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WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol
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Nanomedicine: a pharma perspective

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Nanotechnology as applied to medicine is not a new field. The first nanomedicines approved for use were developed from research dating back to the 1970s. These liposomal formulations of existing drugs showed improved therapeutic activity and reduced toxicity in the nonclinical model systems. However, these benefits proved more subtle and harder to demonstrate in patients. This fact, combined with the technical challenges in commercial‐scale production of nanoparticles, led to only limited investment in nanomedicines by the major pharmaceutical companies. Even so, research on nanomedicines has proceeded apace in academic laboratories and smaller biopharmaceutical companies. New materials and drug combinations have been studied, and targeting moieties added with the aim of improving the therapeutic index. Today many of these new designs are in, or are approaching, clinical testing. It will take only one or two to be successful to change the way pharmaceutical companies view this field of innovative research. WIREs Nanomed Nanobiotechnol 2015, 7:125–130. doi: 10.1002/wnan.1288 This article is categorized under: Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Emerging Technologies Therapeutic Approaches and Drug Discovery > Nanomedicine for Oncologic Disease

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