Implemented medicinal nanoproducts in India

Implemented medicinal nanoproducts in India
Nanomedicine is defined as “the monitoring, repair, construction and control of human biological systems at the molecular level using engineered nanostructures and nanodevices”. Simply, it is the biological application of nanobiotechnology to treat or diagnose diseases. The growing interest in this field is attributed to the properties of nanomaterials.

The main contributing factors for the selection of these materials include:
  • Increased surface area: The small size and larger area is apt for effective interaction with biomolecules. For instance, diagnosis is made faster due to their quick interaction; and drug loading capacity is higher as a consequence of large surface area.
  • Devices made with nanomaterials are small and hence are less invasive techniques.
  • Only small amount of tissue sample is required for diagnosis while using nanodevices.
  • Nanocarriers can effectively protect the drugs from degradation before reaching the target site in our body.
  • Their small size facilitates enhanced absorption of drugs into tumours or cancer cells.
  • The time and distribution of the drugs can be controlled and simultaneously prevent the interaction with normal cells.

  • The delivery of drug nanocarriers to the target organ or tissue can be through:
  • Passive targeting (enhanced permeability and retention) wherein the properties of the nanoparticles act as the determining factor for cell uptake.
  • Active targeting wherein the nanoparticles are coated with a protein layer that is specific to a particular cell type.

  • Currently, nanoshells are being designed to absorb light at different wavelengths and consequently release heat. When infrared light is applied to nanoshells, they are taken up by the cancer cells; the shells would generate enough heat to specifically kill the cancer cells. Globally, 250 nanoproducts have been approved, out of which, 100 products are available for commercial use which include nanodispersion, dendrimers/fleximers, virosomes, nanocomposites, liposomes, etc. The number of companies taking up nanomedicine research has been rising globally; however, in India, the number lies within hundred. The research and development of most nanoproducts in India remain conceptual.

    India’s first approved nanodrug is fungisome: liposomal amphotericin B. The product was developed for the treatment of cryptococcal meningitis in HIV patients. The product is available as an intravenous injection and gel forms. The antifungal activity of fungisome is better than that of voriconazole, AMB deoxycholate, itraconazole and flucanozole against 262 clinical fungal isolates. In addition, fungisome has MIC value 16 times lower than that of AMB deoxycholate. A total of 24 nanotechnology patents have been awarded to the Indian institutions; however, nanomedicine is still in its infant stage.

    The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) takes years to completely understand the properties of the drug and its effects upon nanoformulations. Subsequently, it takes years for the approval of a drug to phase I clinical trials. Current nanodrug prices are expensive for the public and thus these drugs are often ignored. Pricing regulations are required to open public market to the product. Technology transfer to industries in spite of the risks needs to be encouraged. Universally, the accepted parameters to measure the successfully transferred technology need to be determined.

    How to cite this article:
    Sruthi Sritharan. Implemented medicinal nanoproducts in India. BioLim O-Media. 13 April, 2016. 4(4).
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