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January 29th, 2008

Tiny magnets to repel drug counterfeiters

A large pharmaceutical packaging company is hoping that nanotech security tags devised by a small Singaporean firm will help it combat counterfeit drugs. India-based drug supplier Bilcare says it is in talks with Indian pharmaceutical companies to commercialise the nanoscale magnetic fingerprinting technology by Singular ID, a spin-out they bought for SGD 19.58 million (7 million) earlier this month.

Singular ID's security tags are ceramic thin films dotted with irregular pores that are filled by 200nm wide magnets. Each film holds a randomly generated magnetic pattern that can be stored in a database: in essence, a unique fingerprint that is easy to manufacture but virtually impossible to copy.

According to Bilcare, Pfizer and other US-based pharmaceutical companies have also shown 'keen interest' in the system.


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