May 2007 - Pharmaceutical Technology

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May 2007

Pharmaceutical Technology

Company Notes
Washington, DC (Mar. 26)—Representatives from pharmaceutical companies, universities, and governmental agencies gathered for the Strategic Research Institute's 2nd Annual Nanomedicine conference in Arlington, Virginia March 26 and 27. The two-day conference included presentations on patents, nanomedicine business trends, and developments in drug delivery using nanotechnology.

Speakers from the US Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health discussed regulation and evaluation strategies for nanotechnology-based emerging therapies and devices. Representatives from the US Patent and Trademark office also were on hand to explain nanotechnology-related issues, including classification and examination. Experts from industry and academia outlined nanotechnology research for drug delivery to tumors.

Although many speakers were hopeful that the work in nanomedicines would bear fruit in the near future, some admitted that there were significant difficulties to be overcome, particularly in scale-up manufacturing. Most, however, were optimistic about the work and nanomedicines' potential to provide more effective treatments for cancers.


Nanocrystals Enable Carrier-Free Drug Delivery

Company Notes
Buffalo, NY (Mar. 7)—Scientists at the University at Buffalo's ( Institute for Lasers, Photonics, and Biophotonics and Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI, Buffalo, NY, have developed a drug-delivery system comprising 100-nm nanocrystals of pure HPPH, (2-devinyl-2-1'-hexyloxyethyl pyropheophorbide). The unique characteristic of the system is that it is carrier free; the drug itself acts as the carrier.

The hydrophobic, photosensitizer drug currently is undergoing Phase I–II human clinical trials at RPCI for the treatment of various cancers.

Research revealed that tumors effectively took up the nanocrystals in vivo, with results comparable to those of surfactant-based delivery models but without the toxicity that has been associated with those conventional systems. The study also showed that nanocrystals of the amphiphillic HPPH self-assembled in solution such that the clusters formed were not too big to settle to the bottom of the solution. The aggregation resulted in a controlled, colloidally stable suspension of nanosized crystals.

The research team plans to conduct additional in vivo trials and is considering the application of the delivery system to other hydrophobic drug compounds.

-Maribel Rios


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