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From Science Fiction to Reality: Nanomedicine Brings Fresh Hope to the Medical World

PALO ALTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 2, 2004--Emerging nanomedicine technologies could dramatically transform medical science as we know it today with their potential to address unmet medical needs and provide targeted therapy.

Nanomedicine technologies could find an increasing place in various areas and applications of the healthcare sector including drug delivery, drug discovery and development, diagnostics and medical devices.

"Nanomedicine holds the promise of site-specific therapeutic action and consequently, fewer side effects," says Technical Insights Industry Analyst Rajaram Sankaran. "Such site-specificity holds the promise of a better risk-benefit ratio and thus enhances the prospects for nanomedicine applications."

The advent of nanomedicine and techniques for the early diagnosis of diseases could usher in a new era of superior prophylactic or preventive medicine. By using preventive medicine, treatment for diseases could be initiated even before preliminary symptoms appear.

Prophylactic interventions might help postpone or even avoid diseases altogether. Nanomedicine could therefore have a huge impact on people's lives, substantially improving their physical health and quality of life.

If nanomedicine's adoption rates in pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and drug delivery companies are anything to go by, its prospects in the healthcare industry seem bright.

Nanocrystal technology, for instance, is being used in drug formulation and the new chemical entities screening in the discovery phase of drug development. Quantum dot particles are being applied in high-content drug screening and in the detection of breast cancer cells among others.

However, as with other new technologies, nanomedicine also faces its own set of issues. Scalability is one of its biggest technological challenges. While large-scale production makes better economic sense, this is likely to be a complex task, especially when manufacturing three-dimensional nanostructures as compared to stand-alone or two-dimensional layer-shaped nanosurfaces.

This perceived difficulty is attributed to the fact that manufacturing standards for nanomaterials and components are yet to evolve. Therefore, there is an urgent need for standardized manufacturing techniques; only then can nanotechnology become ubiquitous in everyday applications.

"Furthermore, since the characteristics of nanoscale matter are very different owing to their unique nature, there is a need for appropriate quality control measures that are specific to them," notes Sankaran. "This will become increasingly relevant as nanomedicine continues to evolve and face various other challenges."

Nanotechnology also faces a strong challenge in the shape of negative public perceptions with growing reports about the possible toxic effects of exposure to nanoparticles. Concerns about the potential ill effects of engineered nanomaterials such as carbon buckyballs and nanotubes through inhalation, ingestion, or absorption through the skin are increasing.

Although there is sporadic evidence supporting these possible hazards, it is essential for the nanomedicine community to take the lead in defining the risks associated with nanotechnology. Proactively supporting experts in risk communication can help avert a situation in which the public might actually reject the technology due to unexplained fears and worries.

Nanomedicine - Global Developments and Growth Opportunities, part of the Healthcare Vertical Subscription Service, studies the emerging field of nanomedicine and the exciting possibilities it offers. It discusses prospective therapeutic and diagnostic applications of nanomedicine, focusing on path-breaking research developments and trends that have helped bring it to the forefront. Executive summaries and interviews are available to the press.

If you are interested in an analysis overview which provides manufacturers, end users, and other industry participants an overview, summary, challenges, and latest coverage of Nanomedicine - Global Developments and Growth Opportunities, then send an email to Julia Paulson - North American Corporate Communications at jpaulson@frost.com with the following information: Full name, Company Name, Title, Contact Tel Number, Contact Fax Number, Email. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be emailed to you.

Technical Insights is an international technology analysis business that produces a variety of technical news alert, newsletter, and report services.

Frost & Sullivan, an international growth consultancy, has been supporting clients' expansion for more than four decades. Our market expertise covers a broad spectrum of industries, while our portfolio of advisory competencies includes custom strategic consulting, market intelligence, and management training. Our mission is to forge partnerships with our clients' management teams to deliver market insights and to create value and drive growth through innovative approaches. Frost & Sullivan's network of consultants, industry experts, corporate trainers, and support staff spans the globe with offices in every major country.

Nanomedicine - Global Developments and Growth Opportunities

 
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