7.6.2 Definition & Short Description
Keywords: nano-emulsion, nano-gel, solid lipid nanoparticle, liposome, micelles, dendrimer, hyperbranched polymer, carbon nanotube, carbon nanohorn, nano-sponge, thin film, nanoshell
For the purpose of this report, therapeutics are defined as drugs and their associated delivery systems used for the treatment of disease.
The pharmaceutical industry is currently facing a crisis. The high increase in development costs, competition from generic manufacturers, complex patent management systems and increased failure rates are putting immense pressure on the profitability and future survival of the leading companies. There is also a shift away from the "one size fits all" blockbuster drug model towards personalised medicine, which will severely impact on the revenue of therapies.
New tools and techniques enabled by nanotechnology can help in better understanding intracellular functions. However it is the targeting of drugs, which can reduce toxicity and improve efficiency, where nanotechnology can make a huge impact. Nanotechnology-based delivery systems can also protect drugs from degradation. These properties can help reduce the number of doses required, make treatment a better experience and reduce treatment expenses. A number of nano-based systems allow delivery of insoluble drugs, allowing the use of previously rejected drugs or drugs which are difficult to administer e.g. paclitaxel. At present these systems are generally used for existing, fully developed off-patent drugs, the so-called "low-hanging fruit" of nanotechnology-based delivery. However, the success of these paves the way for new drugs being delivered in the same way.
The market for nanotechnology enabled drug delivery is set to have a cumulative growth rate of 48% over the next four years to increase to US $20.1 billion by 2012, an 11% share of the global drug delivery market. In 2008, the nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery market is estimated at US $4.1 billion, or 4% of the global drug delivery market[i].
[i] T. Joseph, R. Moore, Drug delivery using nanotechnology technologies, markets & competitive environment, Report-Institute of Nanotechnology, 2008
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