The patient populations in veterinary medicine cover a broad range of species, body sizes, and drug absorption barriers, and therapies generally require long-acting agents that are administered infrequently. Consequently, the utilization of biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic principles in the development of veterinary controlled release drug delivery systems is essential for a rationally designed product. Throughout the last 20 years, a wide variety of biopharmaceutical approaches have become available and, when applied with consideration of basic pharmacokinetic principles, allow for the development of veterinary medicines with greater efficacy and ease of administration.

The development of veterinary controlled release drug delivery systems requires the collaboration of several departments of an innovative pharmaceutical company. Once the appropriate product profile (e.g. patient population, disease indication, spectrum of activity, dosing route and frequency) has been established research biologists, chemists, biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic scientists interact to take advantage of the inherent dispositional properties of lead chemical candidates, and optimize delivery by formulation in an appropriate controlled release system.

This chapter will provide an overview of biopharmaceutical and pharmacokinetic principles that are essential in meeting the challenges facing innovative producers of veterinary controlled release products. In this chapter we focus on two major veterinary markets: (1) livestock, including cattle, swine, sheep, and poultry; and (2) companion animals, including cats, dogs and horses. The same general principles which are applied to pharmaceuticals for these major markets can be applied to pharmaceuticals for other markets, such as aquaculture, however, it should be noted that additional requirements or restrictions may need to be considered. We also have restricted this discussion to pharmaceutical agents and have excluded discussing biological agents such as vaccines.

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