Pharmaceutical cocrystallisation for improved medicines

   Faculty of Life Sciences

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  Dr Venu Vangala, Prof Anant Paradkar  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are frequently delivered to the patients in the solid-state formulation. Numerous tons of tablets are produced daily worldwide by pharmaceutical industry. Therapeutic effectiveness of a dosage form depends on the bioavailability, stability and also on the manufacturability of the dosage form. Crystal engineering is the design and synthesis of molecular solid-state structures with desired properties, based on an understanding and use of intermolecular interactions. Recently, crystal engineering approach has shown significant promise in attaining desired physicochemical and mechanical properties to the pharmaceutical materials.

Recently, we demonstrated the potential of crystal engineering-based novel pharmaceutical materials (cocrystals) for improving biopharmaceutical and manufacturability properties of solid forms.1,2 The cocrystal approach has advanced from an early development (preclinical studies) to marketed drug products, for example, EntrestoÒ (valsartan – sacurbitril) by Novartis3 and SuglatÒ (iproglifozin – L-proline) by Astellas Pharma.4 There have been considerable advancements in the design, synthesis and characterisation of pharmaceutical cocrystals thus far. The current PhD project will focus on an important area that remains largely unaddressed, formulation of the cocrystal materials into dosage forms. To perform this interdisciplinary project, the prospective PhD applicant will work with Pharmaceutical Engineering and Science groups and will be able to learn and utilise pharmaceutical industry relevant technologies.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project; applicants will need to pay their own fees, or have a suitable source of third-party funding. Students from England may be able to apply for a Doctoral Loan to cover fees and maintenance costs. A bench fee of £5000 per year will apply in addition to the tuition fees.


1. Aitipamula, S, Vangala VR, X-ray crystallography and its role in understanding physicochemical properties of pharmaceutical cocrystals, JIISc, 2017, 97, 227-243.
2. Chow PS, Lau G, Ng WG, Vangala VR, Stability of pharmaceutical cocrystal during milling: A case study of 1:1 caffeine-glutaric acid, Cryst. Growth Des., 2017, 17, 4064-4071.
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