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Biological Drugs Spurring an Evolution in Injectable Drug Delivery

(Amherst, NH) – The success of recombinant protein drugs such as Enbrel, Remicade, and Herceptin in treating refractory conditions is fueling the search for protein and peptide-based therapeutic agents in oncology, inflammation and a host of other disease classes. Led by the proliferation of antibody-based drug candidates, biological drugs as a class continue to outpace all other NCEs in development pipelines and clinical trials. This shift away from small molecule drugs is creating opportunities for drug developers, device designers, packagers and – ultimately – pharmaceutical marketers.

Because biological drugs most often target chronic conditions, dosing strategies and treatment protocols must be developed for long-term use, often for self-administration by patients who may have limitations directly related to their condition. The powerful physiological effects of antibodies, hormones and other biological drugs also increase the need for safety and compliance.

Compliance with drug therapy and disease management protocols has been and is a primary concern within the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. Efforts to enhance compliance are having a non-negligible effect on drug formulations and delivery decisions, and can be a significant factor in the prescribing decisions of most physicians. Compliance concerns have driven and continue to drive investment in new drug delivery technologies.

As patients live longer and are diagnosed with chronic and often debilitating ailments, the result will be a dramatic increase in self-administration of drug therapies in non-traditional settings for a number of conditions. This trend is creating an increased interest in routes of administration that are patient-friendly and cost-effective. Pharma company decision makers have come to the realization that new drug product success no longer only depends on the medication itself but also on achieving a patient-friendly form of application.

New injectable delivery device designs currently being developed will create new opportunities for alternative injection methods. Reusable injectors designed to accept prefilled syringes or drug cartridges will improve ease-of-use and increase alternative device share of the growing self-injection market. Partnerships between device suppliers and pharmaceutical companies will foster market acceptance of new injection devices for a host of new therapies such as therapeutic vaccines, DNA-based drugs, and protein-derived biologics.

These findings are contained in a comprehensive report, Injectable Drug Delivery: Evolving Markets, Emerging Opportunities. More information is available at www.greystoneassociates.org .

About Greystone
Greystone Associates is a medical and healthcare technology consulting firm providing services in strategic planning, venture development, product commercialization, and technology and market assessment.