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In drug discovery and development, the role of nanotechnology lies in improving diagnostic methods, developing better drug formulations and drug delivery systems for therapy.
FREMONT, CA: The drug discovery industry has become a competitive market, where firms continually face the challenge of finding better drug discovery technologies. The industry is discovering and developing innovative medicines for a wide range of diseases in a marketplace that experience growing regulatory challenges, pricing pressures, and other bottlenecks. In a drive to improve productivity and to sustain market share, pharmaceutical firms have invested billions of dollars in innovative technologies, including nanotechnology, to accelerate the drug discovery and development processes. Here is more to it.
Improving nanotechnologies to target specific cells or tissues is of great interest to companies producing nanomedicines. This involves attaching nanoparticles onto drugs to increase specific localization. Since different cell types have unique properties, nanotechnology can be used to recognize cells of interest. This allows drugs and therapeutics to reach diseased tissue while avoiding healthy cells. While this is a promising area, very few nanomedicines are there that successfully utilize nanotechnology in this manner.
• Controlled Drug Release
The ability to control the release of a drug from its associated nanotechnology is gaining interest from industry. This triggered release could be achieved from within the body or from outside the body. Internal mechanisms are changes in the environment of diseases compared to surrounding tissue, while external stimuli include temperature changes, light, or ultrasound. Presently, research efforts are focused on understanding how to release diagnostic molecules and drugs from liposomes with heat and microbubbles using ultrasound.
• Understanding Patient Populations
There is a lack of understanding about what makes patients differ from each other in terms of why drugs lack efficacy. This extends to why nanotechnologies are not always capable of improving the therapeutic output of drugs for every patient. It will be essential to understand how nanomedicines behave when encountering several physiological characteristics of patients and their illness states.
• Clinical Trials
There are several registered clinical trials in progress that involve nanotechnology for medicine. Many of these are related to oncology. However, other therapy areas include autoimmune diseases, anti-fungal agents, and critical diseases. As such, the report predicts that the market for nanomedicines will be on the rise soon.
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