A Molecular Basis for Innovation in Drug Excipients

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2017 Mar;101(3):320-323. doi: 10.1002/cpt.458. Epub 2016 Sep 28.


Excipients are ubiquitous in drug formulation, ensuring that active ingredient drugs are properly released on dosing, retain their properties over time, and are palatable, among other roles. Despite their crucial roles, surprisingly little is known about their systemic availability and activities on molecular targets. Here we review key excipient properties, introduce a public-accessible database that enumerates and categorizes them, and sketch a strategy for exploring their possible direct actions on molecular targets.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chemistry, Pharmaceutical / organization & administration*
  • Databases, Factual*
  • Drugs, Generic
  • Excipients / chemistry*
  • Humans
  • Research
  • United States
  • United States Food and Drug Administration


  • Drugs, Generic
  • Excipients