Medical device industry suppliers and outsourcers are helping to enable the latest drug-delivery tech.Drug-eluting technologies are moving beyond stents, thanks in part to the development of polymeric hydrogels engineered to respond to a range of different physical and chemical stimuli.
Medtech innovators have figured out how to use hydrogels as components of micro-shells or nanoparticles to assist with controlled, long-term drug delivery. They’ve also figured out how to take soluble polymers integrated into the coatings for drug-coated balloon and use them as excipients to optimize short-term local drug delivery.
In nonvascular applications, specialized polymers have been used for drug release in the eye and in 3D matrices for tissue engineering and stem cell applications.
Add to that the need to encourage better compliance, and drug-delivery technology is booming. The global market, valued at about $200 billion this year, is expected to near $300 billion by 2025, according to Research & Markets.
A range of new uses are making their way through the pipeline, according to experts at suppliers and outsourcers – everything from treating glaucoma, to contraception, to helping implanted sensors and rhythm control devices work at a higher level.
And as the technology advances, future uses could include treating organs and diseases in the body beyond the vascular system, Ingolf Schult, director of business development & clinical affairs at Freudenberg Medical/Hemoteq, told Medical Design & Outsourcing.
Medtech companies are feeling increased pressure to get drug-delivery technologies to market; suppliers in turn are seeking to improve drug-eluting polymers, shepherd pharma companies through the device world and improve manufacturing capabilities to lower risk and cost and increase quality.
Go to our sister site Drug Delivery Business News and read more about the product development and technological challenges – and solutions – facing drug-delivery technology companies and the suppliers.