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Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Packing Sourcer

New Drug Delivery Strategies Offer Opportunities for Improved Drug Performance and Expanded Markets

The concept of drug delivery is evolving. Whereas it once focused primarily on finding alternative modes of administration for existing drugs - notably transdermal patch and oral sustained release formulations - innovative drug delivery technologies are today emerging as a key component of the pharmaceutical development process. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are exploiting a variety of new technologies and novel approaches by using delivery concepts to create high-value, differentiated products. In some cases, these delivery technologies are essential to a drug product's very success.

The strategic application of drug delivery technologies offers a number of benefits to drug developers: they offer an important tool in attaining business goals, providing the means to protect and even expand key product franchises. Using drug delivery technology to modify and improve the performance of existing drugs can extend patent protection for those products, as well as their competitive life in the marketplace. Offering a range of products around a single molecular entity can allow a company to create a line of related products that address different therapeutic and patient needs - thus ultimately increasing sales.

The ability of drug delivery to enable new routes of administration can also extend the use of a drug to new populations or indications where the original administration route might not be cost-effective or acceptable to patients. For example, there are approximately three million US patients with diabetes who could benefit from insulin but are not willing to take it by injection. The availability of inhaled forms of insulin, the first of which is already under review by European regulatory authorities, would offer a new alternative for these patients.

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By Dr Christopher Searcy, Vice President, Corporate Development at Nektar Therapeutics

Dr Christopher J Searcy has been Vice President of Corporate Development at Nektar Therapeutics since 1996. Previously, he was the Vice President of Business Development of GalaGen Inc, an oral antibody company focusing on human gastrointestinal tract infections. From 1985 to 1995, Dr Searcy held various positions in registration and regulatory affairs, clinical research and marketing at Pfizer Inc. In his last position at Pfizer, he was the Director of Licensing and Development. Dr Searcy holds a BS in Pharmacy and a PharmD, both from the University of Minnesota, and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School.
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Dr Christopher Searcy
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