Nanotech Drug Formulations Drive Dealmaking

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Some of the most commercially successful products to arise out of nanotechnology in terms of sheer size of revenues generated are nanotech drug formulations. This area continues to be hot in the wake of two recent deals, both focused on improved ways of delivering doxorubicin, a cancer therapeutic, in a delivery system.

First, NanoValent and NanoSmart announced a research collaboration on April 17th to explore the prospect of combining two separate nanotech targeting technologies in a single doxorubicine product. The combined product will feature NanoValent’s hybrid polymerized liposomal nanoparticle delivery technology and also NanoSmart’s anti-nuclear antibody platform, which targets necrosis associated with solid tumors.

Another deal was announced April 16th between BioAlliance and Topotarget, featuring another nanotech formulation of doxorubicin targeting the most common type of liver cancer. This product is in Phase III clinical trials and uses a “Trojan Horse” strategy to combat resistant tumor cells in which a polymer coating tricks the cells into allowing the polymer nanoparticles to enter with the doxorubicin payload. As part of the deal, the two companies merged together in an all-share transaction.

The first nanoparticulate drug formulation (involving the drug sirolimus) was approved by the FDA in 2000. Fourteen years later, the pipeline of nanotech drug formulations continues to grow. Some of the products work by more effectively targeting the diseased area, while others improve the solubility of a drug that is otherwise difficult to administer. The improvements resulting from these smart delivery systems may reduce the amount of drug needed, increase efficacy and/ or reduce side effects in patients.

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