Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development Group

Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development Group (PIDG)

Your Partner in Translational Pharmaceutical Research

Pharmaceutical science is a key strategic research area within UniSA with an ERA ranking of 5 (outstanding performance well above world standard). The Pharmaceutical Innovation and Development Group (PIDG), led by Prof Sanjay Garg covers the full spectrum, from basic mechanistic studies to preclinical and clinical product development. Our interdisciplinary research is based on the principles of engagement, innovation, translation and impact. With a patient and partnership driven approach, PIDG is a one stop destination for progressing molecules to medicines, ensuring significant savings of time and resources. The team excels in solving difficult product development challenges such as poor solubility, stability, and the need for local and systemic drug targeting. PIDG work closely with several companies developing human and veterinary pharmaceutical, biotechnological, complementary, nutrition and cosmetics products.

Research Focus

PIDG focuses on novel anticancer drug delivery systems, infections, veterinary medicine, and other patient-centric projects:

Cancer drug targeting: both local and systemic delivery approaches:

  • Oesophageal and colonic stents as the vehicles for delivering single and the combination of drugs
  • Intracellular drug targeting using monocytes specific polymers
  • Novel drug loaded site specific and responsive hydrogel for colon cancer
  • Actively deliver anticancer agents to breast tumours, by functionalizing drug-loaded and pH responsive mesoporous silica nanoparticles with targeting ligands
  • 3D Printing technology for drug targeting.

Novel antimicrobial compounds and formulations for human and veterinary applications:

  • Preclinical development of new drug candidates with activity against resistant pathogens.
  • The role of pH in wound healing and design of novel pH responsive wound healing systems
  • Developing new therapeutics for wound repair using nano-technology

Veterinary delivery systems for cattle, horses, pigs, cats, dogs, fish and other animals:

  • An innovative long-acting injectable IM formulation for the treatment of equine gastric ulcer
  • Antimicrobial formulation for mastitis
  • Sustained release formulation for canine otitise infections
  • Oral paste formulations for horses
  • Delivery systems for use in the pork industry
  • Taste masking of drugs used in aquaculture

Patient-centric projects that benefit patients directly and are at the crossroads of pharmacy practice and science:

  • Technologies to improve patient adherence, especially in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Extemporaneous compounding stability and product development, in collaboration with local hospitals
  • Bioanalysis of drugs in human milk

Collaborations

PIDG team collaborates widely with academic and research institutions and industry, locally and internationally, ensuring access and contribute to the latest innovations in product development research.  

Industry 

We actively partner with human and veterinary pharmaceutical, biotechnological, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, complementary medicines and aquaculture industry to solve product development challenges with novel solutions.  Our industry engagement is tailored to each collaborator/client with agreed intellectual property (IP) arrangement and can include "fee for service", collaboration, consulting or hybrid models.  PIDG team specialises in partnerships for generating funding under the joint industry-academia programs eg. ARC Linkage and CRC programs. 

Following are our key services: 

Analysis and Bioanalysis
  • Analytical method development, validation and optimisation of complex test procedures
    Quantitation of test compounds in biological samples (plasma, blood, urine, tissues)
  • Raw material testing, product characterisation and stability assessment
  • Identification and evaluation of degradation products, metabolites; stress testing for stability indicating method
  • Compendial verification and qualification
  • Transfer of analytical procedures
New Drug Development
  • Preformulation:
    • Solubility and stability assessment and improvement
    • Solid state characterization
    • Polymorphism etc.
  • Preclinical and clinical drug development
  • Formulations supplies for in-vitro, ex-vivo, and in-vivo safety and efficacy studies
  • Pharmacokinetics studies
  • Process optimisation and validation
  • Scale up and Technology transfer
Dosage Form Design
  • Conventional dosage forms including solid (tablets, capsules, beads), semi-solid (gel, cream, ointment, paste, suppositories) and liquid (solution, suspension, emulsions)
  • Novel dosage forms
    • Modified release: Fast acting, long acting, pulsed, sustained, delayed, and enteric
    • Improvement of physicochemical characteristics e.g. solubility, stability, metabolism, permeability, bioavailability and taste
    • Site specific delivery: localised or systemic
Advanced Delivery Systems
  • Nanotechnology: Mesoporous silica nanoparticles, liposomes, micelles, polymeric nanoparticles, lipid nanoparticles, nanoemulsion, nanocrystals, nanosuspension
  • Coating and Encapsulation:  conventional pan coating, Fluid bed coating, spray dryer, dip coating, extrusion/spheronisation
  • Novel drug delivery systems: Solid dispersion, films, implants, lipid suspension, microparticles, microcapsules, microspheres, pellets, in-situ gel, co-solvent, coated stents
  • Drug loaded medical devices
  • 3D printing technology for precision therapy
Veterinary Formulations
  • Formulations for dogs, cats, cows, horses, pigs, and fish
  • Dosage forms including
    • Intramammary delivery systems
    • Semi-solid topical formulations
    • Modified release pellets
    • Long acting injectables
    • Sustained release otic formulation
    • Suppositories
    • Single layer and bilayer tablets
    • Palatable oral formulations
    • Drug loaded feed and pour-on

Some of our Industrial Partners 

  • Bova Aus and Bova UK
  • Cleanseas, Australia
  • Evofem, USA
  • GD Pharma, Australia
  • Labskin, UK
  • Luoda Pharma, Australia
  • Mayne Pharma, Australia
  • Neoculi Pty Limited, Australia
  • Noxopharm Ltd, Australia
  • Rezolve Scientific, Australia
  • Separation Science, USA
  • Sirtex Medical, Australia
  • Sunpork Farm Supplies, Australia
  • Vaxine, Australia
  • Yaso Pharma, USA

International 

We love International collaborations and partnerships. We have close collaborations with Shandong University in China (China-Australia Centre for Health Science Research, CACHSR); International Medical University (IMU) in Malaysia; Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE), Jamia Hamdard, and Nirma University in India. The group is very keen to develop new collaborative partners, especially research staff and students exchanges for the short or long term and joint research programs.


Our Facilities

The PIDG facilities are well equipped with state of the art laboratory and pilot scale pharmaceutical development, analysis and characterisation equipment for various dosage forms. The team also has easy access to advanced facilities in Future Industries Institute.