Citation: “Conference Review: Respiratory Drug Delivery (RDD) 2014”. ONdrugDelivery Magazine, Issue 50 (Jun 2014), p 24.

Fajardo, Puerto Rico, May 4-8, 2014

Respiratory Drug Delivery® celebrated its 25th Anniversary at the El Conquistador Resort in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, from May 4 to May 8, 2014.

RDD 2014 addressed contemporary science associated with inhaled drug products and other pharmaceuticals utilising non-aqueous and aqueous liquids, dispersions and solids which are of interest to many in our international audience. This year’s conference attracted approximately 500 participants, representing 29 countries. Just over half (54%) came from the US and Canada, 36% from Europe and the remaining 10% from the various other territories including India, Australia and South America. Approximately 80% of attendees reported working for pharmaceutical companies or their suppliers while the remaining 20% were from academia and regulatory authorities.


The organisers of the meeting and Virginia Commonwealth University were honoured to award the 2014 Charles G Thiel Award, endowed at VCU by 3M Drug Delivery Systems, to Dr Dieter Hochrainer. The award recognises outstanding research and discovery in respiratory drug delivery. Dr Hochrainer played significant roles in the development at Boehringer Ingelheim of both the Handihaler® (the first DPI to replace gelatin with polymeric capsules thereby improving performance) and Respimat® (with its unique spray duration, patient interface and nozzle design). Dr Hochrainer’s leadership of development teams working on both platforms led directly to clinical improvements in many patients suffering from COPD. He has also served the scientific community, both as Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Aerosol Science and as an editorial board member for Journal of Aerosol Medicine, while representing Boehringer Ingelheim on international consortia and working groups to benefit aerosol science and respiratory drug delivery. Dr Hochrainer’s peers said of him, “He combines the ingenious developer and the benevolent scientist in one person; he is the German Charlie Thiel!”


Dr Yvonne Huang, Associate Director, UCSF Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program (University of California, CA, US) delivered the plenary lecture, entitled: “The Microbiome and Airway Disease: Role in Pathogenesis, Presentation and Response to Treatment”. Other renowned speakers offered their insight in the areas of airway pathogens, aerosols and immunologic homeostasis; inhaled product safety; optimising nasal and pulmonary formulations; accessing emerging global markets; PK and PD evidence for inhaled corticosteroids; device design; advances in testing and manufacturing science and in vitro testing.

At the request of delegates attending previous meetings the “Posters on the Podium” session was expanded allowing more of the latest research in pulmonary and nasal delivery to be shared with the entire audience.

Andy Clark led a discussion on realistic in vitro testing which debated the selection of mouth throat models and breathing profiles directed towards improved IVIVCs. The session was audio-recorded and will be made available by the organisers later in the year.


The Scientific Poster Session and Technology Exhibition received excellent reviews for providing two days of effective scientific and commercial networking facilitated by serving lunch and refreshment breaks in the exhibition space. In addition, a Silver Anniversary Wine and Cheese Reception on Monday evening provided time for viewing more than 100 posters and 80 exhibitor tables.


Peer-reviewed speaker papers and poster abstracts were made available in print or electronically, according to delegate preference, and during the conference via a dedicated conference website. Hard copies of the RDD 2014 proceedings can be purchased at, which also houses the searchable database of papers from RDD 2014, and past meetings. Also available are links to aerosol testing equipment for sale, educational presentations, job postings and a calendar of events relevant to the aerosol scientist or manager.


The organisers thank the presenters, exhibitors, sponsors and all those in attendance who make the annual Respiratory Drug Delivery series a success. We encourage you to attend future conferences and consider sponsoring individual events or the conference in general so we can continue to showcase cutting-edge science from international opinion leaders.

Our next meeting is RDD Asia 2014, to be held in Goa, India, November 12-14, 2014. RDD Europe 2015 will be held in Nice, France, May 5-8, 2015. Both meetings offer invited speaker, poster, exhibition, workshop and sponsorship opportunities.