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Oct 26, 2021
  |  Press Release

Simulations Plus and the University of Connecticut Awarded New FDA Contract to Accelerate the Development of Long-Acting Injectable Products

 Simulations Plus, Inc. (Nasdaq: SLP), a leading provider of modeling and simulation solutions for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, today announced that, through a joint proposal with the University of Connecticut’s Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, it has been awarded a new funded contract from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enhance and validate mechanistic in vitro/in vivo correlation (IVIVC) methods for long-acting injectable (LAI) formulations to accelerate innovator and generic product development and regulatory assessment.

For this award, Dr. Diane Burgess, Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Pharmaceutics and Pfizer Distinguished Endowed Chair in Pharmaceutical Technology, and her lab at the University of Connecticut, will generate in vitro and in vivo data for marketed LAI products using novel discriminatory systems. The scientific team at Simulations Plus will apply these data sets, along with additional information provided by research collaborators, to build and validate physiologically based biopharmaceutics (PBBM)/pharmacokinetic (PBPK) models and generate IVIVCs. The resulting outcome will provide the foundation of a viable alternative to in vivo studies for the establishment of bioequivalence (BE) for LAI products.

Dr. Viera Lukacova, Chief Scientist at Simulations Plus, said: “Our pioneering PBBM/PBPK modeling approaches in GastroPlus® for LAI products were kickstarted by an FDA-funded grant award in 2015. This partnership with Dr. Burgess and her team will extend and enhance our current state-of-the-art models to address many client requests. Ultimately, the strategies we outline and implement on the application of in vitro systems and in silico models have the potential to reduce regulatory burden and minimize human studies.”

FDA scientific and program staff will actively collaborate with the University of Connecticut and Simulations Plus. Dr. Lukacova, with assistance from Mr. James MullinDr. Maxime Le Merdy, and Dr. Revathi Chapa, will serve as project lead from Simulations Plus and coordinate modeling and simulation activities of the contract.

“We are excited about the funding of this FDA contract that allows us to collaborate with Simulations Plus,” said Dr. Burgess. “Our laboratory has been working for many years in understanding performance behavior of parenteral formulations, and it is terrific to now combine our expertise with that of Simulations Plus to bring this research to the next level. Our goal is to allow realization of models that will bridge the gap between animal and human data and guide the development of biopredictive dissolution methods.”

“To now be engaged with the FDA on four different funded programs in 2022 is a great accomplishment, validating the widespread embracing of modeling and simulation technology as an important tool in drug development,” said John DiBella, division president, Simulations Plus. “We are appreciative of the confidence the FDA has in the people and technology at Simulations Plus, and we will work tirelessly with our regulatory, industry, and academic partners to deliver validated, groundbreaking solutions to support innovator and complex generic development of ocular, dermal, oral cavity, and long-acting injectable products. Simulations Plus ensures that all improvements made to the GastroPlus platform derived from funded programs are available for all clients to apply to their research activities, and we continue to invite future collaborations to drive advances to modeling and simulation science which benefit our entire user community and, most importantly, the patients that we serve.”

Funding for this collaboration is made possible by the Food and Drug Administration through contract 75F40121C00133. Views expressed in this press release do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does any mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organization imply endorsement by the United States Government.

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