More precise targeting of drugs in pipeline

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 07 February 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:411
  1. Alison Tonks
  1. BMJ

    Three teams of researchers from Germany, France, and the United States have developed new and more precise ways of targeting drugs at diseased tissues.

    They report successfully using electric currents, tiny porous beads, and impregnated acetate discs to deliver large molecules—genes, antibodies, and proteins—directly to their targets, bypassing the gut and blood stream, where they would normally be broken down (Nature Biotechnology 1998;16:159-71). These techniques, although not yet perfected in humans, have the potential to deliver small quantities of highly effective agents, including genes, into cancers and diseased coronary blood vessels without the side effects associated with pills and intravenous or intramuscular injections.

    The German team, from the Max Planck Institute for Physiological Research in Bad Nauheim, used porous microspheres no bigger than the inside of a capillary to deliver fibroblast growth factor directly into the small vessel network in pig hearts. Fibroblast growth factor …

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