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Macromolecules & Spec Pharma: The Good News in Drug Delivery

This article was originally published in Start Up

Executive Summary

Two major changes have transformed the prospects for drug-delivery companies: the rise of spec pharma and Big Pharma's embrace of large-molecule therapeutics. A new group of start-ups represents strategies to take advantage of both opportunities.

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What's Topical? Devices for Transdermal Drug Delivery

The drug delivery device industry is on track to reach almost $23 billion by the year 2011, and the fastest growth will come from the transdermal sector. According to a recent Windhover Information/Medtech Insight report, transdermal delivery technologies will build up to sales of $4.6 billion by 2011. Pharma's increasing fondness for macromolecules will fuel that growth, as will the perennially hot market for transdermal formulations of pain drugs.

What's Topical? Devices for Transdermal Drug Delivery

The drug delivery device industry is on track to reach almost $23 billion by the year 2011, and the fastest growth will come from the transdermal sector. According to a recent Windhover Information/Medtech Insight report, transdermal delivery technologies will build up to sales of $4.6 billion by 2011. Pharma's increasing fondness for macromolecules will fuel that growth, as will the perennially hot market for transdermal formulations of pain drugs.

The Drug Delivery Road Gets Tougher

While making money in drug delivery has always been tougher than its boosters have promised, this year's been ugly in new and disturbing ways. The key lessons of Pfizer's abandonment of inhaled insulin and Impax's patent assault on Endo's Opana are that partners are less reliable; the products need to be medically superior to existing ones, not simply more convenient; and generic companies are making inroads into the main bastion of drug-delivery success -- spec pharma.

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