April 21, 2004

nanoDrugs megaBucks

nanocrystal_drug delivery

One of the major problems with drugs is getting them into the body in the first place. With the human body being 60-70% water, and the figure being as high as 90% for some organs, solubility is a major issue, hence the emphasis on nanoparticles whose large surface areas allow drugs to dissolve faster which enhances uptake.

With somewhere around 40% of new compounds being poorly soluble, drug companies are pouring huge resources into this area. After all, it's no good having compound offering a cure for cancer if it passes straight through the body without being absorbed. Neither is it much use if the bioavailability (i.e.the rate and extent to which a drug is absorbed or is otherwise available to the treatment site in the body) and selectivity is so poor that massive dosages are needed often creating worse problems than the ones the drug is intended to alleviate or cure.

Which explains the recent deal between Roche and Elan over Nanocrystal technology (adding to licences with Bristol-Myers Squibb, Aventis , Merck and Janssen) and American Pharmaceutical Partners excitement about their "proprietary nanoparticle injectable oncology product." and its $7.1 million "pre-launch expenses"

Posted by Cientifica at April 21, 2004 03:56 PM | TrackBack
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