The Brillance of Ingenuity

CFDRC wins NIH contract to develop computational models for pulmonary drug delivery and personalized asthma management

Huntsville, Ala. | October 6, 2016 – CFD Research Corporation has won a $1M contract from the National Institutes of Health to further develop computational tools to optimize pulmonary drug delivery and for model-based personalized management of asthma.

Pulmonary drug delivery has emerged as a noninvasive alternative route for the treatment of lung diseases (asthma, COPD, CF and lung cancer). In order to obtain the desired level of effectiveness and safety of the inhaled drugs, an appropriate deposition on the targeted region and subsequent absorption in the targeted region is vital.

CFDRC's Computational Medicine and Biology Division, led by Dr. Andrzej Przekwas (CTO), developed multiscale computational tools, linking computational fluid dynamics (CFD), aerosol inhalation, deposition and transport in airways and PBPK-PD models during the prior work. These tools were applied to obtain mechano-biological insights of lung response to allergens and to quantify the efficacy of the delivery processes.

In this new project, a multistep simulation protocol for modeling drug inhalation delivery, deposition, absorption and PBPK/PD of conventional drugs and novel biologics will be established. High fidelity tools will be targeted for pharma expert users and automated fast running reduced order models for pharma end users. The proposed computational toolkit will thus provide a virtual platform to investigate interactions between drug delivery methods, drug/carrier types and the human physiological systems at multiple scales and ultimately optimize the efficacy of pulmonary drug delivery process. The above aims will hasten the development of pulmonary drugs by carefully identifying key mechanical and biopharmaceutical factors affecting efficacy and safety of inhaled drugs. A reduced order model of pulmonary pharmacology will be also established as a platform for model-bass personalized management of asthma. Calibration tools will be developed for model personalization based on patient’s specific data including: anthropometry, spirometry, exhaled biomarkers and genetic information.

About CFD Research Corporation: Since its inception in 1987, CFDRC has worked with government agencies, businesses and academia to provide innovative solutions within the Aerospace & Defense, Biomedical & Life Sciences, and Energy & Materials industries. Over the years CFDRC has earned multiple national awards for successful application and commercialization of innovative component/system technology prototypes, multi-physics simulation software and multi-disciplinary analyses. Learn more at

Richard Thoms
Manager, Technology Partnerships // 256.726.4810

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