Monday, December 28, 2009

Snapshot of Nanomaterials for the $719 Billion Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Markets- 2009 ETP Expert Report Published –“Roadmaps in Nanomedicine Towards 2020”

The value of the market for pharmaceuticals and medical devices is difficult to assess; estimates range from at least $26 billion (EUR 18 billion)1 for the European market alone, to more than $719 billion (EUR 500 billion)2 for the global market.  Although several issues have to be overcome, the use of nanomaterials and nanotechnology is expected to have considerable impact on the medical sector.

Impacts are expected in diagnostics including imaging and point-of-care diagnostics; targeted drug delivery; coatings for implants and surgical instruments; drug discovery; and tissue engineering.

Many different nanomaterials are presently used in clinical or preclinical trials. The table presents a brief snapshot of notable nanomaterials in use in clinical trials. 

Nanomaterials in Clinical Trials
Amphiphilic molecules.
Antibodies attached to nanoshells.
Calcium phosphate (CAP) vaccines.
Carbon Nanotubes
Composites of nanoclays.
Fullerenes (e.g. a modified fullerene is entering clinical trials as an anti HIV agent).
Nanobiotechnology based drugs, with a nucleus of iron oxide and an antibody.
Nanocalcium phosphate cements (CPC, nanocement).
Nanocoatings of titanium or tantalum.
 Nanocomposites of titanium alloys.
Nanocrystals (e.g. zinc oxide).
 Nanoparticle suspensions.
 Nanoparticles with magnetic or supermagnetic properties; titanium dioxide; iron oxide;
proteins or peptides; gold; silver; fluorine; manganese; functionalized metal; ligands.
Nanoporous electrode material and nanosized electrodes.
 Nanoporous materials; nanopores.
Nanoscale colloidal particles.
Nanosized metal colloidal particles.
 Nanostructured polymer based scaffolds.
Nanotubes (used as container for drug delivery).
Quantum dots (e.g. cadmium selenide core surrounded by a shell of zinc sulphide, for its
Supramolecular nanomaterials.
 Table Source:  Innovative Research and Products, Inc (iRAP) 

Nanomedicine is defined as the application of nanotechnology to health, according to the European Technology Platform in Nanomedicine. Nanomedicine exploits the improved and often novel physical, chemical and biological properties of materials at the nanometer scale to improve  health care options. Nanomedicine has the potential to enable early detection and prevention of diseases, and to substantially improve diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of a variety of maladies.

The ETP Nanomedicine is an initiative led by industry and set up together with the European Commission to address the application of nanotechnology to achieve breakthroughs in health care
The 2009 ETP Report Roadmaps in Nanomedicine Towards 2020,”  written by researchers at the European Technology Platform (ETP) in Nanomedicine together with European Commission personnel with the support of distinguished experts from academia and industry, was published in October 2009. It details the status of numerous nanotechnology research projects related to pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Together with the European Commission, the ETP Nanomedicine initiated a roadmapping process in early 2009 with two objectives: firstly, to identify translatable trends in research and understand their expected impact on applications, products, and markets and secondly, to fine-tune and target research funding on areas with greater commercial potential and most importantly that will directly benefit patients.

This focus is especially important in view of the current financial crisis and the resulting need for increased public & private funding for research. The three key areas addressed are Nano-diagnostics, Nanopharmaceutics and Regenerative Medicine.

More information regarding nanomedicine can be found in the vision paper and the relevant strategic research agenda of the Nanomedicine European Technology Platform.

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