Tuesday, January 09, 2007

New nanotech anti-cancer drug delivery system introduced

A new anti-cancer drug delivery system which allows more targeted treatment and helps avoid the unsafe and unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy is due to enter clinical trials in Europe and the US for use with anti-cancer drug paclitaxel.

Indian drug firm Dabur Pharma yesterday introduced Nanoxel, the first nanoparticle drug delivery system to be developed outside the US.
”Owing to its water insolubility, the widely used chemotherapy agent paclitaxel that is known to have substantial anti-tumour activity is now used with a castor oil based solvent, cremophor, which in turn is an agent for life threatening side effects,” said Dabur Research Foundation R&D president Dr Rama Mukherjee.

”The anti-cancer drug nanoxel, based on principles of nanotechnology, is a cremophor free soluble formulation – and is indicated as an effective and safe therapy for advanced breast, non-small-cell lung, and ovarian carcinomas.”

On of the major challenges with anti-cancer drug treatments is damage to surrounding healthy organs and tissue as many anti-cancer drugs are designed simply to destroy cells. The threat of severe side effects caused by random distribution of the drugs has meant that maximum dosages are necessarily restricted.

However, utilising nanotechnology to design new drug delivery systems is helping to tackle this problem. Nanoxel's polymeric nanoparticle drug delivery system is being touted as a ‘potential super generic' due to its increased safety and pharmacokinetic profile.

”Nanoparticle drug delivery devices like Nanoxel enable therapy to take a preferential course to the cancerous cells and directly interact with the tumour causing agents thereby throwing open a larger window for anti-tumour activity,” said Dr Advani, Director of Medical Oncology at the Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.

”It also ensures that the patient receives the full measure of the therapy while limiting the adverse side effects and toxicity affected by the drug.”

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