Enhanced Delivery of Drug Compositions to Treat Life-Threatening Infections

Nanotechnologies : Life Science Apps

Available for licensing


  • Robert Williams III, Ph.D. , College of Pharmacy
  • Keith Johnston, Ph.D. , Chemical Engineering
  • Rupert Zimmerer , CyDex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Jason McConville, Ph.D. , College of Pharmacy
  • Robert Talbert, Jr. , College of Pharmacy
  • Justin Tolman , Pharmacy
  • Nathan Wiederhold, Ph.D. , Pharmacy
  • David Burgess, Ph.D. , University of Kentucky
  • Jay Peters, M.D. , University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio
  • Brian Scherzer , Dow Chemical Company nka Dow Global Technologies, LLC
  • Christopher Tucker , Dow Chemical Company nka Dow Global Technologies, LLC
  • David Hayes , Dow Chemical Company nka Dow Global Technologies, LLC
  • Ian Gillespie , Dow Chemical Company nka Dow Global Technologies, LLC
  • James Hitt , Dow Chemical Company nka Dow Global Technologies, LLC
  • Nicholas Beck , Dow Chemical Company nka Dow Global Technologies, LLC
  • Paula Garcia , Dow Chemical Company nka Dow Global Technologies, LLC
  • True Rogers, Ph.D. , College of Pharmacy
  • Timothy Young , Chemical Engineering

Background/unmet need

Previous strategies against fungal infections employ broad-spectrum antifungal drugs, such as amphotericin B and itraconazole, at many transplant centers to treat immunocompromised patients. Amphotericin B and itraconazole have the broadest spectrum against common infections. Both drugs demonstrate extremely poor oral bioavailability. The utilization of these antifungal agents often results in many undesirable side effects such as systemic toxicity and deleterious drug interactions. Recent research efforts have focused on the aerosolization of antifungal agents to reduce systemic toxicity and limit potential drug interactions. Recently, the use of aerosolized amphotericin B has gained favor in many transplant centers. However, it has been speculated that aerosolized versions of this drug has may have reduced activity and efficacy against fungal infections.

Itraconazoles poor bioavailabilty is due to its insolubility and pH sensitivity. Research efforts to increase the bioavailability of itraconazole has led to the development of cyclodextrin complexes which have been shown to cause severe side effects (diarrhea). These efforts have resulted in extremely high manufacturing costs and toxicity issues thus furthering limiting its clinical use and therapeutic effectiveness. Due to the broad spectrum of antifungal activity of these drugs, it is clear that improvements in delivery itraconazole will improve the therapy of fungal infections and lower cost of treatment.

Invention Description

Researchers at UT Austin have developed highly bioavailable forms of broad spectrum antifungal drugs, which can be further commercialized into highly competitive and affordable pharmaceutical drug products. The novel drug delivery systems comprise nanoparticles of antifungal agents produced by technologies invented and developed at UT Austin, including Evaporative Precipitation into Aqueous Liquid (EPAS), Spray Freezing into Liquid (SFL) and Ultra-Rapid Freezing (URF). The method significantly enhances the delivery and efficacy of antifungal drugs. Nanoparticles of antifungal are incorporated into oral and pulmonary drug delivery systems to achieve enhanced bioavailability. Improved bioavailability and antifungal effect have been confirmed in animal studies.


  • Increased bioavailability of antifungal
  • Improved treatment of fungal infections
  • Improved affordability of treatment


    Any active compound can be incorporated into a nanosized particle for drug delivery

Market potential/applications

Pharmaceuticals and biotechnology companies that produce antifungal agents.

Development Stage

Lab/bench prototype

IP Status