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No more shots?

From patches to chips, new ways to deliver drugs explored

SAN FRANCISCO, March 27 -- Innovative drug delivery systems could make the hypodermic needle obsolete. They range from medicated powders pumped into the skin at supersonic speeds to implanted microchips that deliver precise dosages to high-tech molecular transportation systems. Research on these devices and others will be the focus of a daylong symposium on new drug delivery systems at the 219th national meeting of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. Selected studies are described below.

  • Electronic inhaler targets the bloodstream via the lungs: This handheld device allows precise doses of tiny liquid particles to be inhaled through the mouth. Unlike conventional inhalers, which deliver drugs to the large airways of the lung, this device allows them to enter the bloodstream through the small airways and alveoli (air sacs). It is a faster, more efficient method of drug delivery, the researchers say. The device, currently undergoing Phase II human clinical trials, is especially promising for delivering insulin and administering pain medication, they say. (Igor Gonda, Ph.D., Aradigm Corporation, Hayward, Calif.; MEDI 170, Monday, March 27, 9:10 a.m., Moscone Center, Room 135, Exhibit Level. See page 132 in the final program.)

  • Drugs delivered at supersonic speeds: Imagine having tiny particles delivered painlessly into your skin at speeds up to that of a supersonic jet. That's the concept behind dry powder injection, a unique drug-delivery method that involves placing powdered drugs inside a simple-to-use, handheld device that mechanically launches them through your skin. The device uses pressurized helium instead of a needle to transport medicine. Researchers say it offers great potential benefits for the delivery of small molecules, vaccines and potent biotechnology drugs, and may also serve as a diagnostic tool. (Terry
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Contact: Charmayne Marsh
y_marsh@acs.org
202-872-4445
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26-Mar-2000


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