William Wei Lim Chin
He has experience with in vitro and in vivo evaluation of pharmaceutical formulations and drug delivery systems. As a technical specialist, he applies problem-solving acumen to provide technical responses for RFQs/RFPs, analyze customer issues and recommend appropriate pharmaceutical solutions while ensuring customers’ technical specifications are met. Learn more about this Catalyst in drug development and access William’s many works on research, oral delivery, pediatric drug formulation and more.
Key Expertise:Early formulation development, pediatric drug development, risk-benefit assessment
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A CONVERSATION WITH WILLIAM WEI LIM CHIN
I started my career in cancer research in Singapore where I was exposed to basic science discoveries and translational research from the laboratory to the clinic. This included the completion of preclinical studies and development of human clinical trial protocols, working in close collaboration with patients and clinicians, which eventually inspired me to pursue a PhD in pharmaceutical research at the National University of Singapore.
My interactions with my former supervisors shaped so much of my career and I have continued to hone my skills and passion for research, especially in drug development. After my PhD graduation, I undertook the opportunity to be trained in formulation science with Abbott Laboratories (which later spun off its branded pharmaceutical business as AbbVie) in Germany.
I am fascinated by the science of drug formulation and how we are progressing towards patient-focused drug development. I feel there is a huge responsibility in formulation sciences to ensure the appropriate use of medicines and excipients as well as patients’ safety. I’ve learned and contributed to the development of oral solid dosage forms of new therapies for first-in-human use, applied formulation technologies to address solubility and bioavailability challenges as well as approaches to reduce the transition time between clinical phases and shorten the overall drug development cycle. I have the satisfaction of knowing that I am contributing to the bigger picture in advancing drug development to help people fight disease and stay healthy.
What other aspects are important in the drug development process?
I realized that as drugs and their development have become more complex and expensive, so has the demands for information from the regulatory agencies. Formulators needed to have a background in regulatory affairs, which wasn’t part of the syllabus during my Ph.D. program. Therefore, I’ve decided to take up a postgraduate course on drug regulatory affairs in Germany. At the end of the program, I found it really rewarding as it is a field that embraces both scientific and legal aspects of drug development. I have observed that successful regulatory strategies depend on how they are interpreted, applied, and communicated to the stakeholders in drug development.
What are your main responsibilities at Catalent?
Currently, I am mostly involved in scientific consultation on early pharmaceutical development to prospective customers in the European territories. I perform technical assessments to identify issues in our customer’s drug development program. I take an agnostic point of view during the evaluation of small molecules. My recommendations of technology in solving formulation challenges for the molecule are data-driven. Utilizing modeling programs, the aqueous solubility and permeability can be predicted based on the structure of the molecule. Other physicochemical characteristics such as logP, pKa and solubility in biorelevant media can also be predicted reliably. I will then use this information gained from in silico analysis coupled with customer’s measured data of other physiochemical properties to benchmark against validated guidelines published by industry experts to gain further understanding of the molecule properties. In addition, I partner up with Jan Neelissen, Catalent’s residence DMPK expert, who he uses modeling to understand drug’s absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion profile. Understanding the disposition of the molecule whether it may be metabolized while penetrating the gut wall or liver or whether it is affected by efflux transporters and drug metabolizing enzymes provide the basis for a preclinical risk assessment when evaluating enabling technology. Integrating formulation science with DMPK analysis can bring insights into a molecule’s developability and provide guidance into preclinical or clinical study design for our customer. Apart from interacting with external customers, I also collaborate a lot with colleagues from Business Development, Project Management, and Product Development team.
What do you think are your biggest achievements at Catalent?
I was involved in the launching of a digital course that raises awareness of bioavailability enhancement technologies. It’s an online course, that develops a basic understanding of principles and concepts of bioavailability for oral drugs. The course was designed to simplify the concepts and discuss strategies on how to manage biopharmaceutical challenges and identify why it is an important factor in optimal therapies for patients. The learning program is engaging and interactive with quizzes for scientists involved in drug development. It’s available now, you can access the course here.
ACCESS WILLIAM WEI LIM CHIN’S WORKS
- Savla R, Hartwig O, Chin WW, Loret B, Lehr CM, Oral Delivery of Macromolecule Drugs for Localized Treatments of Gut Diseases, Pharm. Tech. Webinar: https://solutions.catalent.com/download_center?ContentID=1257
- Integrated PK Modelling and in vivo Studies for Improved Formulation and Dosage Form Development
- Bioavailability 101 Enhancement Program.
- Chin WW, Taladi V, Savla R, Considerations for Formulation Strategies, American Pharmaceutical Review. Sept/Oct 2018, Vol. 21. https://www.americanpharmaceuticalreview.com/Featured-Articles/354908-Considerations-for-Formulation-Strategies/
- Clement P, Uwe Hanenberg U, Chin WW, Pediatric Oral Drug Delivery: Challenges and Solutions, Contract Pharma, Aug 2018 https://www.contractpharma.com/issues/2018-05-01/view_features/pediatric-oral-drug-delivery-challenges-and-solutions/
- Wieschowski S, Chin WW, Federico C, Sievers S, Kimmelman J, Strech D. Preclinical Efficacy Studies in Investigator Brochures. Do They Enable Risk–Benefit Assessment? PLoS Biol. 2018 Apr 5;16(4):e2004879.
- Langhof H, Chin WW, Wieschowski W, Federico C, Kimmelman J, Strech D. Preclinical requirements in therapeutic area guidelines from FDA and EMA. Fit for purpose? British Journal of Phar Vol 175, Issue 22, Nov 2018, Pages 4229-4238
- Savla R, Hartwig O, Chin WW, Loretz B, Lehr CM. Oral Delivery of Macromolecule Drugs for Localized Treatments of Gut Diseases. Manuscript in preparation for Pharmaceutical Technology (2017).
- Chin WW and Joos A. Moving towards a paradigm shift in the regulatory requirements for pediatric medicines. Eur J Pediatr. 2016 Dec;175(12):1881-1891
- Chin WW, Wieschowski S, Prokein J, Illig T, Strech D. Ethics Reporting in Biospecimen and Genetic Research: Current Practice and Necessary Changes. PLoS Biol. 2016 Aug 2;14(8):e1002521.
- Chin WW. Broader transparency regarding risk-benefit assessment of the Bial trial in France. British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research, ISSN: 2231-0614, Vol.: 15, Issue: 7, May 2016.
- Strech D, Chin WW, Hradetzky S, Silva D. Informed development and implementation of registries in animal research. Findings from a systematic review and from key informant interviews. 2015 REWARD EQUATOR Conference, Edinburgh, Abstract Book, 28 Sept 2015.
- Chin WW, Parmentier J, Widzinski M, Tan EH, Gokhale R. A brief literature and patent review of nanosuspensions to a final drug product. J Pharm Sci. 2014 Oct;103(10):2980-99.
- Tan CT, Chin WW, Tan EH, Hong S, Gu W, Gokhale R. Effect of binders on the release rates of direct molded verapamil tablets using twin-screw extruder in melt granulation. Int J Pharm. 2014 Mar 10;463(1):89-97.