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Drug Delivery: An Evolving Concept

The concept of drug delivery is evolving to go far beyond its original focus of finding alternative modes of administration in order to reduce drug side effects and prolong drug action over time. Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are now exploiting a variety of new technologies and novel approaches to drug delivery, using delivery concepts to develop high-value, differentiated products. These drug delivery applications are increasingly considered an integral part of the development process - one that not only offers strategies to expand product pipelines and extend product and patent life, but is also critical to the development of superior and, in some cases, breakthrough therapies.

The concept of drug delivery was born in the early 1970s. As originally conceived, drug delivery applications focused principally on finding alternative modes of administration - notably transdermal patch and oral sustained release formulations - in order to reduce drug side effects and prolong the action of drugs over time. Since then, however, the field of drug delivery has evolved into an array of technologies that provide new routes of administration or extended performance for both novel and established pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical companies have increasingly used drug delivery technologies to enhance the competitiveness of their products, addressing strategic business goals as well as goals focused on improved drug performance:


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

Christopher J Searcy, Pharm D, is Vice President of Corporate Development at Nektar Therapeutics (Inhale). He joined the company from GalaGen Inc, in Minnesota, where he was Vice President of Business Development. From 1985 to 1995, he held various positions at Pfizer Inc in registration and regulatory affairs, clinical research and marketing. His last position at Pfizer was Director, Licensing and Development. He holds a Master of Business Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School, and a Pharm D from the University of Minnesota.

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Christopher J Searcy
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