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Pavan Muttil, Ph.D.

Pavan Muttil, Ph.D.pavan-muttil
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Health Sciences Center
The University of New Mexico

Dr. Muttil has disclosed nine inventions and has two pending patent applications for his inhaled/oral vaccine technologies. Dr. Muttil’s dry powder inhaled delivery system for TB vaccine BCG received a $100,000 Phase I grant from the Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative funded by the prestigious Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Foundation grants are awarded for the most innovative research that targets solutions to major health problems, particularly in developing countries.

Dr. Muttil’s technologies are focused on developing novel dry powders for inhaled/oral vaccines and drugs against various infectious diseases and cancers. These dry powders are prepared using a spray drying technology and are ultimately evaluated in different animal models for their efficacy.

While tuberculosis (TB) infection is not considered a large-scale threat in the U.S. currently, over a third of the world’s population is thought to have fallen victim to the disease. Approximately eight million people worldwide have active TB infections, resulting in two million deaths each year. Despite the widespread use of the TB vaccine Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG), infection rates continue to rise. While vaccination offers the best approach to reducing the global epidemic, the efficacy of BCG varies from 0-80% in preventing TB infection. The route by which the BCG vaccine (and many novel TB vaccines currently in development) are delivered could be the key to improving their effectiveness. Dr. Muttil and his co-inventor have developed a dry-powder inhaled delivery system that promises to improve BCG’s effectiveness in establishing immunity, particularly for pulmonary and latent forms of TB infection. BCG vaccination by the pulmonary route could thus improve the high variability observed with BCG administered as an injection. Dr. Muttil has also developed a dry-powder live bacterial vaccine that is stable at room temperature for more than a year. Thermostability of vaccines is very critical in disseminating them to the remotest regions of the world which lack a well-developed cold-chain storage and transportation system. According to WHO, the need for vaccines to be kept constantly cold (2°C to 8°C) has proved to be a major barrier in improving the immunization coverage rates, with one in five children missing out on life-saving vaccinations each year.

Dr. Muttil’s research interests include an orthotopic mouse SPECT/CT imaging model using modified human lung adenocarcinoma cells; inhaled drug delivery using magnetic microparticles for lung cancer; dry-powder VLPs as a mucosal vaccination strategy; inhaled BCG for protection against pulmonary tuberculosis; dry-powder vaccination strategies for infectious diseases; aerosol delivery from existing and new metered dose inhalers using an infrared camera; and mucosal immunotherapy for treating lung cancer.

Pending Patent Applications

Method for Accurate and Simultaneous Measurement of Temperature, Velocity and Geometry of a Spray
Plume Actuated from Pressurized Metered Dose Inhalers (pMDI) Using a High-Speed Infrared Camera
Vaccination Compositions, Methods of Making, and Methods of Us