The “Micro Shuttle” Express

Erik Greb PharmTech editorWhen pipelines run dry, pharmaceutical companies are more likely to investigate alternative delivery methods as a way of distinguishing their drugs in the marketplace. In the past few weeks, I’ve noticed several intriguing delivery methods created by researchers around the world. I recently wrote about the new technique of encapsulating medicines in magnetite nanoparticles for repeated, long-term delivery. Along similar lines, scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have created “micro shuttles” that can be loaded with drugs and opened remotely. Read more »

Zap away the Pain

Erik Greb PharmTech editorLast week, I wrote that the increased attention to biological drugs, which are mostly taken through injections, was spurring interest in needle-free and implantable delivery methods for vaccines. Research into alternative delivery methods for vaccines could produce innovative ways of delivering other kinds of drugs as well, and I recently read about an inspired idea that a team of Boston researchers had for delivering intermittent doses of drugs. Read more »

Leaving Needles Behind

Erik Greb PharmTech editorHave you ever considered getting a flu shot but quailed at the sight of the needle? Lots of people hate getting injections, but this delivery method is still the predominant technique for administering biological drugs. Rising demand for vaccines and other biologicals is one factor spurring manufacturers to seek alternative delivery methods that could one day rescue the needlephobic. Read more »

Sustained Drug Delivery in a Cup

Maribel Rios PharmTech editorA formulation that can sustain the delivery of a drug and reduce the frequency of doses by itself contributes to improved patient compliance. But when sustained delivery of this formulation is coupled with organ-specific delivery by means of innovative combination products, the benefits to patients are even greater. Read more »

Proof: Diamonds Can Be Your Best Friend

Maribel Rios PharmTech editorAs if I needed another reason to believe diamonds can make a person feel better: Researchers at Northwestern University are using carbon-based nanodiamonds to slowly deliver and release tightly bound insulin (acting as a growth hormone to generate new skin cells) to a specific location to fight infection and heal wounds such as those from severe burns. Researchers also showed the insulin was virtually inactive while it was bound to the nanodiamonds, thereby preventing excess drug release. Read more »

Cancer Drug Delivery on Homing Device

Maribel Rios PharmTech editor

Prostate cancer remains one of the most common cancers and the second-leading cause of cancer death in American men, according to the American Cancer Society. So far, treatments for prostate cancer include drugs that affect the entire body, instead of only cancer cells. Work by a team of researchers at Purdue University offers hope they have found a new method of not only finding and targeting these cancer cells, but also carry therapeutic drugs directly to the site of infection. Read more »

Fighting Drug Abuse with Drug Delivery

Erik Greb PharmTech editorReports of teenagers’ pharm parties, Rush Limbaugh’s OxyContin addiction, and the questions surrounding Michael Jackson’s death have kept prescription-drug abuse in the public eye. By requiring manufacturers of opioid drugs to create risk evaluation and mitigation strategies, the US Food and Drug Administration is seeking to reduce opportunities for drug abuse while keeping the therapies available to patients who need them. One pharmaceutical company suggests that, in addition to regulatory solutions, drug abuse could be curbed using drug-delivery strategies. Read more »

Boosting Patient Compliance with IT (and Video Games)

Maribel Rios PharmTech editorMy colleague Erik Greb wrote an interesting blog post yesterday about new drug delivery technology reminiscent of childhood games. Games have changed dramatically, but the concept of using them to help educate applies today. Take for example, the problem of patient compliance. A video game called “Re-Mission” (HopeLab) is helping children and teens to “blast away” cancer cells (at least on screen). The point is that it empowers the young patient to take control, which unfortunately is not the case with many adult patients with cancer. Read more »

Drug Delivery Could Someday Be Child’s Play

Erik Greb PharmTech editorAs a kid, I enjoyed playing with remote-controlled cars. It was exciting to watch the cars speed around, turn where I wanted, and go where I told them to go. Researchers at Harvard have developed what could eventually be a drug-delivery method that’s not far removed from this childhood pastime. Read more »

Hope for Bipolar Fish

Erik Greb PharmTech editorAs an editor for Pharmaceutical Technology, I often hear about novel drug-delivery mechanisms. Often they’re high-tech materials such as polymers, hydrogels, or nanoparticles. But a recent Associated Press story revealed a biological-based drug carrier that I hadn’t thought of: fish. Read more »

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