Module Overview

Drug Delivery and Targeted Therapies

Drug discovery is only one part of the process of producing effective medicines. Inadequate drug delivery is the barrier to effective use of new discovered biotech molecules. Targeted therapies and targeted drug delivery systems can enhance the bioavailability and efficacy of modern medicines while reducing the side effects,dosage of drug and cost to the patient. This module is focused on drug delivery systems and their design in bringing the drug to the site of action and to have a therapeutic effect and sustained release over time for the treatment of the disease. The role of drug delivery and targeted therapies in the treatment of disease will be discussed focussing on current examples from the literature.

Module aim: The aim of this module is to provide the student with an understanding and a critical view of the process of drug delivery development in the Biopharmaceutical industry. To understand the obstacles, development process, techniques and solutions from the discovery of the drug to its administration to the patient
for successful therapeutic efficacy.

Module Code

TFEL 4003

ECTS Credits


*Curricular information is subject to change

Rationale for drug delivery systems and targeted therapies.
Description of different routes of administration and drug delivery systems in use today.
Barriers to drug delivery: physical barriers, blood brain barrier (BBB), P-gp, MRPs, Cyp’s.
In vitro models on intestinal drug absorption (including cell culture models) and in vivo experimental techniques employed in drug development to determine the specificity and selectivity i.e. evaluation of targeting effects.
Applications of polymers and nanotechnology (nanocarriers) in drug delivery. Novel drug delivery systems for sustained drug release injectables, pulmonary aerosols, controlled release systems.
Peptide, protein and gene delivery systems.
Pharmacokinetic and pharmacology issues in drug delivery.
Delivery of biotech molecules by non-injectable routes.
Current advances in targeted therapies for cancer treatment.
Combination therapies for the treatment of cancers.
Protecting the assets: generics, patenting and intellectual property.

The content of this module will be delivered by waythrough a blended learning approach through face-face lectures and work-shops, on-line learning activities, an industry visit and guest lectures. of lectures using case studies and journals. The students will be introduced to recent developments in the field of drug delivery and targeted therapies through a series of case studies and journals. By analysing scientific articles, the students will also develop critical generic thinking skills. In addition, important transferable skills such as communication skills, critical thinking, reflective writing and group work and presentations will be developed.  

Guest speakers will be invited to contribute to the module content in advanced research topics relevant to the module. The module will include a patent and intellectual property workshop.  

A problem based learning workshop on developing drug delivery methods will be delivered in Pfizer, Grangecastle. (An alternative workshop is also available by researchers in-house)   

Module Content & Assessment
Assessment Breakdown %
Other Assessment(s)100