The Respiratory Drug Delivery (RDD®) conferences have become a series of must-attend events for researchers, product developers and vendors concerned with all aspects of nasal and inhaled pharmaceuticals. Participation brings attendees into frequent contact with colleagues, clients and customers located around the world, especially now that RDD conferences are established on three continents.

All three conferences – RDD (the North American event), RDD Europe and RDD Asia – are biennial, alternating between North America and Asia events in even numbered years, and a Europe event in odd numbered years.

The most recent RDD event was RDD Asia 2018, co-organised by RDD Online and Aptar Pharma. It was held at the Grand Hyatt Kochi in Kerala, India, on November 14–16, 2018. The venue was a business friendly, western-style waterfront hotel located on Bolgatty Island, about 32 km from the Kochi International Airport, ensuring easy access from the US, Europe and Asia. The meeting attracted about 200 attendees from 16 countries. The majority of participants were from India, augmented by 23% from Europe, 11% from the rest of Asia and 8% from the US. The pharmaceutical industry sent the most delegates (31%), but there were strong showings by instrument (10%) and service companies (27%), and a smaller contingent of government and academic scientists (7%).

Few conferences allow English-speaking Asian scientists and managers to access high-quality, peer-reviewed science directly pertaining to inhaled product development without the necessity of securing a visa and flying long distances. RDD Asia 2018 provided such an opportunity by bringing western experts to India to present alongside local specialists with expertise in Asia-centric issues.

All delegates were warmly welcomed by the conference chairman, Richard Dalby (University of Maryland, MD, US), before enjoying a plenary lecture from Rob Price (University of Bath, UK) speaking on “Challenging the Bioequivalence Hurdles for OINDPs: Achieving Q3 Structural Equivalence”. Additional presentations were offered in sessions addressing “Advancing Regulatory Science of Inhaled and Nasal Products”, “Predictive Models to Support Inhalation Science”, and “Satisfying Patient Needs in the Global Marketplace”. The response to the talks presented by Indian and international speakers was enthusiastic, as was made apparent by delegate feedback and the high level of audience engagement during podium sessions.

RDD Asia 2018 underscored India’s emergence as a global power in inhaled and nasal pharmaceutical development and patient care. The poster session, technology exhibition and workshops each created opportunities for exchanging ideas and discussion, with connected devices generating a lot of buzz. There were 26 exhibiting companies and six workshop presentations, providing ample networking opportunities to attendees, including first-timers and RDD regulars.

The workshop sessions, with their small group, hands-on demonstrations and/or case study format, were particularly suited to exchange of detailed ideas and quick acquisition of relevant new knowledge directly applicable to pulmonary and nasal drug delivery. Workshops have proven to be an excellent tool for connecting scientists and business professionals to their suppliers, service providers and regulators in a relaxed atmosphere that fosters open communication. Exhibitors were available throughout both conference days to answer questions about their products and services and some reported barely having time to eat as a result.

The spectacular views at the welcome reception on the rooftop terrace of the Grand Hyatt Hotel got the networking started and, on the Thursday evening, the gala fiesta dinner on the palm lawns of the hotel provided attendees with ample opportunity to unite with old friends and form new partnerships.

Peer-reviewed speaker papers and poster abstracts were made available in print to all delegates, with access also available on mobile devices via RDD’s conference website.

Respiratory Drug Delivery Europe 2019, which takes place on May 7-10, 2019, in Lisbon, Portugal, is designed for emerging and high-level scientists, academics, clinicians and industrial and regulatory specialists. It is a must-attend conference for companies involved in researching, developing, testing or marketing of medicines, devices and services associated with pulmonary or nasal pharmaceutical products. The conference is jointly organised by RDD Online and Aptar Pharma. The programme features all new scientific content, including expert presentations during themed sessions titled:

  • “New Approaches to Treating Old Diseases”
  • “Pipes, Particles and Predictions: New Insights into Deposition”
  • “Re-inventing Inhalers for the Digital Age”
  • “Take a Deep Breath: Brexit and Environmental Sustainability”
  • “New Approaches to Inhalation Product Development and Production”.

The table-top technology exhibition and scientific poster session will be co-located close to meal and refreshment stations to ensure maximum interaction between delegates and academics, excipient, device and equipment designers, and component and service suppliers. Workshop sessions will feature practical and interactive demonstrations of innovative technologies, products and services tailored to individual interests, such as connected health, excipient and device selection or product evaluation.

Recognising the importance and contributions of emerging scientists, all accepted poster abstracts from graduate students are automatically eligible for the VCU RDD Peter R Byron Graduate

Student Award, which covers the winning student’s registration fee, travel expenses and accommodation up to a maximum of US$2,000 (£1,500). Graduate student work will also feature in the poster session and presentations. The schedule will allow ample time to reflect on and discuss the ideas presented at the conference, while meeting new collaborators and business partners in a range of formal and informal settings.

Registration for RDD Europe 2019 is currently open. Students and employees of academic and government agencies receive a substantial discount.

The programme for RDD Europe 2019 is full, but RDD is welcoming submission of talk titles and speaker nominations for the next North American meeting until August 1, 2019. Potential speakers with novel data and insights are invited to submit a 200-word summary of their purpose and major findings to the Organising Committee. Each summary will be reviewed for originality, merit and programme fit before invitations are issued. Respiratory Drug Delivery 2020, organised by RDD Online with cooperation from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA, US), will be held at JW Marriott Desert Springs, Palm Desert, California on April 26-30, 2020.

The poster abstract submission deadline for this meeting is January 13, 2020. Companies are also invited to participate in the technology exhibition at which components, excipients, hardware or services may be displayed on a table.

Details and sign-up for tables will become available in late 2019 on RDD Online’s website, which will also outline sponsorship opportunities to maximise the value of participation.

For more information on RDD Europe 2019 and RDD 2020, please visit www.rddonline.com or contact [email protected].