Saturday, December 18, 2004

Serious side effects may result from ignoring nano

Last weekend in New York, I got into a bit of a verbal contest with a Pfizer representative who listened to my nanotech talk and played the role of a realist. The nanotechnology drug-delivery solutions I outlined were all well and good, but they cost too much to develop into a product. The drug company is fine with a "topical" solution in the context of glaucoma medication.

To my own surprise, I argued with him a bit. Well, who is going to bring these technologies out of the lab and into doctors' offices? The nanotech labs and startups working on the time-release membranes and drug-delivery devices are not going to come to you with a finished product to sell. They don't have the money to do that. That's where companies like Pfizer can come in and help transform the basic technology into a real product.

It's not Pfizer's role to do that, he said.

My voice rose a bit and I said -- probably about as firmly as I dare in front of such an esteemed group -- that the physicians in the room all say that they need a better way to deliver medication to precisely where it's needed in the eye, and to sustain the release longer. There are nanotech researchers who have this kind of enabling technology right now. Not 10 years from now, but right now. Don't you want to place it into the hands of these physicians who could use it? Don't you want targeted drug delivery without side effects? If a company like Pfizer, which has the means to help bring this to market sooner, does not do it, who will?

Later, I was told by physicians and even other Pfizer representatives that this was precisely what everybody in the room needed to hear.

If you're a physician, drug company representative, medical device maker or nanotech researcher, forget about glaucoma. Tie this debate in to your own specialty. Meanwhile, here's just one of many news stories in this cycle regarding some bad press Pfizer is getting over Celebrex. Pay attention to this story. It's not about whether the drugs work. They do. It's about the side effects.

Arthritis Patients React to Celebrex Warning (KCRG-TV News)

    At this point Pfizer is keeping Celebrex on the market. Local pharmacies have not received any instructions to pull the pain-reliever from the shelves.

    Craig Clark of Clark Pharmacy said," We want to make sure that everybody doesn't panic and stop using it. It's a very good drug. We are concerned for the potential heart attack incidence.

    So even though people like Linda are feeling good while taking Celebrex, they now might have to worry about the side-effects on their heart. More here

NanoBot Backgrounder
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Pint-size pushers

Related Links
Ophthalmic drug delivery system (U.S. Patent Application)
ubconjunctival Nano- and Microparticles Sustain Retinal Delivery of Budesonide, a Corticosteroid Capable of Inhibiting VEGF Expression (Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology)
New drugs prevent scarring after glaucoma eye surgery (Imperial College London)


Anonymous said...

The Celebrex (and Vioxx) escapades are classic, current examples of precisely why the public has good cause for questioning the competence of business, the scientific community, and the government, in the implementation of new technology.

If you guys are so brilliant, why do you keep making mistakes like this? You'll have to forgive us for not trusting your brilliance.


Anonymous said...

What you are articulating about nanotechnology is right, You may be surprised to know that It seems big Pharma companies are missing nanotechnology and its possible application, which was report by Lux