Published On: June 27, 2024Categories: Scientific news

The efficacy of therapeutic agents can be profoundly influenced by the strategies employed to deliver them to their site of action.

The development of advanced drug delivery platforms has the potential to revolutionize the therapeutical outcomes in every medical area, enhancing the precision and control over where and when a drug exerts its action within the body. 

This article delves into the concept of what is a drug delivery platform, providing examples of the most promising drug delivery platforms which are gaining ground both in research and clinical practice.


Definition of Drug Delivery Platform


A drug delivery platform can be defined as a formulation or a device that facilitates the introduction of therapeutic substances into the body, controls the kinetics and can potentially direct their release to specific tissues or cells. The core objective of these technologies is to improve drugs’ efficacy and safety, by enhancing their bioavailability and controlling the rate, time, and site of drug release [1].

The design and development of drug delivery platforms requires a multidisciplinary approach, integrating knowledge from chemistry, biology, materials science, and engineering. This integration allows for the creation of systems that are not only effective in delivering drugs but also safe and stable within physiological conditions. Safety considerations include biocompatibility and the potential for immunogenicity, while stability involves ensuring that the drug does not degrade prematurely within the platform or lose its activity before reaching its target [2]. 

The technologies involved in these platforms range from encapsulation techniques like nanoparticles to more complex systems such as implantable devices that release drugs at controlled rates. Their design must consider the physicochemical properties of the delivered drug as each type of molecule presents unique challenges in terms of delivery. Efficient drug delivery platforms should be adaptable to different types of drugs, including small molecules, peptides, proteins, and nucleic acids as each of these molecules requires customized solutions to be successfully delivered.


Examples of Drug Delivery Platforms


Nanotechnology has revolutionized the field of drug delivery platforms, especially through the development of nanoparticles. These small engineered platforms, typically sized around 50-200 nanometers (nm), offer a well-established approach to delivering therapeutical molecules. Their unprecedented precision and efficiency have been demonstrated in several phase III clinical trials in the last decades, up to receiving clinical approval. 

Nanoparticles are drug delivery platforms designed to optimize the delivery of drugs by improving their solubility, stability, and bioavailability. Drug encapsulation enhances protection against premature degradation, while modification of surface properties improves solubility and circulation time, increasing the bioavailability of drugs that might otherwise be poorly absorbed by the body [3]. 

One prominent example is Doxil®, the first FDA-approved nano-drug (1995) and the first and clearest example of the enormous nanotechnology potential, not only in new drug development but also in enhancing the performance of already approved ones. 

It consists of liposomal doxorubicin, whose encapsulation notably improved its pharmacokinetic profile. These PEGylated nano-liposomes prolong drug circulation time and allow for high and stable remote doxorubicin loading, enabling drug release at the tumor site [4].

Over the years, an extensive body of evidence has demonstrated the ability of several nanomedicines to increase active payload concentrations at the target site as well as to reduce toxicity and enhance therapeutic efficacy compared with free drugs in preclinical studies [5]. 

The core strength of nanoparticle-based drug delivery lies, thus, in their ability to be engineered with sophisticated functionalities, as their small size and large surface area relative to volume allow for multiple functionalizations. These include the attachment of targeting ligands which actively enhance their ability to bind to specific cells or tissues, minimizing drug effects on healthy cells [6].

Several studies in humans support, thus, the ability of nanoparticle-based therapies to enhance active payload accumulation, especially in tumors, improving their safety and efficacy profiles. For example, in some phase III clinical trials for breast cancer, Abraxane® (albumin-bound paclitaxel nanoparticle) was shown to cause better treatment responses compared with free paclitaxel [7].

Moreover, many nanomedicines are used for indications other than oncology, such as Onpattro® (small interfering RNA-lipid nanoparticles) for hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) [8]. The latter constitutes the first-in-class RNA interference (RNAi) therapeutic, paving the way for many novel nanotechnology-based gene-silencing therapeutics.


Lipid-Based Nanosystems Offers Unique Advantages


Lipid-based nanosystems are a promising example of drug delivery platforms as they offer numerous advantages over other nanoparticles.

Primarily, they show exceptional biocompatibility owing to their lipidic composition, ensuring minimal risk of adverse reactions or immune responses upon administration. This composition gives them inherent stability properties, protecting drugs prone to degradation or possessing poor aqueous solubility [9].

They can, thus, incorporate both hydrophilic and hydrophobic drugs, making them suitable carriers for a wide range of therapeutic agents, including those with limited passage through the body’s natural barriers, like the blood-brain barrier or cellular membranes.

An additional advantage lies in their unparalleled ease of use and DIVERSA has made this feature the strength of its innovative drug delivery platforms. 

DIVERSA works with proprietary nanoemulsions which are composed of two main excipients, and which are prepared in a fast and simple way. By modulating these two components, this technology can be tailored to suit different applications. Through their R&D platform, DIVERSA continuously thrives on innovation. 

Additionally, through our ready-to-use reagents, DIVERSA offers an opportunity to try its technology, aiming to democratize the use of nanotechnology, with highly adaptable lipid-based nanocarriers designed to effectively deliver peptides, proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules.

Our technology requires no specialized or expensive equipment. It is accessible to the entire scientific community for each specific drug delivery need, providing added value to the most promising therapeutic molecules.


Do you want to know how our technology can be tailored to your needs with our co-development program?
Contact us!



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