Interreg 2 Seas project “Site-Specific Drug Delivery” (Site Drug)


The aim of this project is to develop innovative drug products, which are able to control the resulting drug distribution in the patient’s body: The drug amount at the site of action is to be optimized, and the amount that is “lost” into the rest of the human body is to be minimized. This is to be achieved by “site-specific delivery systems”, which release the drug at a controlled rate at the site of action. Thus, the therapeutic efficacy will be improved & undesired side effects reduced. This will help reducing the current cost burden on our healthcare systems due to adverse drug effects. Specifically, the project aims at developing innovative site-specific drug delivery systems for the colon, inner ear, peritoneal cavity and breast.

Expected results:

(1) Novel drug products for a safer and more efficient treatment of patients suffering from:

a) Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

b) Ovarian cancer with metastases in the peritoneal cavity

c) Breast resection due to cancer

d) Hearing loss/deafness.

(2) A novel in vitro characterization method facilitating the development of “colon targeting systems” and assuring adequate quality control during production.

(3) A feasibility study, demonstrating the performance of the newly developed drug delivery systems.

Consortium partners:

University of Lille (Lead partner, Prof. Siepmann), University of Cambridge (Prof. Zeitler), Ghent University (Prof. Vervaet), University College London (Prof. Basit), Leiden University (Prof. Jiskoot), Delft University of Technology (Prof. Zadpoor), Lille University Hospital (Mrs. Leal), Lattice Medical (Dr. Payen), Prodigest (Dr. Marzorati) and the Technological Transfer Office North of France (M. Beitone).

Observer partners:

Addenbrooke's Hospital, Dr. Reddy’s Research & Development B.V., Eurasanté, FabRx, Intract Pharma, Medtronic, Oticon Medical, Pfizer, the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital, and Vesale Pharma.


This project is funded by the Interreg 2 Seas programme 2014-2020 and the European Regional Development Fund under subsidy contract “Site Drug 2S07-033”.

Project budget: 4 885 145 €; ERDF amount: 2 931 087 €; ERDF rate: 60%


Start Date: 01/01/2020; End Date: 30/09/2022


For more information, please visit the project’s website at

Eurostars-funded PROMISE project

The kick-off meeting of the Eurostars-funded PROMISE project, a collaboration between Caelus Health and BaseClear from The Netherlands, ProDigest from Belgium and IBBL from Luxemburg, was held on the 7th of May.

The aim of the project is to propel clinical research and treatment of Metabolic Syndrome forward and develop a novel, microbiota-based treatment that could slow down or even prevent the development of type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Through Fecal Microbiota Transplantation, Caelus Health has identified a bacterium, Eubacterium hallii, that is able to increase insulin sensitivity in people that have been diagnosed with Metabolic Syndrome. One of the objectives of the project is to further elucidate the mode of action. At ProDigest, innovative in vitro methods are being developed that will support the study of the influence of E. hallii on the gut microbiota. The programme will include the development of surrogate biomarkers for reliable (early) diagnosis of Metabolic Syndrome. The identification and validation of these biomarkers will be performed by IBBL. The expectation is that these biomarkers can in future also be used for clinical research and possibly serve as an alternative for the burdensome clamping techniques that are currently still the gold standard for measuring insulin production and resistance. The Dutch company BaseClear will assist in developing innovative methods for performing clinical research, which include both logistics and patient selection. The final part of the project entails a clinical study that will integrate all the individual aspects of the R&D project.

This approach is primarily aimed at improving treatment of Metabolic Syndrome, but will also provide methods to facilitate clinical research in other conditions that involve the microbiota.

Project Crossroads – InFlavoBiotics

InFlavoBiotics – Medical nutrition to treat bowel inflammation by targeting the gut microbiome

ProDigest forms partnership with Bioactor (NL) within a CrossRoads 2 project subsidized by the European program Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland. The InFlavoBiotics Project aims to develop an innovative medical food/nutraceutical to control inflammatory bowel conditions and associated gut dysbiosis by optimizing the gut microbiota and the connected immune system. Inflammatory bowel conditions often combined with bowel pain and abnormal gut motility are increasingly prevalent amongst a Western population, whereby gut dysbiosis caused by overweight and/or food allergens is thought to be a strong mediator of this condition. Medical foods would be a safe and convenient way to target the gut microbiome to reduce chronic gut inflammation, correct gut dysbiosis and avoid extended use of strong anti-inflammatory drugs.

The investment by Interreg Vlaanderen-Nederland will allow ProDigest to further extend its in-vitro gastro-intestinal tract technology platform to more specifically target inflammatory bowel conditions. In addition, BioActor will further develop health ingredients for improving inflammatory bowel conditions which will be validated with ProDigest’s in-vitro platform to generate initial data on possible microbiota modulation. As BioActor’s clinical expertise allows for testing in humans of a prototype formulation, this will at the same time provide the ultimate validation of the predictive power of ProDigest’s in-vitro gut inflammation platform.