The coordinated approach of the NANOFACTURING consortium, covering all fundamental stages of the supply chain, will enable the sustainable development of nanomedicine in the EU. The development of processes for the scale up of NANOFACTURING’s innovative platform technology and the knowledge and expertise that this will create within each of the partner organisations will support EU competitiveness, advancing the capability and skill set within the European nanopharmaceutical industry and help strengthen the research and innovation capacity of the partners, particularly the SMEs, to take a leadership position within this rapidly growing global market.
The global market for nanomedicine, including neurology, cardiovascular, anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, and oncology applications, was valued at $79 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach a value of $178 billion in 2019, predicted to grow 12.3% from 2013 to 2019.
It is predicted that nanocarriers will account for 40% of the $136 billion nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery market by 2021. Europe contributed about 27% ($36 billion) of the total drug delivery market in 2010 and this market is expected to grow to $49 billion by 2016. There are currently few manufacturing companies in this sector; this therefore provides a significant opportunity for the EU to create additional capacity in this high-value emerging market. Liposomes and gold nanocarriers account for 45% of the total addressable market, with gold nanocarriers expected to experience the highest rate of growth in the next decade.
Most viral infections have no known treatment and some, such as HIV/AIDS, hepatitis-C, dengue and Ebola, can be lethal. As an example, around 500,000 people with dengue haemorrhagic fever require hospitalisation each year, a large proportion of whom are children, leading to approximately 20,000 deaths. Dengue fever is a pure unmet medical need. Current treatment consists of using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease, and intravenous fluids and blood transfusion for more severe cases
Viruses are one of the most polymorphic and resilient organisms, rapidly changing, and can modify anything in their genome, either by changing their exterior so the human immune system doesn’t recognise them or by changing their enzymes so that the handful of available drugs doesn’t affect them anymore. This is what makes viruses so dangerous. There is only a narrow array of anti-viral medications available and in many cases they present high rates of adverse effects and low rates of effectiveness. The unmet clinical need for treatment of viruses is clearly evident.
The NANOFACTURING consortium is looking to create a new type of medicine using NPs coated with small molecules that act as antiviral drugs. This will build on the current small scale demonstration of antiviral gold nanoparticles by members of the project consortium.
The most recent data published in the Journal of Cancer, suggests that one in two people will develop cancer in their lifetime. With an ever increasing and ever aging population, cancer statistics will inevitably continue to rise, and as a result will cost healthcare systems around the world millions.
Despite huge progression in oncology treatments, there are still many currently untreatable strains of the disease. In particular, due to economic pressures faced by pharmaceutical companies, orphan cancer treatments are often not a development priority. Brain, liver, ovarian and pancreatic cancer are areas of development currently focused on by members of the NANOFACTURING consortium, and are all diseases with currently unmet clinical needs.
Overcoming the difficulty of delivering therapeutic agents to specific regions of the brain presents a major challenge to the treatment of most brain disorders. Most small-molecule drugs fail to cross the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB). No large-molecule drugs cross the BBB, with the exception of a few natural peptides and proteins such as insulin. There is only a small subset of CNS diseases that respond to current drugs, with many other CNS conditions and cancers generally have no or very few treatment options.
There are a very limited number of effective drugs for the majority of CNS disorders. Conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, A.L.S, multiple sclerosis, neuro-AIDS, brain cancer, stroke, brain or spinal cord trauma, autism, lysosomal storage disorders, fragile X syndrome, inherited ataxias, blindness etc. are all of high unmet medical need.
Delivering drugs across the BBB is one of the most promising applications of nanotechnology in clinical neuroscience. Nanoparticles could potentially carry out multiple tasks in a predefined sequence, which is key to the delivery of drugs across the BBB.
Diabetes is considered the fifth leading cause of death in developed countries with a global prevalence of close to 380 million people and is growing rapidly. This metabolic disease is associated with significant complications such as obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, blindness, premature death due to heart disease and amputations.
The prevalence of diabetes has been increasing globally at an annual rate of 5% and the trend is continuing. There are currently 387 million diabetics worldwide, 90-95% of which are Type 2 diabetics. The overall market (Type 1 and 2) is expected to account for $47.2bn globally in 2017. Ref: International Diabetes Federation
NANOFACTURING will facilitate scaled up manufacture of a unique transbuccal insulin delivery method that will be disruptive to the current diabetes marketplace. As a non-injectable, this will provide a more convenient method of administering insulin, which could potentially result in increased patient compliance and increased clinical benefit.