Nanocrystals will account for 60% of a $136 billion nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery market by 2021. We forecast the total market size in 2021 to be US$136 billion, with a 60/40 split between nanocrystals and nanocarriers respectively.
Since we now understand that most (if not all) biological processes occur at the nanoscale, the application of life science principles - studying the causes of biological phenomena at the molecular level - means that medical and biomedical research is increasingly using a bottom-up (rather than the top-down) approach.
One of the biggest challenges researchers face when developing a new drug is how to maximise its solubility in the body. Poor solubility in water correlates with poor bioavailability, which in turn leads to poor delivery. Nanocrystals are ground in special mills producing nano-sized drugs, which are applicable intravenously as nanosuspensions. This procedure enhances the surface/volume-ratio and thus the solubility and bioavailability of most insoluble pharmaceuticals.
The low bioavailability resulting from traditional oral and intravenous drug delivery methods and the market forces at work in the pharmaceutical industry - where patents expire after a relatively short period of time unless a novel form of drug delivery is developed that will extend the patent - are two major forces that will fuel the growth of the nano tech enabled drug delivery market.
The healthcare market is changing. We are seeing a paradigm shift away from blockbusters and a 'one-size fits all' approach to a more personalised medicine based on an individual's unique genome and immune response. The more scientists learn about the molecular causes for disease the more targeted and effective nanotechnology-enabled drug delivery therapies will become.