Dr. Enrico Mastrobattista has been appointed Professor of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology and Delivery at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Science as of November 1st. His Chair will focus on the design, formulation and delivery of novel biotherapeutics and advanced therapies. Mastrobattista’s expertise is rather unique, in that he combines technical pharmaceutical knowledge on advanced biotherapeutics as well as on the controlled delivery systems necessary to get them inside the right cells.
Imagine you have end-stage cancer that no longer responds to conventional chemotherapy. By taking a small biopsy from the tumour, a personalized synthetic vaccine can be made that will stimulate your immune cells to recognize and destroy the cancer cells throughout the body. Or you are a haemophilia patient suffering from severe bleeding. Instead of having to inject very expensive recombinant or plasma-derived clotting factors every day to stop the bleeding, a single injection with a nanomedicine that targets and corrects the genetic defect in the clotting factor will be enough to cure the disease. This is the future Enrico Mastrobattista is working on.
A large number of drug products that currently enter the market are cells or drugs manufactured in or extracted from a biological system such as a cell or an entire organism. These so-called biopharmaceuticals and advanced therapy medicinal products (ATMPs) seem very promising, but both the production of these drugs and their delivery to the right places in the body, still pose many challenges. Enrico Mastrobattista is seen as one of few pharmaceutical scientists who has the knowledge and experience to contribute to breakthroughs in the field.