Dr Ravi Shanker's Talk

Jan 18, 2023 - 14:30
Jan 18, 2023 - 15:30
Room no. LC102
Event Type
Dr Ravi Shanker, Pfizer
Spray Dried Dispersions: A Six Decade Research Endeavor to Develop a Game Changing Drug Delivery Technology


Overview of the development of a novel and highly successful drug delivery technology to enable enhancement of oral bioavailability of poorly water-soluble drugs will be the focus of this presentation.  Increasing molecular complexity of synthetic, heterocyclic molecules as drugs has resulted in poor aqueous solubility due to either high lattice energy of organic crystals or high lipophilicity or sometimes a combination of both parameters. This insolubility of drug like molecules prevent their oral absorption and thus their efficacy. It has been impossible to find a universal solubilization technology that as a solid could overcome this major limitation.  For over 60 years, pharmaceutical academic and industrial researchers have explored the development of kinetically stable but thermodynamically unstable systems borrowing on the principles of formation of non-crystalline alloys and composites.  This presentation will illustrate the underlying challenges of developing a broadly applicable technology to enhance the "solubility" of structurally diverse molecules and how they were overcome by a combination of serendipity and deep science.  The Spray Dried Dispersion (SDD) technology developed at Pfizer has enabled many pharmaceutical companies to bring novel drugs to patients that could have never been possible. Interestingly the SDD technology has also provided a great substrate for basic and applied academic research.  Snapshots of the use of basic and advanced physical chemistry, physics, engineering, biology, and mathematical modeling will be illustrated in this presentation. Closing remarks will include the ongoing challenges for predicting the design and performance of SDD formulations for new molecules being designed as potential future medicines for patients.


Dr Ravi Shanker is currently the Senior Research Fellow at Pfizer Worldwide R&D with over 33 years of experience.  He obtained BS and MS in Pharmacy from IIT-BHU (India), Masters and Ph.D. from University of Kansas. During his research career, he has focused on developing several drug delivery technologies from benchtop concepts to commercialization. These technologies have been utilized extensively by all major pharma companies to advance structurally diverse molecules with intractable properties and delivered numerous drugs to patients worldwide. He has contributed extensively to the development of advanced predictive tools such as SAFT (physicochemical properties of drug molecules); Systems Based Pharmaceutics (process modeling); PBPK modeling (for oral absorption, drug product design and development of control strategy). He has numerous papers and patents to his credit, has been invited as keynote speaker at conferences and served as member of the Editorial Board of Journal of Pharmaceutical Science. In addition, he has collaborated with academic researchers around the world for advancing science to improve drug delivery to patients (US, Europe, Australia and Asia).