Site-Specific Drug Delivery | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

Site Drug

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Site-Specific Drug Delivery

Priority Axis

Technological and Social Innovation

Specific objective

Technological Innovation

Lead partner

Université de Lille





Project budget

5 136 750

ERDF amount

3 082 050

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    Site Drug tackled challenges related to drug sector, specifically their delivery. The large majority of drug products available on the market, in fact, 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, most of the administered drug dose is distributed within the rest of the body. Importantly, the drug is not only “lost” for the treatment, but also often harmful to the patient, causing potentially severe side effects. The project looked forward to cope with these drawbacks, as they can have major consequences. Firstly, it constitutes a major health burden for the patient (e.g. causing nausea, headache, cardiovascular complications). Secondly, it can limit the drug dose that can be given to the patient, leading to non-optimal therapeutic effects (the drug amount reaching the target site cannot be further increased). Thirdly, it causes 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 Site Drug project allowed fostering the European competitiveness in a crucial domain: "Drug Product Development". Ten highly complementary partners joined their forces and intensively collaborated across national borders, being based in France, Belgium, UK, and The Netherlands. Important, not only national, but also scientific borders were overcome between pharmaceutics, medicine, microbiology, engineering & physics. Novel drug products for better medical treatments with reduced undesired site effects were developed: these advanced medicines are able to optimise the drug concentration at the site of action in the patient’s body and to minimize the “drug waste” into the other parts of the organism (where the drug is not needed and causes damage). 
    This is achieved by novel drug delivery systems, which locally release the drug at specific sites in the human body. Prototypes of these new drug products have been prepared and thoroughly characterized. Local and controlled drug delivery has been enabled to the inner ear to treat hearing loss, in the peritoneal cavity to treat metastases from ovarian cancer, in the colon to treat Crohn's disease, and to the tissue around the breast implants to minimize the risk of post-operative complications. 
    Cutting-edge know-how and equipment at the Universities of Cambridge, Delft, Ghent, Leiden, Lille & London and in pharmaceutical companies were used to characterise and optimise the novel technologies. Special emphasis was placed on the transferability of the innovations into clinical practice and new drug products on the market, paying great attention to the up scalability of the manufacturing procedures and intense collaboration with industrial partners. This highly interdisciplinary work became only possible due to the cross-border action supported by the Interreg 2 Seas Programme. The required knowledge & facilities, in fact, were not provided in a single Member State but through joint cooperation among organisations. Greater awareness was risen on this project in the scientific and medical community, specifically via online & onsite conferences with oral presentations & scientific discussions, journal articles, as well as dissemination campaigns reaching more than 10,000 scientists.


    “Novel drug products for better medical treatments with reduced undesired site effects were developed: These advanced medicines are able to optimize the drug concentration at the site of action in the patient’s body and to minimize the “drug waste” into the other parts of the organism.”



    University of Cambridge

    Universiteit Gent

    Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD)

    Lattice Medical

    University College London


    Universiteit Leiden

    Société d'Accélération du Transfert de Technologie, Nord France, SATT-Nord

    Centre Hospitalier Régional Universitaire de Lille