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Students Experience the “Science Side of Pharmacy” in the Industrial Pharmacy Lab

By Nicole Carrera

Published on October 9, 2020

Under the direction of Pardeep Gupta, PhD, the Industrial Pharmacy Lab at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy has seen great success, bringing in over $1 million in funding and grants to develop drugs and drug delivery systems for many pharmaceutical industry partners. 

Dr. Gupta and his team work to create tablets, capsules, injectables, and other formulations and delivery systems with the end goal of gaining approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and going to the market for patient use. 

“The unique thing is that we are at the forefront of technology in drug delivery,” Dr. Gupta explains. “We use literature to stay ahead of the game in terms of the knowledge, and then we apply that knowledge to solve problems and develop new formulations.”

Dr. Gupta with original tablet machineThe work of the laboratory team is inspired by USciences 200-year history as the home to leaders and innovators in pharmaceutical science and drug development. To keep this inspiration front of mind, near the doorway of the laboratory there remains an original tablet machine, one of the first created at Philadelphia College of Pharmacy to form this new drug delivery system.  

Dr. Gupta, fellow faculty, and graduate students who conduct the work of the lab are motivated by successes they’ve had in the more recent past. “An older version of this lab was involved in the development of Cialis, which was a blockbuster drug,” Dr. Gupta shares. “ [Right now] we are very proud of one project that we have almost completed, and that is the development of a very complex injectable formulation for a company and the application of approval will be filed with the FDA very soon.”

They have also been compiling numerous publications and proposals to get more funding and industry collaborators. Most recently, the team submitted a request to be approved by the FDA as a “Good Laboratory Practices” lab and  have requested approval from the Commonwealth  of Pennsylvania to become a cannabis testing lab, which if approved, would allow them to work closely with the USciences Substance Use Disorders Institute (SUDI)

"In the end, what this lab brings is the application part of pahramcy."

-- Kamal Jonnalagada, PhD

For students interested in the field of pharmaceutical development, Drs. Gupta and Kamal Jonnalagadda, PhD, are committed to giving students opportunities for success in the field. Dr. Gupta emphasizes the attractiveness of the field, not only when looking to get a career but also enjoying it. 

“In the end, what this lab brings is the application part of pharmacy,” said Dr. Jonnalagadda. “It’s not traditional teaching, it’s actually making new products that can work for people.”

Categories: News, Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Faculty, Research,