This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 956851.

Abdul Basit, PhD

Abdul Basit holds the position of Professor of Pharmaceutics at the UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London. Abdul’s research is translational in nature and spans drug delivery, 3D printing and digital health. He has founded two spin-out companies from UCL (FabRx and Intract Pharma), and his group has invented a number of drug delivery technologies that have led to new drug products that have reached the market.

To date, more than a million patients have benefited from inventions created and developed by his research group. Abdul and his group have received awards from the AAPS (Young Investigator Award in Pharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology), GlaxoSmithKline (Innovative Science Award), AstraZeneca (Pharmaceutical Science Award) and the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences (APS Science Award). Abdul was listed amongst the World’s Most Highly Influential Researchers by the Web of Science in 2019 and 2020.




Targeting drugs and delivery systems to the colonic region of the gastrointestinal tract has received considerable interest in recent years. Scientific endeavour in this area has been driven by the need to better treat local disorders of the colon such as inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease). A variety of delivery strategies and systems have been proposed for colonic targeting. These generally rely on the exploitation of one or more of the following gastrointestinal features for their functionality: pH, transit time, pressure or microbiota. Coated systems that utilise the pH differential in the gastrointestinal tract and prodrugs that rely on colonic bacteria for release have been commercialised. 

Both approaches have their own inherent limitations. Many systems in development have progressed no further than the bench, while others are expensive or complex to manufacture, or lack the desired site-specificity. The focus of this presentation will be to highlight the trials and tribulations in translating a novel pH- and microbiota-triggered colonic delivery system from the laboratory to a clinically approved product for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.