PEARRL kicks off!!

3 Nov 2016
PEARRL members from all over Europe, representing 9 Beneficiaries, 9 Partner Organisations and Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), attended the PEARRL kick-off meeting in Bad Homburg, Germany

The EU funded PEARRL Network, led by the School of Pharmacy, UCC, was formally launched at a recent kick-off meeting in Frankfurt on 31st October.  

What is PEARRL?

PEARRL (Pharmaceutical Education And Research with Regulatory Links) is a European Training Network (ETN) for innovative drug formulation strategies and biopharmaceutics tools with regulatory application.

The PEARRL ETN brings together 18 leading European institutions and is co-ordinated by Dr. Brendan Griffin from the School of Pharmacy, University College Cork (UCC). The programme is funded (€ 4 million) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Marie Sklodowska-Curie actions).

The PEARRL project brings together European Pharma industry, academia and regulatory agency partners in a multi-sectorial team to deliver a unique research and training programme, enabling 15 early stage researchers to focus their efforts on this complex paradigm for the next four years.

PEARRL: Addressing the need getting new medicines to market faster

From antibiotics through medicines which prevent gastric ulcers to stem cell research, the research in the pharmaceutical sciences has made great strides over the last century. Whereas average life expectancy was under 40 years at the beginning of the 20th century, the worldwide average today is around 70 years of age. Medical breakthroughs have contributed to not only longer life expectancy but also by a lower infant mortality rate and higher quality of life for the elderly.

However, developing a new drug is a long, costly and complex process and every step of it is has to be carefully reviewed. Drug development requires many different disciplines such as medicine, pharmacology, chemical engineering or bioinformatics working hand in hand. Even so, at the end of the long process of drug development – often over 10 years - and after consuming considerable human and financial resources, the new drug’s safety and efficiency in the targeted patient population may not meet the stringent requirements expected by regulatory authorities such as the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and therefore not be approved and become available to patients.

PEARRL Research Objectives

The main research objectives of PEARRL are to develop novel bio-enabling formulations (“better drugs”), new biopharmaceutics tools and predictive in silico methods to forecast drug levels in humans (“streamlined development”), which together will serve as communication bridgers between research and regulatory science (“accelerated approval”), thus improving the efficiency and cost-competitiveness of pharmaceutical R&D.  The key impact will be that new medicines will be brought to the market faster, and at reduced cost, therein facilitating earlier access of patients to breakthrough therapies.

PEARRL engages the Pharma industry through our partners Janssen, Merck, Pharmathen, Sirius and as well as facilitating collaboration with and among partner regulatory organizations, EMA, HRPA, BfArM and MHRA, and further strengthening Europe`s scientific excellence in academia at our partner universities, namely FHNW, Cork, Athens, Bath and Frankfurt.

PEARRL  Facts and Figures

PEARRL is a research project, co-funded by the European Union

  • Involves 8 beneficiaries and 10 partner organisations (5 academic, 8 industry, 4 regulatory agencies, 1 management)
  • Started on 1 May 2016 , Kick off meeting 31 October 2016, will end on 30 April 2020
  • Budget: 3.9 million euro
  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Goal: A Pan-European training network that develops innovative drug development strategies and  regulatory tools tailored to facilitate earlier access to medicines
  • Contact: Dr. Brendan Griffin, Project Coordinator, PEARRL


For further information check out


School of Pharmacy


Cavanagh Pharmacy Building Room UG06 University College Cork