Drug Delivery - Exploring the Nano options

Published: 21 Jan 2008

By Sylvia Miriyam Findlay, Industry Analyst, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology, Healthcare - Europe, Israel and Africa

Introduction

Drug delivery technologies are mechanism of transferring the desired drug in to the body so as to reach the target site. The conventional forms of drug delivery are oral, injection and topical. However, the need for advanced forms of drug delivery persists. Researchers have been working on various novel methods of drug delivery like transdermal, implant technology and nanotechnology. Any novel drug delivery technology has to take in to consideration certain crucial parameters such as drug pharmacokinetics, drug specificity, intra and interspecies interactions.

Drug delivery is a fast growing and highly dynamic segment in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Various factors have contributed to the growth of this area. Poor efficacies, patent expirations, the urgent need for life cycle management facing the current drugs are some of the major factors.

Pharmaceutical companies are looking forward to enhance to introduce novel drug delivery technologies so as to increase their competitive edge and also to realise maximum revenue generation.

Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery

Advancements in science have led to the development of miniature technology or nanotechnology. The Greek prefix 'Nano' means 'one billionth'. The synergy of nanotechnology and biotechnology has expanded the horizons of nano medicine. Nanotechnology enabled medicines that can encapsulate drugs for controlled delivery will revolutionize the pharmaceutical field. Adoption of the nano medicine by pharmaceutical organisations is set to expand the drug delivery market. This interest is instrumental in accelerating the growth. The total drug delivery market size is estimated to be around $65.00 billion in 2007. It is rapidly growing at the rate of 15 per cent. The nanotechnology drug delivery market is currently around $3.4 billion in 2007. This is estimated to expand depending on the widespread application in the healthcare industry, to a multibillion dollar market by 2012.

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