In recent decades pharmaceutics and drug delivery have become increasingly critical in the pharmaceutical industry due to longer time, higher cost, and less productivity of new molecular entities (NMEs). However, current formulation development still relies on traditional trial-and-error experiments, which are time-consuming, costly, and unpredictable. With the exponential growth of computing capability and algorithms, in recent ten years, a new discipline named “computational pharmaceutics” integrates with big data, artificial intelligence, and multi-scale modeling techniques into pharmaceutics, which offered great potential to shift the paradigm of drug delivery. Computational pharmaceutics can provide multi-scale lenses to pharmaceutical scientists, revealing physical, chemical, mathematical, and data-driven details ranging across pre-formulation studies, formulation screening, in vivo prediction in the human body, and precision medicine in the clinic. The present paper provides a comprehensive and detailed review in all areas of computational pharmaceutics and “Pharma 4.0”, including artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms, molecular modeling, mathematical modeling, process simulation, and physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modeling. We not only summarized the theories and progress of these technologies but also discussed the regulatory requirements, current challenges, and future perspectives in the area, such as talent training and a culture change in the future pharmaceutical industry.
By Wei Wang, Zhuyifan Ye, Hanlu Gao, Defang Ouyang