Biologische Barrieren und Wirkstofftransport

Wer die kaum zu überblickende Flut von Medikamenten in den Apotheken betrachtet, dem fällt es schwer, an einen Medikamentenmangel zu glauben. Doch nach wie vor können viele Infektionskrankheiten oder auch Krebs nur unzureichend behandelt werden. Bei der medikamentösen Behandlung ist es besonders wichtig, dass der Wirkstoff im Körper auch an den richtigen Ort gelangt. Lesen Sie hier, wie die Abteilung „Biologische Barrieren und Wirkstofftransport“ mit Sitz am Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS) an der korrekten Verteilung neuer Arzneimittel im Körper forscht.



Prof. Dr. Claus-Michael Lehr

Leiter der Abteilung Wirkstoff-Transport


0681 98806-1000

0681 98806-1009

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Postalische Adresse:

Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS)

Abteilung Wirkstofftransport (DDEL)

Campus, A4.1

Universität des Saarlandes

D-66123 Saarbrücken



I. Personal Data

Born October 2, 1961 in Merzig (Saarland), Germany, married, 3 children


II. Professional Experience and Education

since 2010 Co-founder and Managing Director of PharmBioTec GmbH

since 2009 Co-founder and Head of the Department Drug Delivery (DDEL), Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)

since 1995 Professor (C4) and Head of the Department of Biopharmaceutics and Pharmaceutical Technology, Saarland University

1993 – 1995 Professor (C3), Pharmaceutical Technology, Philipps-Universität, Marburg

1992 – 1993 Research Associate, Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Research, The Netherlands

1991 – 1992 Post-doc with Prof. Vincent H. L. Lee, University of Southern California (USC), USA

1987 – 1991 PhD, Leiden University, the Netherlands

1982 – 1987 Study of Pharmacy at the Universities of Mainz and Hamburg


III. Research Interests

The main focus of research of Prof. Lehr’s team over the past 15 years has been on the one hand exploring biological barriers - in particular of the gastro-intestinal tract, the skin and the lungs -, and on the other hand developing the appropriate carriers capable of crossing these epithelial barriers to deliver an active molecule to its target. The expansion of this approach by developing new in vitro models of higher sophistication and relevance, based on the epithelial cells and tissues concerned, is in advanced progress. In parallel, the nanotechnology approach is improving and broadened in terms of formulating multifunctional nanocarriers that allow targeting the site of action, release the payload in a controllable manner and last but not least being safely biodegraded and excreted from the body.


IV. Honors and Awards

2015&16 listed as one of the top 100 most influential experts for drug development by the British magazine “The Medicine Maker”

2013 College of Fellows, Int. Controlled Release Society (CRS)”

2013 ALTEX Award for best paper in ALTEX/ Alternatives to Animal Experimentation

2013 PHOENIX Award in Pharmaceutical Technology

2012 Membre Correspondant of the “Académie Nationale de Pharmacie” (Paris, Frankreich)

2011 German Federal research Award on Alternatives to Animal Testing

2010 Fellow of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)

2010 Dorothy Hagarthy Award for best paper in ATLA

2010 Research Award of Rhineland-Palatinate on Alternatives to Animal Testing

2009 International Prize of the Belgian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences

2006 APV Research Award in the Pharmaceutical Sciences

2001 Phoenix Award (Pharmaceutical Technology)

2000 CRS Young Investigator Award, Controlled Release Society


V.  Selected Professional and Academic Activities

2016 Organizer 11th International Conference on Biological Barriers, Saarland University (> 200 participants)

2015 President of the Apotheker-Jacob-Foundation, Germany

2015 International Review Panel of the Danish Council for Independent Research

2014 Scientific Advisory Board European Centre for the Validation of Alternative Methods (ECVAM)

2014 Scientific Advisory Board of the Catalent Applied Drug Delivery Institute

2013 Scientific Advisory Board of “BioTechMed-Graz”, Austria

2012 Scientific Advisory Board Laboratory of Excellence in Research on Medication and Innovative Therapeutics (LERMIT), Paris, France

2011 Visiting professor, VirginiaTech Universitiy, Blacksburg, VA, U.S.A.

2009-11 Board Member, International Society for Aerosols in Medicine (ISAM)

2004 – 2008 Coordinator, Marie-Curie Early Stage Training (EST) Network “Galenos EuroPhD in Advanced Drug Delivery“

since 1998 Cofounder and Scientific Advisor of Across Barriers GmbH, Saarbrücken


VI. Editorial Activities for International Scientific Journals

Co-Editor European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (since 1998)

Board Member Eur. J. of Pharmaceutical Sciences, J. of Controlled Release, Pharmaceutical Research; Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine


VII. Scientific Output

According to the SCOPUS database, Prof. Lehr is (co)author of more than 300 papers with >10.000 citations (h-index = 56).


Selected highly cited papers:

Lehr, C.-M., Bouwstra, J.A., Schacht, E.H., Junginger, H.E., In vitro evaluation of mucoadhesive properties of chitosan and some other natural polymers, Int. J. Pharm., 78 (1992) 43-48. Cited 725 times.

Ravi Kumar, M.N.V., Bakowsky, U., Lehr, C.M., Preparation and characterization of cationic PLGA nanospheres as DNA carriers, Biomaterials, 25 (2004) 1771-1777. Cited 314 times.

Kneuer, C., Sameti, M., Bakowsky, U., Schiestel, T., Schirra, H., Schmidt, H., Lehr, C.-M., A nonviral DNA delivery system based on surface modified silica-nanoparticles can efficiently transfect cells in vitro, Bioconjugate Chem., 11 (2000) 926-932. Cited 243 times.

Lamprecht, A., Schäfer, U., Lehr, C.-M., Size-dependent bioadhesion of micro- and nanoparticulate carriers to the inflamed colonic mucosa, Pharm. Res., 18 (2001) 788-793. Cited 216 times.

Nafee, N., Taetz, S., Schneider, M., Schaefer, U.F., Lehr, C.-M., Chitosan-coated PLGA nanoparticles for DNA/RNA delivery: effect of the formulation parameters on complexation and transfection of antisense oligonucleotides, Nanomedicine: NBM, 3 (2007) 173-183. Cited 124 times.

Collnot, E.-M., Baldes, C., Wempe, M.F., Kappl, R., Hüttermann, J., Hyatt, J.A., Edgar, K.J., Schaefer, U.F., Lehr, C.-M., Mechanism of inhibition of P-glycoprotein mediated efflux by vitamin E TPGS: Influence on ATPase activity and membrane fluidity, Mol. Pharmaceutics, 4 (2007) 465-474. Cited 117 times.


Selected Recent Papers

Kuehn, A., Kletting, S., de Souza Carvalho-Wodarz, C., Repnik, U., Griffiths, G., Fischer, U., Meese, E., Huwer, H., Wirth, D., May, T., Schneider-Daum, N., Lehr, C.-M.: Human alveolar epithelial cells expressing tight junctions to model the air-blood barrier. ALTEX. 33, 251–260 (2016).

Susewind, J. et al. A 3D co-culture of three human cell lines to model the inflamed intestinal mucosa. for safety testing of nanomaterials. Nanotoxicology. 10, 53–62 (2016).

Murgia, X., Pawelzyk, P., Schaefer, U.F., Wagner, C., Willenbacher, N., Lehr, C.-M.: Size-Limited Penetration of Nanoparticles into Porcine Respiratory Mucus after Aerosol Deposition. Biomacromolecules. 17, 1536–1542 (2016).

Menina, S., Labouta, H.I., Geyer, R., Krause, T., Gordon, S., Dersch, P., Lehr, C.-M.: Invasin-functionalized liposome nanocarriers improve intracellular delivery of anti-infective drugs. RSC Adv. 6, 41622–29 (2016).

Mittal, A. et al. Inverse micellar sugar glass (IMSG) nanoparticles for transfollicular vaccination. J. Control. Rel.206, 140–152 (2015).

Labouta, H.I., Menina, S., Kochut, A., Gordon, S., Geyer, R., Dersch, P., Lehr, C.-M.: Bacteriomimetic invasin-functionalized nanocarriers for intracellular delivery. J. Control. Rel. 220, 414–424 (2015).

Mittal, A. et al. Efficient nanoparticle-mediated needle-free transcutaneous vaccination via hair follicles requires adjuvantation. Nanomedicine NBM 11, 147–154 (2015).

Raesch, S.S., Tenzer, S., Storck, W., Rurainski, A., Selzer, D., Ruge, C.A., Perez-Gil, J., Schaefer, U.F., Lehr, C.-M.: Proteomic and Lipidomic Analysis of Nanoparticle Corona upon Contact with Lung Surfactant Reveals Differences in Protein, but Not Lipid Composition. ACS Nano. 9, 11872–11885 (2015).

Mahiny, A.J., Dewerth, A., Mays, L.E., ..Malaeksefat, E., Loretz, B…Lehr, C.-M., Kormann, M.S.D.: In vivo genome editing using nuclease-encoding mRNA corrects SP-B deficiency. Nature Biotechnology. 33, 584–586 (2015).

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  • HIPS Infofilm

    Antibiotika-Resistenzen sind weltweit eine der großen Herausforderungen bei Infektionskrankheiten. Hier setzt das neue Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS) an.

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  • Kleine Teile – große Wirkung: Pharmazeuten des HIPS schleusen Medikamente zielsicher durch den KörperWie kommt ein Medikament dahin, wo es wirken soll? Das ist eine der zentralen Fragen bei der Entwicklung neuer Wirkstoffe. Denn es reicht nicht, ein tolles neues Medikament gegen Darminfektionen im Reagenzglas zu haben – es muss auch dort hin gelangen, wo die Krankheit stattfindet. Mit Transportmolekülen schleusen die Pharmazeuten des HZI diese Wirkstoffe durch unseren Körper – über Barrieren, durch passende Lücken und an gefährlichen Stellen vorbei. Besuchen Sie Claus-Michael Lehr und Brigitta Loretz am Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS)…
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