Speaker at Global Conference on Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery Systems 2018 - Biana Godin
Houston Methodist Research Institute, United States
Title : Myometrium-targeted liposomes for prevention of preterm labor


Preterm labor, leading to preterm birth (birth prior to 37 weeks of pregnancy) is a leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality affecting estimated 15 million births worldwide annually. Since the fetus is not yet fully developed before 37 weeks of pregnancy, health problems associated with preterm birth include a variety of acute and chronic health/developmental deficiencies. Among these are acute respiratory, gastrointestinal, immunologic, CNS, hearing and vision issues, as well as cerebral palsy, cognitive, visual, hearing, behavioral, social-emotional, learning, health, and growth problems. Indomethacin (IND) is a tocolytic that prevents uterine contractions and, thus, preterm birth, improving neonatal outcomes. Unfortunately, this efficient tocolytic is limited in its use due to associated cardiac, renal, neurological and other toxicities to the fetus. Fetal exposure to harmful medications is based on the ability of drug molecules to pass transplacentally from mother to fetus, which commonly involves simple passive diffusion. Having a low-molecular weight IND readily crosses the placenta as reflected in complications related to the fetal exposure to the drug. We have designed a liposomal delivery system (LIP) of IND that is targeted to the uterus through oxytocin receptor antagonist (ORA) expressed on the pregnant myometrium, thus increasing the concentration of the agent in the affected organ and minimizing the circulating free drug fraction available for placental passage. LIP-IND-ORA system design, in vitro studies in primary human uterine cells, ex vivo contractility studies in human myometrium strips and in vivo biodistribution and efficacy studies in pregnant rodents will be discussed. 

Audience take away:
• The use of nanomedicine in the field of obstetrics is a novel topic
• We believe that using nanocarriers for preventing the translacental passage of medications can open new avenues for safer therapeutics in the preganancy.
• Additionally, we have used a currently existing medication of targeting our system, which can significantly decrease the path to the regulatory approval. These concepts can also be used in other fields. 
• In the presentation I will also briefly discus the pathway we are undertaking for initiating clinical studies with this delivery system. 


Dr. Biana Godin earned her Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences focusing on lipid nanocarriers from the Hebrew University in 2006 and completed her postdoctoral training in the field of Nanomedicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center in 2010. In 2010, Dr. Godin joined as a faculty at the Department of Nanomedicine at Houston Methodist Research Institute. She also holds adjunct positions at the University of Houston and University of Texas Health Sciences Center in Houston. Research in Dr. Godin's lab, largely funded by federal and foundation grants, focuses on developing physiologically relevant in vitro and in vivo disease models and exploiting physical and biological mechanisms to improve currently available therapeutic options in oncology and obstetrics. Dr. Godin has more than 200 scientific publications, received multiple federal and foundation-based grants and participated in multiple national and international grant review panels.