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By Cedar H. A. Boakye and Roger L. Kaspar

Cedar BoakyeRoger KasperRecently, there has been an upsurge of interest in enhancing topical delivery of large biomolecules into the skin for the management of diverse dermatological disease conditions. The stratum corneum, which forms the outermost layer of the skin, prevents body water loss through the skin and is a formidable barrier to entry of foreign substances, particularly those that are charged and have a molecular mass of greater than 500.

A variety of delivery approaches, including the use of different types of lipids, peptides, permeation enhancers, sonoporation, iontophoresis, microjets, microneedles, and nanoparticles are being developed to enhance topical delivery and deposition of potential therapeutic macromolecules such as vaccines, peptides, proteins, siRNA, as well as DNA plasmids and oligonucleotides for treatment of skin conditions such as psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, acne, chronic wounds, genetic skin disorders, and skin cancer.

Nonetheless, each of these technologies falls short of attaining functional topical and transdermal drug delivery for translation to clinical trials and ultimately for FDA approval for patient use and benefit.

boakye_epidermisThe FDD mini-symposium Topical Delivery of Nucleic Acid and Protein Therapeutics: Unmet Needs and Potential Applications at the 2014 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition will address the various challenges as well as the advances made in the topical delivery of various nucleic acids, proteins, and vaccines into the skin. At this mini-symposium, renowned researchers with cutting edge expertise in topical and transdermal delivery of macromolecules will be deliberating on the diverse strategies being utilized to augment topical delivery of siRNAs and peptides for use in dermatology therapeutics.

The speakers and their presentations include the following:

Learn more about topical delivery by attending this session on Tuesday, November 4, 2 pm–4 pm, in the San Diego Convention Center Room 8. We hope to see you there!

Cedar H. A. Boakye is a Ph.D. candidate in pharmaceutical sciences with a concentration in pharmaceutics at Florida A&M University under the guidance of Mandip Singh, Ph.D. She has research experience in formulation design and evaluation and her research focuses on the topical and oral delivery of lipid-based drug delivery systems for psoriasis treatment and skin cancer chemoprevention.
Roger L. Kaspar, Ph.D., is the CEO and scientific founder of TransDerm, Inc., a small biotech company developing therapeutics for inherited skin disorders. He has both academic and industrial research experience in the areas of post-transcriptional gene regulation. His research focuses on the development of diverse therapeutics including siRNA therapeutics (RNAi technology) and is currently developing topical delivery systems for both nucleic acids and small molecule inhibitors to treat genetic skin disorders such as pachyonychia congenital.