Press Release

BUCCAL-PEP: Catalyze partner in €3.8million Horizon Europe project

28-11-2022 The BUCCAL-PEP project was last week awarded €3.8 million from the Horizon Europe RESILIENCE program. The European project consortium, led by University College Dublin, CÚRAM SFI Professor David Brayden, will address a major challenge in pharmaceutical research: the oral delivery of peptide-analogues. Catalyze is a partner in the project consortium, delivering project management, and leading the dissemination Work Package. We heard from our colleagues, Jessie Rietdijk, BUCCAL-PEP Project Manager, and Frederike Schmitz, PhD, BUCCAL-PEP Science Communication Advisor.


Presently, only five peptide-analogues have been converted to oral formulations, and all face distinct challenges including low bioavailability, dosage control, patient administration inconvenience, and restrictions in use. In the BUCCAL-PEP project such limitations will be overcome through development of a multifunctional biomaterial patch for buccal (in the cheek) delivery of peptide-analogue treatments to Type 2 Diabetes patients (such as insulin). The multifunctional biomaterial patch allows delivery of peptide therapies across the cheek – for the first time ever.

With the central focus of the research project being Type 2 Diabetes, BUCCAL-PEP can provide patients with an alternative non-injected route to insulin administration, which has been shown to increase patient compliance. However, beyond the project’s focus on Type 2 Diabetes, the platform technology will be suitable for a broad range of experimental- and approved peptides-analogues therapies across a multitude of disease indications. Thus, the project can bring benefits to patients from a wide range of conditions.

Catalyze Project Managers, Jessie Rietdijk, and Ester Weijers, PhD, are taking the lead on project management of BUCCAL-PEP, while Frederike Schmitz, PhD, and Christopher Kruger will lead the dissemination activities surrounding the project.

Delivering project management and science communication

Jessie comments on the role of Catalyze as project partner:

“As partner in the BUCCAL-PEP project, Catalyze will provide structure and guidance to the project, dissemination activities, while also coordinating the commitments of the consortium towards the EU. In doing so, the other partners can fully focus on their excellence: the science! By combining this with our expertise in managing a Horizon project, we believe the BUCCAL-PEP project will be a great success!”

Frederike remarks on leading the dissemination and communication activities for the project:

“BUCCAL-PEP’s novel, multifunctional, biomaterial patch has the potential to overcome the difficulties of traditional oral drug ingestion. But this novel technology needs to be communicated effectively to several audiences, including the general public. Catalyze is also a partner for communications in this project and will provide strategic science communication.

“That means identifying communication goals, audiences, crafting tailored messages and selecting the appropriate channels. In essence, Catalyze will be responsible for external and internal communication for the BUCCAL-PEP project.”

The BUCCAL-PEP consortium

The BUCCAL-PEP consortium consists of UC Dublin (IE), Danish Technological Institute (DK), Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin (DE), AdhexPharma (FR), Novo Nordisk (DK), Catalyze Group (NL) and Cambridge Innovation Technologies Consulting Limited (UK).

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme under Grant Agreement No 101091765.


Gain insights and accelerate the growth of your innovations. Sign-up to our monthly newsletter