News Feature | January 29, 2014

Global Industry Analysts, Inc. Reports Unmet Needs Driving Nanotechnology In Drug Discovery

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By Cyndi Root

Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA) announced the release of a report on nanotechnology in drug discovery. Entitled “Nanotechnology in Drug Delivery: A Global Strategic Market Report,” the report is global in scope and comprehensive. GIA addresses the 53.3 billion dollar U.S. market projected for 2018. Included are the forces driving the pharmaceutical industry such as the aging population, increasing chronic diseases, unmet needs, and nanotechnology. GIA is an independent publisher of market research. It serves 10,000 companies in 36 countries. Founded in 1987, it specialized in the medical industry but now reports on 180 industries. 

GIA states that the pharmaceutical industry was one of the first beneficiaries of nano drug technology. It holds promise in diagnostics, drug discovery, drug delivery, and tissue engineering. Drug delivery has been the primary focus in research medicine using the technology, as nano-delivery offers better targeting and reduction in side effects. Researchers can now revisit prior experiments and drugs to investigate nanotechnology possibilities. Shelved molecules and abandoned studies may be revived for further studies with nanotechnology. The interest and activity in the technology is rising due to growing demand for novel techniques. Competition is increasing as companies seek to reduce costs of drug components and differentiate products from competitors.

Nano Products

Nano products are described as intelligent drug-delivery systems. They are novel techniques and products, and require different administration than conventional treatments.  These tiny molecules are active or passive depending on the application. They can be nanoparticles, micro-injectors, and/or have micro-electrical properties. Controlled release and target specificity allow for custom therapies based on the condition or disease and the patient. Nanotechnology offers on-demand dosing and a more sophisticated drug delivery system. For the patient, it means better quality treatment and improvement in the quality of life. Researchers are interested in biomolecules like DNA and siRNA, chemotherapeutic agents that target cancer better, and oral drug delivery.

The GIA report states the U.S. is the largest market in the world, driven by a strong pharmaceutical industry. U.S. firms have a strong focus on R&D and companies are moving to improve their pipelines. The Asian-Pacific market is the fastest growing, led by China. China has prioritized healthcare and is committed to advanced medical technology. Nanocrystals and nanocarriers like liposomes are expected to see strong growth. The report lists some of the major players in nanotechnology and forecasts revenues.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates nanotechnology and interested parties can visit the FDA site for more information on nanomedicine, its uses, and trends.