The delivery of drugs to central nervous system (CNS) is a challenge in the treatment of neurological disorders. Drugs may be administered directly into the CNS or administered systematically (e.g., by intravenous injection) for targeted action in the CNS. The major challenge to CNS drug delivery is the blood-brain barrier (BBB), which limits the access of drugs to the brain substance.
Advances in understanding of the cell biology of the BBB have opened new avenues and possibilities for improved drug delivery to the CNS. Other strategies for drug delivery to the brain involve bypassing the BBB. Among the three main approaches to drug delivery to the CNS - systemic administration, injection into CSF pathways, and direct injection into the brain - the greatest developments is anticipated to occur in the area of targeted delivery by systemic administration. Cell, gene and antisense therapies are not only innovative treatments for CNS disorders but also involve sophisticated delivery methods. The role of drug delivery is depicted in the background of various therapies for neurological diseases including drugs in development and the role of special delivery preparations. A special chapter is devoted to drug delivery for brain tumors.
The method of delivery of a drug to the CNS has an impact on the drug's commercial potential. The market for CNS drug delivery technologies is directly linked to the CNS drug market. Values are calculated for the total CNS market and the share of drug delivery technologies. Unmet needs for further development in CNS drug delivery technologies are identified according to the important methods of delivery of therapeutic substances to the CNS. Finally suggestions are made for strategies to expand CNS delivery markets. Profiles of 75 companies involved in drug delivery for CNS disorders are presented along with their technologies, products and 75 collaborations. These include pharmaceutical companies that develop CNS drugs and biotechnology companies that provide technologies for drug delivery. A number of cell and gene therapy companies with products in development for CNS disorders are included.