade of defence mechanisms. German biotech Affimed developed a versatile bispecific antibody technology platform, providing a cleverly engineered solution to activate CD16A and harness natural killer cells and macrophages against cancer. Here, Arndt Schottelius, CSO of Affimed, shares insights on unleashing the potential of the innate immune system.