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Technology has been developed within Top Institute Pharma that helps medicines be absorbed quicker into the blood and thus be more effective. Researcher Hans de Waard, who is associated with the University of Groningen, will obtain his doctorate on this subject on March 11. De Waard: "Many current medicines are not easily dissolved in the digestive tract, which means that they barely reach the bloodstream. This, in turn, means that the efficacy of medicines is not guaranteed. Since we can now produce nanoparticles of these medicines, they are actually able to dissolve well." This concerns medicines such as diazepam (valium), ibuprofen, and the cholesterol-reducing fenofibrate. This research will enable lower doses and reduce the chance of side effects.
Applying nanotechnology means that medicines will be able to be processed into extremely small particles. According to De Waard, this research is important for medicines that are taken orally (i.e. by mouth) and dissolve poorly in water. This relates to 40 percent of all medicines currently in development. De Waard indicates that the pharmaceutical industry is looking at this new nanotechnology with considerable interest.
"Certain medicines fail in the development phase, although they might have considerable potential if they were only able to dissolve better," said De Waard. "Moreover, currently only a small portion of a medicine enters the patient's bloodstream, which means that a doctor has to prescribe a much higher dose that is actually necessary. Such a high dose means that there is an even greater chance of side effects."
This research forms part of a broader research project at Top Institute Pharma into greater efficacy of medicines for brain disease. This project's partners include Abbott Healthcare Products BV, Radboud University Nijmegen, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center, University Medical Center Groningen, the University of Groningen, Leiden University, and Utrecht University.
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