Site-Specific Drug Delivery | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

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Site-Specific Drug Delivery

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Technological Innovation

Lead partner

Université de Lille

Date de début


Date de fin


Project budget

4 885 143

ERDF amount

2 931 086

ERDF rate


    À propos

    Common challenge

    The large majority of drug products available on the market deliver the drug in a non-targeted manner into the human body: The drug is circulated via the blood throughout the entire organism. Parts of it reach the target site (e.g., a specific organ). However, the large majority of the administered drug dose is distributed within the rest of the body. Importantly, this drug is not only “lost” for the treatment, it is often harmful for the patient, causing potentially severe side effects. The latter have 3 major consequences, they: (1) constitute a major health burden for the patient (e.g. causing nausea, headache, cardiovascular complications), (2) can limit the drug dose that can be given to the patient, leading to nonoptimal therapeutic effects (the drug amount reaching the target site cannot be further increased), and (3) cause considerable costs for the health care systems (e.g., due to the treatment of side effects, prolonged hospitalisation times
    and sub-optimal treatments).

    Main Achievements

    The cross-border collaboration of 10 highly complementary partners in France, Belgium, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom in the field "Drug Product Development" has fostered the European competitiveness in this crucial domain: As evidenced by the COVID crisis, the capacity to develop and produce life-saving medicines is of utmost importance for our community. The knowhow and facilities to do so must be provided in Europe. Otherwise, the supply with essential drug products is "out of our control".

    Leading specialists in the fields of pharmaceutics, medicine, microbiology, engineering & physics have joined their forces and started to develop novel drug products for improved medical treatments, allowing to reduce undesired site effects. The fruitful collaboration of leading researchers at the Universities of Cambridge, Delft, Ghent, Leiden, Lille & London and in pharmaceutical companies allows to combine the required know-how and experience of theoretical & experimental scientists, medical doctors and engineers to develop innovative drug products for patients suffering from hearing loss, different types of cancer and Crohn's disease.

    This collaboration could start despite the spreading of the corona virus and related lockdowns: Appropriate mitigation measures were taken so that first prototypes of the novel medicines could be prepared and characterized. This highly interdisciplinary work became only possible due to the cross-border action supported by the Interreg 2 Seas programme: The required knowledge & facilities are not provided in a single member state.

    In the first phase of the project, the most promising manufacturing techniques and product compositions are being identified, for example injection molding and 3D printing of personalized breast implants. The drug is released in a time-controlled manner to optimize the therapeutic efficacy and minimize toxic side effects.

    Awareness on this project has been risen in the scientific & medical community, for instance via online conferences with oral presentations & scientific discussions and emailings, reaching more than 8000 scientists in the field. Also, a network of industrial observer partners is being built up, with major pharmaceutical companies like Pierre Fabre, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson. Jointly with such industrial partners the novel drug products, which are to be developed in this project at the laboratory scale, are to be up-scaled and introduced to the market in follow-up projects.



    University of Cambridge

    Universiteit Gent

    Technische Universiteit Delft

    Lattice Medical

    University College London


    Universiteit Leiden

    Société d'Accélération du Transfert de Technologie, Nord

    Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille