Two Postgraduate Positions

(EU Marie Curie Industry Host Fellowships)


Pharmaceutical development to increase the
bioavailability of ionic compounds


On oral absorption, ionic compounds will not pass the membranes of the gut. They usually have an equilibrium established with an uncharged species, which will pass the membrane. Zwitterionic compounds, like amino acid derivatives, do not have an equilibrium with an uncharged species. They will not pass the gut membrane, but will be absorbed via the aqueous pores only. Therefore, these compounds are not readily absorbed via the gut, which, in general, leads to a low oral bioavailability. This problem will be approached from a pharmaceutical point of view. The effects of pH and solubility, use of surfactants and complexing agents will be studied in in-vitro systems, to study the feasibility of each of these options, and finally GMP materials will be prepared to study the effect in human volunteers. When a successful approach is available, this will be implemented in formulation development towards a dosage form that can be manufactured on a large scale. The scope of the results, obtained on a model compound, will be explored to obtain feasible options for other molecules that are notorious for bad absorption in the gut, like compounds with a low aqueous solubility.

Company Information

Solvay Pharmaceuticals is a leading international pharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development and manufacturing of human medicine. The company is part of the Solvay group, whose history dates back to 1863. The Pharmaceuticals sector operates globally in the fields of psychiatry, cardiology, gastro-enterology and gynaecology (see also The company ranks among the largest pharmaceutical companies with major research sites in The Netherlands and Germany. Around 400 people at the Weesp site in The Netherlands, in the immediate vicinity of Amsterdam, are directly involved in research and development into medicine for psychiatric disorders.


These two-year post-graduate fellowships provide an excellent opportunity to enter the dynamic field of drug development. You will be based at our research and development site in Weesp and work in a multi-disciplinary environment equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. You will profit from our extensive training and career development opportunities. In addition to the expertise within the company, we have collaborations with academic laboratories and contracts with several pharmaceutical delivery companies.

We are looking for strong candidates graduated in physical chemistry or pharmaceutical technology.

For general eligibility criteria, please visit the Marie Curie website at: .

For further information,

please contact Dr. Ries de Winter


To apply, please send a letter + CV (including the names and contact details of at least one reference) either by e-mail or regular mail

(P.O. Box 900, 1380 DA Weesp, The Netherlands).

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