I remember being told once, that as technology becomes smaller and smaller and ever decreasing amounts of material required for testing, the larger the room to house them becomes. I guess this is the pharmaceutical equivalent of Moore’s Law (or should it be eroom’s Law in this case; hard to tell). Well if this trend in technology were to be translated into the delivery of therapeutics, there would be some whose laboratories would need to be the size of small (or perhaps even moderately sized) countries. Over the last few years, I would say that the field of nanotherapeutics has come from virtually nowhere to represent one of the most submitted or suggested article types coming across my desk. I would have to say that they ingenuity in this area seems to hold no bounds and has the potential to revolutionise many aspects of therapy over a wide range of therapeutic applications. The articles in this newsletter are intended in some small way to illustrate some of the technical and practical advances that have become available over the last few years. I hope that you are equally as excited by the potential of some of these approaches as I am.
The first article in this month’s offering is entitled: “Design strategies for physical-stimuli- responsive programmable nanotherapeutics”, by Fitsum Feleke Sahle, Muhammad Gulfam and Tao L. Lowe of Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center, Memphis, TN 38163, USA. In this article, the authors present a systematic approach to design different programmable physicalstimuliresponsive nanotherapeutics intended for controlled and targeted delivery of various therapeutic agents. Such approaches may become ever more useful to control the response of drugs to be controlled both spatially and temporally by external physical stimuli, allowing more precise control over the target site and a significantly improved drug delivery potential. The ability to facilitate precise site and on demand delivery could offer massive improvements in the treatment of many diseases.
Following on from this is the article by Vibhuti Agrahari and Vivek Agrahari entitled: “Facilitating the translation of nanomedicines to a clinical product: challenges and opportunities” from the recent Special Issue on Nanotherapeutic strategies, on which they were guest Editors. The authors point out how understanding of fundamental, characterization, clinical and regulatory aspects of nanomedicines is vital to enhance their translational potential. They go on to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the commercialization of nanomedicines, essential for the translation of interesting science to valuable medicine.
The remaining article in this month’s offering is more of a practical one, related to the nitty gritty of preparation of pharmaceutic nanocrystals. It is from Maria Malamatari, Kevin M.G. Taylor, Stavros Malamataris, Dennis Douroumis and Kyriakos Kachrimanis, entitled: “Pharmaceutical nanocrystals: production by wet milling and applications”. The review outlines the advantages, stabilization, and production of drug nanocrystals with an emphasis on wet milling. Covering their pharmaceutical applications, it reveals why nanocrystals are an industrially-feasible formulation strategy.
Steve Carney was born in Liverpool, England and studied Biochemistry at Liverpool University, obtaining a BSc.(Hons) and then read for a PhD on the Biochemistry and Pathology of Connective Tissue Diseases in Manchester University, in the Departments of Medical Biochemistry and Histopathology. On completion of his PhD he moved to the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, London, where he worked with Professor Helen Muir FRS and Professor Tim Hardingham, on the biochemistry of experimental Osteoarthritis. He joined Eli Lilly and Co. and held a number of positions in Biology R&D, initially in the Connective Tissue Department, but latterly in the Neuroscience Department. He left Lilly to take up his present position as Managing Editor, Drug Discovery Today, at Elsevier. Currently, he also holds an honorary lectureship in Drug Discovery at the University of Surrey, UK. He has authored over 50 articles in peer-reviewed journals, written several book chapters and has held a number of patents. On the media front, Dr. Carney has been busy on some hush-hush projects that will be reported on later in the year.