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May 15, 2008 (Vol. 28, No. 10)

Demand for Novel Delivery Systems Rising

Parenteral Systems Will Give Specialized Oral Delivery Methods a Run for Their Money

  • The demand for drug delivery systems in the U.S. will increase by over 10% annually to $132 billion in 2012. Growth opportunities will extend to a wide range of compounds and formulations. Oral controlled-release medication will continue to account for the largest share of demand through 2012 due to favorable cost advantages, a wealth of potential new product applications, and significant efficacy benefits over conventional dosage formulations.

    Advances in biotechnology and combinatorial chemistry will generate rapid growth opportunities for parenteral and implantable drug delivery systems, especially mAbs, polymer-encapsulated compounds, and drug-eluting stents. In fact, led by mAbs and nanopolymer therapies, parenteral formulations will eventually surpass oral dosages administered via specialized delivery as the largest group of drug delivery systems based on end-use product revenues.

    Technical improvements will broaden the market potential of dry-powder and metered-dose inhalation systems by opening up new applications in the administration of asthma and antimigraine medication. Additionally, even-dosing and dose-“dumping” advantages will lead to the increasing use of transdermal patches in the delivery of pain control, hormonal, and cardiovascular agents.

    All major multinational pharmaceutical corporations are active in the commercialization of drug delivery systems. In addition, the industry includes about 300 small-to-medium sized drug makers and research firms seeking to develop innovative products or technologies. Based on domestic sales of end-use products, the largest competitors in the field are all major drug-making concerns and include GlaxoSmithKline, Genentech, AstraZeneca, Abbott Laboratories, Wyeth, Eli Lilly, Johnson & Johnson, sanofi-aventis, Amgen, and Pfizer.

  • Oral Delivery Systems Continue to Be Tweaked

    Demand for oral drug delivery systems will expand 7.1% per year to $56.7 billion in 2012. Medicines adapted to controlled-release matrix, diffusion, and reservoir systems will post favorable sales gains, as drug makers seek to gain competitive advantages by introducing new and improved formulations of off-patent pharmaceuticals.

    Spurred by ingestion and onset-of-action benefits, orally disintegrating tablets and transmucosal drugs will also generate strong growth opportunities in the delivery of pain-control and other critical-care medication.

    Ease-of-administration advantages will promote the widening use of chewable tablet dosages for nutritional, respiratory, and central nervous system agents, especially pediatric preparations. Improved solubility and pharmacokinetic actions will lead to rapid growth both in the number and sales of oral nanoparticle drugs.

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